Judge Bender received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the School of Journalism at the Pennsylvania State University was awarded a J.D. degree from Duquesne University Law School.
Judge Bender served as a law clerk to President Judge Emeritus William F. Cercone while attending law school. He later was employed as a law clerk to former Justice Rolf Larson. Judge Bender served as an Allegheny County Assistant District Attorney before entering into the private practice of law. For over 25 years Judge Bender primarily represented individuals in criminal and civil proceedings. In 1997, Judge Bender was elected to the position of District Justice in Magisterial District 05-2-04. He was then elected to a ten-year term on the Superior Court of Pennsylvania in November 2001.