Bilee Kulhanek Cauley was born in West Homestead, Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh. She is the daughter of the late Ruthalee Kulhanek and the late William Kulhanek. She was educated in the West Homestead and Homestead public school system. Ms. Cauley graduated from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida, in 1972 with a bachelor of arts degree in English literature. She received her juris doctorate in 1987 from the Jones School of Law, where she was awarded the James J. Carter Award for Scholarship, an award given to the student in each graduating class who has the highest grade point average. Ms. Cauley was admitted to the Alabama State Bar in 1988.
Before and during law school, Ms. Cauley was employed by the Montgomery law firm of Johnson & Thorington as a paralegal. Upon her graduation from law school, she worked at the firm as an associate. She was appointed assistant reporter of decisions for the Alabama appellate courts in July 1989; she was the first person to occupy that position. She was appointed reporter of decisions of the Alabama appellate courts effective October 1, 2001. She is the first woman to hold that position.
She is married to Wendell Cauley, a native of Opelika, Alabama, and a partner in the Montgomery office of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP. The Cauleys are members of the Capitol Heights United Methodist Church in Montgomery. Ms. Cauley is an active member in the Association of Reporters of Judicial Decisions, an international professional association; she served as the Association's president in 2004.