Brooks Kushman appoints Linda Mettes as chief diversity officer

Brooks Kushman shareholder Linda Mettes has been appointed Chief Diversity Officer of the firm. In her role, Mettes will be responsible for overseeing and the strategic planning of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives in both the Detroit and Los Angeles offices. She will focus her efforts on expanding Brooks Kushman`s involvement in DEI associations, pipeline initiatives, and community outreach programs, in addition to hiring, mentoring, and promoting diverse professionals — so that Brooks Kushman can continue to be a leader in the DEI space.

Mettes will succeed Sangeeta Shah, who served as the Chief Diversity Officer since 2011 and was appointed as CEO of the firm in January 2019.

“We are thrilled to have Linda as our Chief Diversity Officer to further Brooks Kushman`s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion within the firm and the community,” said Sangeeta Shah, CEO of Brooks Kushman. “With her impressive track record for helping others at the firm and in the Detroit community, Linda is well-suited for this new role.  We are excited to have her lead the charge.”

Since joining Brooks Kushman in 2013, Mettes has been actively involved with the firm’s DEI efforts. Internally, she has worked alongside practice group leaders to set diversity, mentoring, and recruiting standards, and has been dedicated to supporting and guiding litigation associates in the firm. She is also heavily involved with many national organizations, including as a Fellow and City Lead with the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD), as a part of the Women’s Leadership Network with the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, and as a part of the Women in IP Committee with the Intellectual Property Owner’s Association (IPO). Mettes also has worked on STEM for girls initiatives, particularly in conjunction with the American Heart Association in serving on the inaugural committee for STEM scholarships and to launch the Go Red Goes STEM event in Detroit.

According to Mettes, meaningful progress towards a more diverse and inclusive legal industry takes commitment. “Diversity should not be a mere numbers game. We must foster an inclusive culture that provides equal opportunities for all through evenhanded processes in a transparent environment. I believe that it is important for Brooks Kushman to serve as an agent for change, and I look forward to furthering the firm’s diversity initiatives and to make a difference in my community.”

With Mettes as the new Chief Diversity Officer, Brooks Kushman will expand ongoing diversity initiatives and continue community outreach and volunteering with local non-profit organizations. The firm currently supports organizations such as Detroit Cristo Rey, Alternatives for Girls, TutorMate, the Girl Scouts of Southeast Michigan, and more.

The firm will also continue its involvement in the legal community through partnerships and relationships with key local, national, and international organizations, including the Corporate Counsel Women of Color (CCWC), the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD), diversity and women focused bar associations, and ChIPs. We are also proud to continue our relationships with organizations like the Intellectual Property Owner’s Association (IPO) and the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA)  to support their women-focused committees and events.

Mettes is a registered patent attorney and focuses her practice on intellectual property litigation, as well as inter partes reviews. She has handled cases in Federal courts across the country in a wide array of technologies, including mechanical, electrical, chemical and pharmaceutical, and was named by Michigan Lawyers Weekly as a 2018 “Women in the Law.” With nearly 25 years of experience, Mettes has deposed over 100 witnesses and briefed and/or argued over 100 motions and appeals. She is also heavily involved with LCLD, and currently is the City Lead for Detroit and serves on the Community Outreach committee.

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