Born and raised in Louisville Kentucky, J. Robert Yates grew up in Hikes Point and attended Saint Pius X Grade School and Saint Xavier High School.
He attended the University of Kentucky, and graduated from Bellarmine College in 1996 with Political Science and Communications degrees.
While in college he interned for the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission and the Courier-Journal newspaper.
After college, he worked for the United States House of Representatives, while attending Law School at the Brandies School of Law at the University of Louisville.
After graduating from the University of Louisville in 2001, he started his law office, concentrating on litigation and criminal defense in 2002.
He currently attends Ascension Parrish and coaches youth soccer.