Alex Kinlaw, Jr, was born in Georgetown, South Carolina to Alex and Corine Kinlaw. He is married to Yvette Wiggins Kinlaw. The Kinlaws have two sons.
Judge Kinlaw attended Public School in Georgetown County and graduated from Winyah High School with honors. He enrolled at the University of South Carolina and graduated in 1975 with a Bachelor of Science Degree.
Judge Kinlaw attended Law School at the University of South Carolina and graduated with a Juris Doctorate Degree in 1978. While in Law School, he served as Vice President of the Black American Law Students Association (BALSA). He was admitted to the South Carolina Bar in October 1978, the South Carolina District Court in 1981. Also while in Law School, Judge Kinlaw was employed as an intern in the Post-Conviction Relief Division of the South Carolina Attorney General's Office and also served as an intern with the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy.
Following Law School, Judge Kinlaw was employed as a Staff Attorney with the Legal Services Agency of Western Carolina. He later joined the Office of the Greenville County Public Defender in 1989 as an Assistant Public Defender. In 1983, Judge Kinlaw went into the private practice of law in Greenville and Greenwood Counties. During that time, Judge Kinlaw became Death Penalty Certified and handled as lead Counsel Four (4) Death Penalty Cases. He also did a short tenure as a part-time prosecutor in the 8th Circuit.
In 2009, Judge Kinlaw was elected by the South Carolina General Assembly as a Resident Family Court Judge for the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit and has served continuously until his election to the Circuit Court Bench on February 7, 2018.
Judge Kinlaw has been active in the State and Local Bar Associations. He has served on the Resolution of Fee Disputes Board, the Commission on Legal Education and Specialization, the South Carolina Black Lawyers Association, the Donald J. Sampson Bar Association, and the National Bar Association. Judge Kinlaw is also a graduate of the School of Criminal Defense Attorneys in Houston, Texas.
Judge Kinlaw has also served as the Juvenile Drug Court Judge for the 13th Judicial Circuit since 2011. He was also a member of the National Conference of Family Court Judges and the National Conference of Drug Court Professionals.
Judge Kinlaw has served as Chairman of the Legal Services Board of Western Carolina and as Board Chairman of the Urban League of the Upstate. He has also served on the Board of Directors of the State Legal Services Agency, the Greenville Mental Health Board and the Greenville Cultural Exchange Board. He is also a member of the Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity and the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.
Judge Kinlaw and his Family attend the Reedy River Missionary Baptist Church where he serves as Vice Chairman of the Deacon Ministry.