William Cooper Thompson was born on January 19, 1962. Judge Thompson grew up in Autauga and Elmore counties. He attended the University of Alabama where he completed his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1984. He attended the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University and was awarded his Juris Doctor degree in 1988.
Judge Thompson was elected to the Court of Civil Appeals from Homewood in 1996 and was re-elected to the court in 2002 and 2008. He became presiding judge of the court in 2007. Prior to serving as a judge, Judge Thompson practiced law in both Birmingham and Montgomery.
Judge Thompson is a member of the Alabama Juvenile Code Revision Committee, the Alabama Court Improvement Project Advisory Committee, and the Chief Justice's Commission on Professionalism. He is the chairman of the Committee on the Future of the Juvenile Justice System, a member of the board of directors of Children First, and a member of the Council of Chief Judges of the State Courts of Appeal. He is also a member of the Appellate Rules Committee, the Legislative Coordinating Council, the Alabama Law Institute, and the Judicial System Study Commission. He is the Chief Judge of the Court of the Judiciary and a former advisory board member of the Service Guild of Birmingham's Early Intervention Program.
He is married to the former Melinda Rainey of Greenville, Alabama and they have three children. The family attends St. Stephen's Episcopal Church.