People of Pickens: Chris McCool

Chris McCool

By BRIAN HAMILTON, Editor

Chris McCool, former District Attorney for the 24th Judicial Circuit since 2001, was recently elected and sworn in as a judge in the Court of Criminal Appeals, serving the remainder of Judge Liles Burke’s term. McCool, the nominee for Place 2 faced no competition for the position, winning the election with over 97 percent of the vote. McCool was born and raised in Pickens County and grew up working on his family’s farm. While attending the University of Alabama, McCool studied pre-medicine and business before settling into a degree in History and Greek Classics before attending and graduating from Alabama’s Law School. “Someone on the campaign trail asked me if I had lived here (in Pickens County) my whole life, and I said, not yet, but I plan to,” McCool said. After graduating law school, McCool came back to Pickens County, where he has served as Assistant District Attorney and District Attorney, before being elected to the Court of Criminal Appeals. Pickens County Herald editor Brian Hamilton recently sat down with McCool for an interview.

 

Q: How did you decide on a law career?

McCool: “Well I had gotten a degree in History and Greek, so what do you do with that? You either teach at the college or high school level, or you get a masters degree or something. I had taken a course in constitutional history and it peaked my curiosity about law, so I decided to take my LSAT and go to law school. My first year, I loved it, but I still planned to come back and work on the farm. In the summer between my second and third year, I started clerking for C.O. Burkhalter and the first week on the job, I was out walking a land line and the next week I was riding out trying to find somebody to serve papers. I loved it, and I realized then that was what I wanted to do, so I came back home and did that. My first thought was to go into the medical field, but I didn’t like chemistry. I said ‘maybe business,’ then I took accounting and didn’t like it. Finally, in my third year, I realized I loved history.”

 


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