Justice François Pelletier studied at the Petit Séminaire de Québec and the Collège de Ste-Anne-de-la-Pocatière. In 1966 he was granted a "baccalauréat ès arts" and in 1969 a licence in law from Université Laval. Justice Pelletier was admitted to the Quebec Bar in July 1970 and then joined the law firm Amyot Lesage Lesage Bernard and Sheehan where he practiced law until the end of 1972.
In 1973, after having formed a law partnership with Jean-Pierre Gignac and Pierre Boutet, who was later appointed Judge Advocate General of the Canadian Armed Forces, Justice Pelletier joined the law firm Vézina Pouliot where he specialized as a commercial and civil litigator until his appointment to the Superior Court in September 1997.
From 1976 to 1984, Justice Pelletier taught civil law at the École du Barreau. He was involved in many committees of the Quebec Bar, in particular the Civil Procedure and the Judiciary Proceedings Committees. He also represented the Quebec Bar within the Multidisciplinary Committee charged with reforming the Code of Civil Procedure in light of the Act respecting the Implementation of the Reform of the Civil Code.
Until 1991, he served as secretary of the St-Sacrement Hospital Foundation which he cofounded in 1984. He succeeded Justice Daniel Lavoie of the Court of Québec as president of the Judicial Bailiffs Discipline Committee, occupying this position from 1994 to 1997.
Justice Pelletier spent over two years in the Superior Court, from September 1997 until his appointment to the Court of Appeal on June 6, 2000.