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Keith J. Bae, 39

Partner, Shook, Hardy & Bacon

Keith J. BaeLocation: Kansas City

Practice Area(s): Intellectual property

Law School: New England School of Law

There aren’t many attorneys in Missouri who can advise clients on patent issues related to artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality, natural language processing and blockchain technologies.

Keith Bae can.

A former software engineer with a degree in computer science, Bae earned his law degree in 2009, then served as a patent attorney for the Office of Naval Research in the U.S. Department of the Navy Office of the General Counsel in Arlington, Virginia. Now he’s at Shook, from which he advises some of the best-known tech brands in the country.

Yet his favorite moment as an attorney had nothing to do with the digital or IP world; it came in a pro-bono case in which he assisted now-retired Shook partner Gene Balloun with a foster-child adoption.

“I’ve had a few emotional moments in my life,” recounted Bae, “but that experience hit me right in the feels.”

What is something that would surprise people about you?

Once upon a time, I had quarter-inch long, beach-blond hair (and a fuller head of hair, but that’s not as surprising).

What inspired you to get involved in the legal profession?

I love my Dad and respect him so much, but I would attribute most of my inspiration to hearing him say that I shouldn’t go to law school. There was a period in my life when I, as a rebellious son, would do the exact opposite of what he suggested. Most of my decisions during this timeframe didn’t turn out so great, but clearly some did. Thanks, Dad!

Anything else you want people to know about you?

I built and now manage, as somewhat of a hobby, a relatively large-scale cryptocurrency mining operation.

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