was born and raised in Lowry City, Missouri, and graduated from Lowry City High School in 1968. He attended the University of Missouri at Columbia and received a Bachelors in Science degree with a major in accounting in 1972. He then attended the University of Missouri Law School and obtained his Juris Doctor degree in 1975. While attending law school, he was a member of the Missouri Law Review. J. D. was admitted to the Missouri Bar in 1975.
After graduation from law school, J. D. began practicing law in Osceola with John M. Belisle, with whom he practiced until Mr. Belisle's death in February, 1984. He continued as a solo practitioner until September, 1987, when Jeff Dull came into the practice.
The partnership of Baker and Dull opened a branch office in Windsor, Missouri, in 1993. The partnership continued until June, 2000, whenever the partnership was amicably dissolved so that Mr. Dull could focus his full attention on the Windsor office.
J. D. again practiced as a solo practitioner until September, 2007, when his oldest son, Brandon, joined him in the practice at Baker Law Firm. In the spring of 2008, J. D.'s youngest son, Blane, joined the practice. At that time, the firm opened a full-time second office in Clinton, Missouri, which is primarily manned by Brandon.