Thursday Profile: Patrick O'Keefe

Patrick W. O’Keefe II graduated from the Michigan State University College of Law in 2003.  After serving as a Kent County assistant prosecutor for four years, he was hired as an assistant prosecutor in Ingham County, where he served six years.  In 2013, he opened up his own criminal defense practice in Lansing. Also that year, he married Dr. Breanna O’Keefe, whom he calls “the love of my life.”  The couple has four children: Liam, Aidan, Brynn, and Nolan, and twins Patrick William III and Emerson Lynn due mid-November.

In 2014, O’Keefe became only the second board certified criminal defense attorney in the State of Michigan.  He was certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy and has tried hundreds of criminal cases before juries.  His practice also consists of criminal appeals, driver’s license appeals, gun rights and restoration, and a select few family law cases.

His career passion is in trial advocacy. He enjoys reading the works of Vincent Bugliosi, Gerry Spence, and other legal non-fiction, and is a huge fan of metaphors, anecdotes and euphemisms.  Growing up in a big Irish family, he developed a passion for story-telling and uses that experience, passion, and understanding of people to tell his client’s story to the jury.

By Jo Mathis
Legal News


What is your most treasured material possession? My wedding band.

What advice do you have for someone considering law school?
Work, serve, or volunteer at an organization before, during, and after you attend law school.  It’s important to become a well-rounded person. Don’t forget to make time for family and creative interests.  Don’t be afraid to care, to feel, to emote.

Favorite local hangouts:
Daily Bagel, Cooley Law School Stadium, Riverview Church, Troppo.

Favorite websites:,

What is your happiest childhood memory? Playing ball with my family.

Why did you become a lawyer? To make the world a better place by promoting fairness.

What would surprise people about your job? That I spend a great deal of time counseling people and helping them change their lives for the better.

What do you wish someone would invent?
A machine that instills patience.

What has been your favorite year so far?
  2013 – the year my wife and I got married.

What is your most typical mood? Calm.

Who is on your guest list for the ideal dinner party? Gerry Spence, Brian Kelly, and Stephen Colbert.

If you could trade places with someone for a day, who would that be? Gerry Spence.

What is your proudest moment as a lawyer? Getting a murder charge dismissed and freeing an innocent man.

How would you describe your home? Full of children.

What do you do to relax? Sleep or watch football, though the latter isn’t always relaxing when Notre Dame or Michigan State is losing.

What words do you overuse?
Justice, feeling.

What is one thing you would like to learn to do? Play an instrument.

What is something most people don’t know about you? I am an excellent cook.

What is the best advice you ever received?
You can never truly judge a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes.

If you can help it, where will you never return?
Michigan Stadium.

Favorite place to spend money: Restaurants, Joseph A. Banks Clothiers

What is your motto? Love thy neighbor.

What would you drive if money were no object? Cadillac Escalade.

What do you drive?
Toyota Sienna.


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