Bob Vance has served Jefferson County as a Circuit Judge since 2002. A Birmingham native, Bob is the son of Talladega native Robert Vance — who was a successful lawyer and federal appellate judge. Judge Vance’s mother Helen was raised Cullman, and met Robert while they were both students at the University of Alabama.
A graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law, Judge Vance first served the bench in 1985 as clerk to a federal judge in Houston, Texas. In 1986, he returned to Birmingham and joined the law firm of Johnston Barton Proctor Swedlaw & Naff, where he focused his practice on a broad range of litigation — from commercial and class action defense to employment cases.
In October 2002, Vance accepted an appointment to fill a vacant position as Jefferson County Circuit Judge. He has since stood for election in 2004, and for re-election in 2010 and 2016 — each time without opposition.
Judge Vance has presided over numerous civil actions — including medical malpractice cases, automobile accident disputes and worker’s compensation claims.
In recognition for his service to the legal profession — in particular, his efforts to assist young lawyers in developing their practices — the Birmingham Bar Association honored Judge Vance with the Drayton James Award in 2004. Judge Vance is a member of the Birmingham Kiwanis Club and the Cathedral Church of the Advent.
Bob met his wife in law school. A former U. S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, Joyce Vance now teaches at the University of Alabama School of Law. Bob and Joyce have four children: Robert (27), Teddy (25), Ellie (18) and Ollie (15).