Bill Pryor Biography

This is the Biography of Bill Pryor from the Alabama Attorney General's Office

Note:  Bill Pryor was appointed by President George W. Bush to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals bench in 2004.

Bill Pryor took office as Attorney General of Alabama on January 2, 1997. He was appointed by Governor Fob James to complete the term of Jeff Sessions who was elected to the United States Senate. At the time, Pryor was the youngest Attorney General in the United States. On November 3, 1998, Pryor was elected to a full four-year term. On November 5, 2002, he was reelected, with 59 percent of the votes (the highest percentage of all statewide candidates), to a final term as Attorney General.

A native of Mobile, Pryor graduated magna cum laude in 1987 from Tulane University School of Law, where he was editor in chief of the Tulane Law Review.

He began his legal career as a law clerk for the late Judge John Minor Wisdom of the U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit. Afterwards, Pryor engaged in the private practice of law in Birmingham in two of the state's finest law firms, specializing in commercial and employment litigation from 1988 until 1995. Pryor also taught as an adjunct professor at the Cumberland School of Law of Samford University from 1989 to 1995.

During the tenure of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Pryor served as Deputy Attorney General in charge of special civil and constitutional litigation.

An experienced courtroom lawyer, Attorney General Pryor has tried civil and criminal cases in state and federal courts and has argued before the Supreme Court of the United States, the Supreme Court of Alabama, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

Attorney General Pryor has a record of prosecuting public corruption and white-collar crime, streamlining death penalty appeals, and as a leader of reform of both the juvenile justice system and criminal sentencing.

Pryor has served as a member of the State and Local Senior Advisory Committee for the White House Office of Homeland Security and as a member of the Advisory Committee for the U.S. Department of Justice on the Bush-Cheney Transition Team.

He has a national reputation as a conservative leader for the cause of limited government, judicial restraint, and free enterprise. He has received Hero at Heart Award from the Life Issues Institute, the Guardian of Religious Freedom Award from Justice Fellowship and Prison Fellowship Ministries, the Civil Justice Achievement Award from the American Tort Reform Association, the Friend of the Taxpayer Award from the Alabama Citizens for a Sound Economy, and the Harlon B. Carter Award from the National Rifle Association's Institute for Legislative Action.

A frequent lecturer on law and public policy, Attorney General Pryor has given addresses at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Heritage Foundation, the American Enterprise Institute, the Cato Institute, and the Federalist Society. He has written op-ed articles in The Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and USA Today, and scholarly articles in several law reviews. He has testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee and its subcommittee on the Constitution, Federalism, and Property Rights, and the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

Pryor is a member of the American Law Institute, the Legal Policy Advisory Board of the Washington Legal Foundation, and the Federalist Society. He is the Chairman of the Federalism and Separation of Powers Practice Group of the Federalist Society, and he is the convener for the National Association of Attorneys General Federalism Working Group. In 2001, Pryor served as Chairman of the Republican Attorneys General Association, and in 2000 Pryor served as Alabama Co-Chairman of the Bush-Cheney presidential campaign.