Elrick attended the Grosse Pointe school system; attending Defer Elementary, Pierce Middle, and graduated from GP South High in 1985. Elrick graduated from Michigan State University in 1990 with a Bachelor of Journalism degree. He wrote for the Concord (N.H.) Monitor, and Daily Southtown in Chicago. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Newsday, Investigative Reporters and Editors Journal, Salon.com, Rollingstone.com, the National Law Journal, Chicago Magazine and Hour Detroit magazine. He teaches journalism at Wayne State University, Michigan State, and University of Michigan-Dearborn.
With the Detroit Free Press Elrick was one member of a team that covered Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, and uncovered the scandals that led to his 2008 resignation from office and criminal conviction. To break the case open, the reporters filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit that was heard by the Michigan Supreme Court. The Detroit Free Press staff, which notably included contributors Elrick and Jim Schaefer, shared the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting, which cited the staff's "uncovering of a pattern of lies by Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick that included denial of a sexual relationship with his female chief of staff, prompting an investigation of perjury that eventually led to jail terms for the two officials."
He is married and has two children.
- 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Journalism
- 2009 1st Amendment Watchdog Award 
- 2008 George Polk Award
- 2008 Associated Press Managing Editors Public Service Award
- 2008 Worth Bingham Prize for Investigative Reporting.
- 2005 Clark Mollenhoff Award for Investigative Reporting
- "M.L. Elrick – Fox 2 News Headlines". Myfoxdetroit.com. Retrieved 2013-11-02.
- Jean, Mallary (2012-08-01). "M.L. Elrick leaves Detroit Free Press to join WJBK-TV". Poynter. Retrieved 2013-11-02.
- "M.L. Elrick: Institute for Local Government". Umd.umich.edu. Retrieved 2013-11-02.
- "Kilpatrick pleads guilty, resigns", Detroit Free Press, Aug. 7, 2008
- "Previous Award Winners - Long Island University". Liu.edu. Retrieved 2013-11-02.
- "The 2009 Pulitzer Prize Winners: Local Reporting". The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved 2013-11-02. With short biographies and reprints of ten works (Free Press articles January 24 to September 5, 2008).
- https://web.archive.org/web/20120709185422/http://hof.jrn.msu.edu/bios/erlick.html. Archived from the original on July 9, 2012. Retrieved 2013-11-02. Missing or empty
- http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-198349826.html. Retrieved 2013-11-02. Missing or empty
- Journalist's Twitter
- "Transcript of chat with Free Press reporter M.L. Elrick", Detroit Free Press, Jan. 25, 2008
- Alumnus helps win Pulitzer for Free Press
- M. L. Elrick at Library of Congress Authorities, with 0 catalog records (?)