Saunders is admitted to the State Bars of Georgia and South Carolina and is admitted to practice in the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Fourth and Eleventh Circuits, and all Georgia and South Carolina State and Federal Courts. He is a member of the Savannah Bar Association, the State Bar of Georgia, and the South Carolina Bar Association.
He received his B.A. from Vanderbilt University in 1968, after which he served two tours in Vietnam as a naval lieutenant. He earned his J.D., cum laude, from the University of Georgia School of Law in 1975. While at Georgia, he served as the articles editor for the Georgia Law Review and as a student teacher.