After acquiring a Bachelor of Business Administration (accounting) degree and a Bachelor of Science (government) degree, Celeste Johns earned her law degree from Baylor University in 1987. Thereafter, she earned an LL.M. (international and comparative law) degree from the University of Notre Dame.
Celeste joined the Office of the Federal Public Defender-Springfield branch in 2016. Prior to that, she was an attorney in private practice. She has also previously been a faculty member at two different colleges in Springfield, Missouri.