Hill attended the University of Kansas and received a B.S. degree in English in 1972. After college, he received a J.D. degree in 1975 from Washburn University School of Law. Hill was admitted to practice law in Kansas in 1975 and since then, has been admitted to practice in the federal courts in Kan. and the U.S. Supreme Court. Hill started his own firm of Hill & Wisler in 1975 and practiced law in Mound City, until he became Linn County attorney in 1976. He was appointed associate district judge in 1981 by Gov. John Carlin and then district judge in 1982 in the Sixth Judicial District in Kan. He eventually became administrative judge and then chief judge of the district until Gov. Kathleen Sebelius appointed him to the Kansas Court of Appeals in 2003.