Paralegal at Michigan IP firm named an 'Unsung Legal Hero'

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Paralegal Brigid Lossing (right), named an “Unsung Legal Hero” by Michigan Lawyers Weekly, is pictured with Brinks, Gilson, & Lione attorneys Bob Fergan (left) and Sung Lee, holding their Ann Arbor office championship “Cornhole” trophies.

– Photo courtesy of Brinks, Gilson, & Lione

By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

A paralegal and legal administrative support professional with extensive experience in litigation and patent prosecution, Brigid Lossing was drawn to a career in the legal field because of her appreciation of order and process. That appreciation paid off in spades this year, when she was honored as an “Unsung Legal Hero” by Michigan Lawyers Weekly.

Lossing joined the Ann Arbor office of Brinks, Gilson, & Lione in 2008, one of the nation’s largest intellectual property law firms. Her nomination, submitted by several Brinks attorneys, noted she “... has an exceptional aptitude for connecting with clients. She understands client needs…and delivers a product that makes the client’s job easier. Most importantly, she has a strong technical understanding and helped create a client Internet portal to deliver information and work product to our clients that speeds communication and workflow.”

“I’m honored by the nomination and grateful for the recognition,” she says. “Paraprofessionals work behind the scenes.  It’s thrilling to get this ‘curtain call!’

An alumna of Central Michigan University, Lossing returned to school when her two children began school fulltime. She completed a two-year course in paralegal studies at the American Institute of Paralegal Studies; and later in her career, when she entered the field of intellectual property law, achieved CL§ certification in Intellectual Property from Legal Secretaries International.

“I’ve some regret I didn’t follow the path to achieving a law degree—however, I derive a great deal of satisfaction in using my talents to support the attorneys I work with,” she says.

A former president of the Washtenaw County Chapter of the National Association of Legal Support Professionals, Lossing is responsible for keeping clients informed about the progress of their matters.

“I summarize actions issued by the United States Patent Office as well as foreign patent offices to highlight the issues they will be working with the attorney to clarify for the patent examiners,” she says. “By collecting the key data point, organizing the information, and making it easily accessible, I help both the clients and the attorneys.

“I enjoy learning about the clients’ workflow process. This allows me to custom tailor an information flow process that works for the client. I enjoy the learning experience as well as the appreciative feedback from the clients.”

Patent prosecution offers many opportunities to provide excellent support to the practitioner, she notes.

“This allows the attorney or patent agent to focus on technical aspects of the technology while being confident their support professional is handling the formalities of the application process,” she says.

The most enjoyable aspect of litigation is functioning as part of a team that’s working like a machine, she adds.

“Everyone on the team is working to perform their function to the best of their ability and when the pieces of the machine come together and the cogs start catching, the machine is humming and
gathering momentum. It’s a wonderful feeling to understand and contribute to the big picture.”   

A tech-wizard, Lossing assists the firm’s large clients with electronic communications and data management.

“Being technically savvy together with having good listening and communication skills is a winning combination,” she says. “Intellectual property involves vast amounts of data. My objective is to learn how the client uses their intellectual property. Once we know that, we can bring information to life by presenting to the client in a dynamic fashion they can use to present to their sales department, their board of directors, their R & D department, etc. We can be instrumental in building a dynamic tool for promoting the growth of their company.” 

Away from work, Lossing is a certified indoor cycling instructor, co-owning a successful studio, RydeOn, in Saline for seven years.

“It was my passion project,” she says. “I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything. Unfortunately, I had to make the heart wrenching decision to sell the studio last year. The new owners, at Delirium Fitness, are wonderful. I still teach classes for them at 5:45 a.m., Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, along with the occasional weekends.

“Teaching indoor cycling is my way of giving and getting love and inspiration—it’s a creative outlet and a nice balance to my day job.”

Lossing also enjoys riding her road bike, particularly with a good group of friends along for the journey. For several years, she has participated in the Wish-A-Mile ride, a fundraiser for Make-A-Wish. 

“It’s an amazing three-day experience, riding 100 miles per day with a fantastic group of dedicated riders for a wonderful cause,” she says.

A native of Grosse Pointe Park, Lossing now makes her home in Saline, south of Ann Arbor.

“It’s a lovely community,” she says. “I’m close to everyone and everything I love.”

Another passion is genealogy.

“I’ll spend hours and days researching an ancestral member of my family and as I collect information the story of their life becomes clearer,” she says. “It feels like they are coming to life again, in a way. I’m pleased to be able to honor them by memorializing the facts of their life so they live on.”

Her son, daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren live in Maryland, just outside of Washington, D.C,; and her daughter lives in Ann Arbor with her partner, and his son—”and my grand dog, who
thinks he’s a human,” Lossing says with a smile.  

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