President Kovind was born on 1 October 1945 in Paroukh village of Kanpur Dehat district in Uttar Pradesh. His father Michaulal was from a landless Kori (a Dalit weaving community) who ran a small shop to support his family. He was the youngest of five brothers and two sisters. He was born in a mud hut. He was only five when his mother died of burns when a fire broke out at his house. Kovind later donated the land to the community.
After his primary school education, he had to go to Kanpur village, 8 km away, to attend junior school because no one had a bicycle in the village. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree and LLB from DAV College (affiliated to Kanpur University).
After graduating in law from DAV College, Kanpur, Kovind went to Delhi to prepare for the Civil Services Examination. He passed this exam on his third attempt. But he did not join as he had scored significantly more to work in the allied service rather than just IAS and thus started practicing law.
Kovind enrolled as a lawyer in 1971 with the Bar Council of Delhi. He was a lawyer for the Central Government from 1977 to 1979 in the Delhi High Court. Between 1977 and 1978, he also served as a personal assistant to Morarji Desai, Prime Minister of India.
In 1978 he became a lawyer-record for the Supreme Court of India and from 1980 to 1993 served as a permanent advocate for the Central Government in the Supreme Court of India. He practiced in Delhi High Court and Supreme Court as a lawyer till 1993. He provided pro bono assistance to the weaker sections of the society women and poor under the Free Legal Aid Society of New Delhi.