Chanley Painter (full name Chanley Shá Painter) is a Georgia-based American court TV reporter and attorney. Painter joined Court TV in 2019 as a Legal Correspondent and has since covered live court trials of several high-profile cases, including the Derek Chauvin trial, the Robert Durst trial, and the Johnny Depp versus Amber Heard trial in 2022.
Painter is also a former Miss Arkansas USA (2009), a martial arts black belt, and an attorney licensed in Arkansas and Tennessee. Painter worked as a deputy prosecutor in Arkansas and as an attorney before becoming a full-time legal correspondent on television.
Painter was also the Cleburne County Bar Association’s president, the 2004 Arkansas State Old-Time Fiddle Champion, and a Conway Citizen’s Police Academy graduate. Painter competed in the Miss USA pageant in 2009 as the current Miss Arkansas and finished in the top ten.
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Early childhood and education
Chanley Painter was born in Conway, Arkansas, in 1985, as the second daughter of I’Lisa and Michael Painter. Chelsa is her older sister. Painter attended Arkansas’ Conway High School.
Painter holds a Doctor of Law (JD, Juris Doctor) degree from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s William H. Bowen School of Law. She graduated from law school with the highest honors. Painter served on the editorial board of The UA Little Rock Law Review, a quarterly publication of the William H. Bowen School of Law, while in law school.
Painter also has a Master of Public Service degree from the Clinton School of Public Service.
Painter earned an undergraduate degree in Political Science and Government from the University of Central Arkansas before pursuing these two degrees.
Painter has stated in interviews that scholarships paid for a large portion of her graduate education.
Chanley Shá Painter
Arkansas, United States
|Notable work (s)/Famous for||
|Residence(s)||Atlanta, Georgia (as of 2022)|
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Chanley Painter: as an attorney and a researcher
Painter interned at the Clinton Foundation for six months in 2006. She worked in the foundation’s Special Events Office in Little Rock, Arkansas, on fundraising and other projects. She also met and interviewed former US President Bill Clinton, US Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, and US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright while interning there.
Painter worked as a member, spokesperson, and office assistant for the Arkansas-based non-profit Choosing to Excel for more than eight years (1999-2007). Painter worked at Choosing to Excel on a variety of projects, including designing a regional conference, organizing annual fundraising programs, and serving as an entertainer, club facilitator, and mentor.
Painter was hired as a consultant and researcher by the international non-profit Heifer International in 2008. She worked for Heifer for 9 months, participating in a needs assessment project for the organization’s Murphy Keller Education Centre in Arkansas.
Painter spent four months working for Bridge2Rwanda, a Rwanda-based talent placement agency, after a brief stint at Heifer. She worked as a consultant and researcher at Bridge2Rwanda, where she helped establish the Isomo College Prep Center and the 2011 B2R Scholars Program.
Painter was Symposium Editor of the William H. Bowen School of Law’s Law Review publication for nearly two years while pursuing a Doctor of Law degree there. Her contribution was critical in the organization of the academic conference Reframing Public Service Law: Innovative Approaches to Integrating Public Service into the Legal Profession. She was also in charge of reviewing and appointing Symposium staff, as well as other editorial duties such as citation checking. She also wrote a paper on self-defense law.
Painter began working as a clerk, consultant, and researcher for the Arkansas Access to Justice Commission, a non-profit organization in Little Rock, Arkansas, in January 2016. She worked at the Commission for six months, researching and writing a report on self-representation in civil court cases and its impact on case outcomes. The report, which was cited in several national publications, also investigated how self-representation in courts could affect judicial efficiency.
Painter has also practiced law as an attorney in private practice. She established Chanley Painter Law in November 2011 and has stated that she hopes to return to the practice of law someday. Painter stated to Tracy Courage in February 2019:
Because I have a law degree, I can always return to Arkansas and work for a firm or in private practice. It’s a skill I can use to make a living regardless of the economy; people will always need lawyers.
Working as a TV reporter
She joined the Nexstar Media Group in 2016, the nation’s largest local television and media company with over 200 broadcast stations. She spent nearly three years at Nexstar Media Group as a multimedia (MMJ) reporter and legal analyst. Painter previously stated that she was approached by the news director at KARK 4 and FOX 16 to work as a legal correspondent and analyst, and she gladly accepted the offer. Painter’s first case was a week-long trial in connection with the murder of realtor Beverly Carter.
Austin Kellerman, News Director for KARK and KLRT-TV in Little Rock, Arkansas, described the moment he read Painter’s CV in a 2019 piece:
When her resume arrived on my desk a few years ago, my first thought was, “Why on earth does this person want to be a TV reporter?” I’d later discover that the truth was passion. Chanley has accomplished a great deal — and done it well. She did, however, want to find something that inspired her. She believed that connecting with people through reporting would fuel her enthusiasm. She was correct.
Despite having no formal training in television reporting or media in general, Painter had some on-camera experience through acting and modeling, which aided her work as a multimedia journalist.
Painter left Nexstar Media Group in January 2019 to work as a Legal Correspondent at Court TV in Atlanta, Georgia.
Modeling and beauty pageant participation
Painter has competed in a number of beauty pageants. Painter won Miss Teen Conway and then Miss Teen Arkansas in June 2001. She competed in the Miss Arkansas pageant in 2007 and 2008, finishing as runner-up. In 2009, she competed for Miss Arkansas USA once more and won. In the same year, she finished in the top ten of the Miss USA pageant.
Painter has also been a model. She was a long-time client of Integrity Models and appeared in magazines such as Seventeen and Cosmo Girl Prom. She had done modeling for a variety of locations and products.
Painter did several wedding photoshoots for wedding gown retailers such as Jessica’s Bridal and Formal, She Said Yes Bridal, and Tulle Bridal after winning the title of Miss Arkansas USA in 2009. She resurfaced in wedding-themed photoshoots with model Tyler Wilson nearly a decade later, in 2018.
Painter trended on social media for weeks during the Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard trial in 2022. She was also the subject of widely circulated Internet memes, primarily because of the green dress she was wearing. Many social media users, however, praised her for her beauty, elegant poise, the way she carried herself in court, and her mysterious aura.
Chanley Painter is a single woman who has never been married. She has, however, done wedding photoshoots on numerous occasions as a model. While Painter is active on social media, she keeps her personal life private. For example, she hasn’t mentioned any of her previous relationships or boyfriends. She, on the other hand, has posed for photos with her family members on several occasions.
Painter enjoys adventure sports, traveling to new places, and being outside. She enjoys skydiving, horseback riding, and kayaking, as evidenced by her Instagram posts. She is also interested in music and martial arts. Painter is a first-degree black belt in World Youn Wha Ryu martial arts under Grandmaster Han. Painter has a distinct haircut that changes from time to time.