Florence has a bachelor's degree from Miles College, a law degree from the Birmingham School of Law and a master's of ministry from Birmingham Theological Seminary. He is a former judge pro tem in Birmingham Municipal Court.
Florence was an unsuccessful candidate for Birmingham City Council District 7 in the 2009 Birmingham City Council election. He lost to Jay Roberson in the race for the seat left vacant by the death of Miriam Witherspoon. In 2010 he was one of 6 candidates to qualify in the 2010 Democratic primary to fill the Jefferson County Commission District 2 seat left open when Shelia Smoot decided to run for U. S. Congress.
- "Birmingham City Council District 7: Willie Florence." (August 20, 2009) Birmingham News
- "King-Florence Wedding of the Century." wedding announcement (August 24, 2009) Birmingham News
- Bryant, Joseph D. (May 18, 2010) "Campaign 2010: Jefferson County District 2 commission hopefuls target sewers." Birmingham News