William H. Pryor

Hon. William H. Pryor, Jr.

Chief Judge, United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit

William H. Pryor Jr. serves as Chief Circuit Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

In 2013–18, he served on the United States Sentencing Commission and, in 2017–18, served as Acting Chair.

He has taught as a visiting professor at the University of Alabama School of Law and previously taught as an adjunct professor at the Cumberland School of Law of Samford University. 

He served as the 45th Attorney General of Alabama from 1997 to 2004.  When he took office, he was the youngest attorney general in the nation. In his reelection, he received the highest percentage of votes of any statewide candidate.

He graduated magna cum laude from Tulane Law School where he finished first in the common-law curriculum and was editor in chief of the Tulane Law Review. He then served as a law clerk for Judge John Minor Wisdom of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

He is a member of The American Law Institute and an Adviser for the RESTATEMENT OF THE LAW THIRD, CONFLICT OF LAWS. He is a coauthor with Bryan Garner, Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, and several other judges of a treatise, THE LAW OF JUDICIAL PRECEDENT. He has published in the Yale Law Journal, Columbia Law Review, Virginia Law Review, Notre Dame Law Review, Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, Yale Law & Policy Review, George Mason Law Review, Florida Law Review, Alabama Law Review, Case Western Reserve Law Review, and Tulane Law Review. He has published op-eds in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, National Review, and USA Today. He has debated at National Lawyers’ Conventions of the Federalist Society (including on National Public Radio) and at the Oxford Union in the United Kingdom. And he is listed among several “widely admired judicial writers” in Bryan Garner’s The Redbook: A Manual on Legal Style.

He is a member of the Tulane Law School Hall of Fame and has received the Defender of the Constitution Award from the Heritage Foundation, the Jurist of the Year Award from the Texas Review of Law & Politics, and the St. Thomas More Award from the St. Thomas More Society of Atlanta. Judge Pryor is also a proud member of the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution.


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