Patent plan: Chemical engineer sets sights on an IP law career

Law student Mark Adamaszek, who aims for a career in patent law, is pictured at Mt. Rysy in Poland, where he studied at the University of Lublin.

Photo courtesy of Mark Adamaszek

By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

Law student Mark Adamaszek, who holds an undergrad degree in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan then worked in the industry, is now turning his background into a future career in patent law.

“I enjoyed chemistry in high school and knew I wanted to do some type of engineering whether chemical, biomedical, or material science,” he says. “My interest was also piqued when I received research magazines from the University of Michigan detailing what their chemical engineering department was researching—including engineering materials based on the cellular structure of bee wings, which I thought was amazing.”

During undergrad, Adamaszek was a research assistant in a material science and engineering lab and pathology lab, took extra courses related to biopharmaceuticals, and co-founded a student organization focused on the food and beverage industry.

“I found myself enjoying the process of becoming familiar with new technologies and gaining a better understanding of the world,” he says. “Eventually I realized I could receive similar enjoyment learning about something while not being directly involved in it.”

He spent two years working for MacDermid Enthone Industrial Solutions in New Hudson, a chemical supplier of electroplating solutions, before heading to Detroit Mercy Law last fall.

“My roles with MacDermid Enthone mostly involved working with customers and offering advice on how to address problems in their production or potentially improve their production in various ways,” he says. “I enjoyed the problem-solving aspects of being an engineer and continuously learning how to practically apply my technical knowledge.”

Adamaszek left the job to attend law school full-time for his 1L year, where he is a Dean’s Intellectual Property Fellow; and intends to work part-time during his 2L and 3L years.

“It’s an honor to be a Fellow and be distinguished for intellectual property,” he says. “I appreciate the professional and mentorship opportunities the university has provided me. As a Fellow I hope to give back to the community in any way I can.”

Adamaszek has always had an appreciation for legal work as his father, E. Philip Adamaszek, is a practicing attorney, and has worked in both civil litigation and criminal defense.

“Despite my father’s involvement in the law, growing up I had no intention of a career in law as I was more interested in science,” Adamaszek says. “However, I did appreciate my father’s use of language that he developed as an attorney. I enjoyed hearing how he would structure and craft his arguments with deliberate diction.”

He was eventually drawn to intellectual property law after becoming friends with a fellow chemical engineer from the U-M who was mulling whether to follow his father into patent law.

“I talked with both of them and realized patent law could offer an interesting mix of becoming familiar with new technologies and challenging technical legal work,” Adamaszek says. “I’d be able to learn about new technologies, discuss inventions with inventors, and perform niche legal work. Ultimately, I feel patent law suits my personality, skills, and goals. I intend to practice patent law in the Metro Detroit area.”

A member of the Intellectual Property and Entertainment Law Society at Detroit Mercy Law, Adamaszek enjoys the atmosphere of the school.

“Everyone—professors, staff, students, and alumni—all are eager to foster a positive environment and community,” he says. “Although my first two semesters have been online, that atmosphere still permeates through. The professors try to be as engaging as possible and overcome the deficiencies in online learning.”

Studying during the pandemic has been somewhat of a challenge, he says.

“It’s hard to maintain focus or be engaged when seated at the same place in my office at home each day either attending class or studying. It can also be overwhelming as this can mess with your sense of time making it hard to stay on track or motivated,” he says.

“I miss being able to go to class in-person or study in different locations. During my first semester I moved and, despite the added work of moving, I benefited from having a new space to work in.

“In general, I just try to remain positive and not be stressed about being unproductive at times. When I’m unable to study a subject I try to ‘productively-procrastinate’ by studying something else, cleaning, cooking, working out, or playing with my dog.”

A couple of years ago, Adamaszek started home brewing beer, enjoying the process and the chemistry involved.

“I eventually hope to come up with a recipe my fiancée’s cousin-in-law will use in his brewery,” he says.

A volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, he finds the experience rewarding, doing something he enjoys and providing a needed service.

During undergrad in 2014, Adamaszek spent seven weeks in Poland, six of them in Lublin where he studied Polish Language & Culture at the University of Lublin.

 “Lublin is relatively small, but it was amazing to see how the city changed on a weekly basis with different events taking up sometimes large portions of the main street. It was a pleasure to simply walk around with my other classmates and enjoy the performances, markets, concerts, and more,” he says.

“It was humbling to participate in the minute of silence in remembrance of the Warsaw Uprising and see the whole city of Lublin stop and become silent.”

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