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Deheck puts engineering background into practice

WLJ Photo by Kevin Harnack

Kirk Deheck took an unusual path to a career in law: he started out as a mechanical engineer.

The 37-year-old spent a few years using his engineering background to oversee construction sites and a steel mill, which left him curious about practicing law, he said.

Following a gentle “ultimatum” from his wife, Deheck said, he went to law school at Marquette University,
where he gobbled up courses on intellectual property and business.

Now enjoying his “fringe practice” of intellectual property law, Deheck works at Boyle Fredrickson SC, where he deciphers descriptions of bicycle parts and MRI scanning machine innovations from engineers and corporate tinkerers.

In his five years with the firm, Deheck said his proudest moments are those times when, after repeated attempts before the notoriously bureaucratic U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s appeals board, a client’s new idea gets the green light.

“Part of being a good attorney is knowing when to get out of the ring and when to stay in the ring,” he said.

— Justin Kern

What was your worst law school course?

Torts … not because of the subject matter but because of the time of day.

What is the best part of being an attorney?

The opportunity to be involved at the ground floor of product development

How many countries have you visited? Which ones?

Four: Belize, Jamaica, Mexico, Germany

What can you spend hours doing that’s not law-related?

Any type of construction or equipment operation

What was your favorite toy as a child?

Lego bricks

What famous person you would most like to have a drink with?

Kris Kristofferson

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

My wife says less stubborn

What 
is your motto?

Make hay when the sun shines.

What 
trait do you most like in others?

A sense of humor

What
 is the first concert you went to?

Summerfest, but I can’t remember who was playing

What
 are you craving right now?

A few more months of the Fourth of July holiday weekend

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

I reckon

Who are your favorite writers?

John Grisham/Scott Turow, but any legal thriller will do except for one lady whose name I can’t recall at the moment

How would your mother describe you in one word?

Mouthy

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