Gail Wade Brownfield has lived in Alamogordo, New Mexico, almost her entire life. She graduated from Alamogordo High School in 1969 and went on to the University of New Mexico, where she graduated in 1973 with honors. She attended the University of New Mexico Law School, where she received the American Jurisprudence Award for the highest grade in torts. After practicing with the District Attorney's offices in Alamogordo and Albuquerque, she decided to join the Air Force to see the world.
Captain Brownfield was stationed at Holloman Air Force Based as an assistant judge advocate general, where she prosecuted many courts-marital, acted as Claims Officer, and helped military members and their dependents with legal assistance. She was then assigned as Chief of Civil Law for Seventeenth Air Force. In addition to her duties as Chief of Civil Law, she also presided over several Article 32 investigations throughout Europe, including a high profile espionage case. She became recognized as an expert in the Laws of Armed Conflict and traveled to The Hague and Bonn to negotiate international agreements. She was sent to Turkey to test knowledge of laws of armed conflict during Air Force exercises. In 1986, Captain Brownfield was re-assigned to Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana, where she acted as the Assistant Staff Judge Advocate and the Area Defense Counsel before resigning her commission and returning home to Alamogordo, New Mexico, in 1987.
Upon returning to New Mexico, Ms. Brownfield set up her own practice, where she emphasized family law, which she continues to do with the firm of John D. Wheeler and Associates. She has worked extensively in cases involving divorce, child custody issues, child support cases, adoption, and kinship guardianship. She has served on the Board of Directors for the Family Law Division of the State Bar Association. Additionally, she is a past president of the Twelfth Judicial Bar Association, where she was instrumental in organizing Bench and Bar Conferences and setting up an awards program for outstanding attorneys. She has served on the Board of Directors for COPE and for the American Red Cross.