The following biographical sketch was compiled at the time of induction into the Academy in 2021.
Julian Butler received his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Alabama, where he was president of the student body. He served as an assistant to U. S. Senator Lister Hill and to Congressman Carl Elliott and as law clerk to U. S. District Judge Seybourn H. Lynne.
Butler has been in the private practice of law in Huntsville since 1966. He is a partner in the statewide law firm of Dentons Sirote. Butler served as county attorney for Madison County for thirty-five years. He served as president of the National Association of County Civil Attorneys and as a special assistant attorney general for the State of Alabama.
Butler is listed in The Best Lawyers in America and Mid-South Super Lawyers. He is a member of the Huntsville-Madison County Bar Association, the Alabama State Bar, and the American Bar Association. He is a fellow of the Alabama Law Foundation. Butler was awarded the 2005 and the 2012 Community Service Awards by the Huntsville-Madison County Bar Association.
Butler was a founding member and the first chairman of the Center for Public Law and Service at the University of Alabama. He was a founding member and the second chairman of the Environmental Law Section of the Alabama State Bar. Butler previously served as president of the Arts Council (now Arts Huntsville), vice president of the General Joe Wheeler Home Foundation, and president of the Huntsville-Madison County Chapter of the University of Alabama Alumni Association. Butler twice served as chairman of the Creek District of the Boy Scouts of America. From 2017 to 2019, he served as chairman of the Huntsville-Madison County Bicentennial Committee.
Butler currently serves on the board of trustees of the Alabama Department of Archives and History, the board of directors of the Alabama Humanities Foundation, and the University of Alabama Library Leadership Board. He is vice president for Alabama of the Eleventh Circuit Historical Society and is a life member of the Council of the Alabama Law Institute. Active in political affairs on the local, state, and national levels, Butler has chaired statewide Democratic campaigns and has served as the attorney for the Alabama Democratic Party.
Butler was chairman of Class V of Leadership Huntsville-Madison County. An award given to a non-Leadership graduate who has contributed significantly to the success of Leadership Huntsville-Madison County is named in Butler’s honor. Butler was the first recipient of the award.
Butler received the 2018 Martin Luther King, Jr. Unity Award and was honored as a Pioneer by the Rosetta James Foundation. He is a senior member of the Carl A. Elliott Society at the University of Alabama.
Julian and his wife, Betty, have three children and five grandchildren.