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Vernon S. Pitts, Jr. received his bachelor’s degree from the City University of New York and obtained his Juris Doctor from Emory University School of Law in 1978. He completed his studies at the National Criminal Defense College in 1982.

Pitts began his legal career in private practice, but in 1979, he joined the Fulton County Public Defender Office as an assistant public defender. Then from 1982 to 1985, he worked as an assistant federal defender in the Federal Defender Program, Inc. In 1985, Pitts became the director of the Fulton County Public Defender Office. In 1989, he served as Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgia State University.

Pitts is a founding member of Dekalb Lawyers Association and a member of several professional associations such as the State Bar of Georgia’s Indigent Defense Committee, the Governor’s Commission on Certainty in Sentencing, the National Legal Aid and Defender Association, and many others.