David grew up in Dickinson and is a 1983 graduate of Dickinson High School. He attended North Dakota State University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration in 1987. After college, David worked in the areas of banking and mortgage lending in the San Francisco Bay Area until 1992, at which time he returned to North Dakota to attend law school at the University of North Dakota. While attending law school, David worked as a law clerk at the law firm of Vaaler, Warcup, Woutat, Zimney & Foster. David graduated with distinction from University of North Dakota School of Law in 1995.