Bilee Kulhanek Cauley was born in West Homestead, Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh, and was educated in the West Homestead and Homestead public schools. 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 with the highest grade-point average. Ms. Cauley was admitted to the Alabama State Bar in 1988.
Ms. Cauley worked as a paralegal at the Montgomery law firm of Johnson and Thorington from 1979 until her graduation from law school. Upon graduation, she was employed at that 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 newly created position. Effective October 1, 2001, she was appointed reporter of decisions for the Alabama appellate courts; she is the first woman to hold that position.
Ms. Cauley is a member of Capitol Heights United Methodist Church. She 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.