Judge William Paul Keesley was born in 1953 in Augusta, Georgia. After graduating from Strom Thurmond High School in 1971, the Judge attended Wofford College where he graduated summa cum laude in 1975. Judge Keesley studied law at the University of South Carolina where he was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa fraternity. He received his Juris Doctorate degree from USC in 1978 and was subsequently admitted to the South Carolina Bar that same year.
Judge Keesley was engaged in private practice in Edgefield County from 1978 to 1991. During this period, he also performed the duties of Public Defender for Edgefield, McCormick, and Saluda counties from 1983 to1987, and was Assistant Solicitor for the Eleventh Judicial Circuit from 1987 to 1988. Additionally, the Judge served as a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives from 1989 to 1991.
Judge Keesley was elected Resident Judge of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of South Carolina, Seat 1, on May 8, 1991, to fill the unexpired term of the Honorable Hubert Long, retired. He was qualified shortly thereafter on August 13, 1991 and has served continuously since.