Bill Baxley was elected Attorney General at age 28. Remarkably, he was already a seasoned prosecutor, having tried dozens of jury trials as District Attorney in Houston and Henry counties. He served as Alabama’s Attorney General from 1971 to 1979 and its Lieutenant Governor from 1983 to 1987. As Attorney General, Bill served as lead trial counsel in every major action on the State’s behalf, civil and criminal. He aggressively prosecuted them all. He appointed the state’s first African-American assistant attorney general, who later became a federal judge. His successful prosecution of Ku Klux Klansman Robert Chambliss for the 1963 bombing of Birmingham’s Sixteenth Street Baptist Church is featured in the Spike Lee documentary, 4 Little Girls. His legal accomplishments are also documented in Lay Down with Dogs, Until Justice Rolls Down, and numerous other publications.
Throughout his career, Bill Baxley has served in the Alabama Army National Guard, beginning as an enlisted clerk and rising through the ranks to retire as Colonel, JAG Corps.
In 1979, Baxley founded the firm known today as Baxley, Dillard, McKnight, James & McElroy . He has successfully represented clients in the United States Supreme Court, the Alabama Supreme Court, and in appellate and trial courts over which they exercise jurisdiction. He primarily represents large business corporations, yet continues to represent individuals of modest means. Those efforts have earned him the distinction of being selected as a Fellow in the International Academy of Trial Lawyers as well as being recognized by his peers as a Super Lawyer.