UDM Law student eyes career in patent prosecution field

Law student Michelle Hudson is pictured after taking part in a mock oral advocate event through the Michigan Intellectual Property Inn of Court at the Theodore Levin U.S. Courthouse in Detroit. 

Photo courtesy of Michelle Hudson

By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

Michelle Hudson had originally planned to attend medical school after her undergraduate studies in biomedical sciences from Grand Valley State University, where her favorite topic was microbiology and favorite class was medical bacteriology.

“I’ve always been fascinated by the human body, so I wanted a major that would allow me to learn as much as possible about it,” she says. “A biomed degree is broader than just studying the human body—it also involves a fair amount of chemistry, physics, and research/lab-based courses. 

In her junior year, Hudson began searching for possible jobs outside of the medical field, shadowing at the The Dobrusin Law Firm in Pontiac that specializes in intellectual property law, and shifting her focus to law school. 

 “I loved that their job combined their technical and scientific backgrounds with the law,” she says. “The environment was collaborative and engaging.” 

Hudson headed to Detroit Mercy Law with the intent to pursue patent law. 

“Now that I’m going into my third year of law school, I’ve so much respect for all aspects of the law and how much goes into changing something for the benefit of others,” she says. “Learning the details of historical cases like Miranda v. Arizona in Criminal Procedures gives student a whole new perspective on fighting for rights. I’m passionate about the law because of its power to make changes and create positive impacts on the world around us and for people facing social injustices.” 

But her particular focus is still patent law/Intellectual property, encompassing patents, trademarks, and copyright. She will take the USPTO patent registration exam, having met certain undergraduate requirements with her BMS degree. After she passes, her goal is to work in patent prosecution. 

Hudson participated in the 2023 National Patent Drafting Competition, in which the Detroit Mercy Law team won the Midwest regional championship and advanced to the national round, coming in third place. 

“It was a fantastic experience and a great honor to go on behalf of our school to represent in Alexandria, Virginia, at the USPTO headquarters,” she says.

Hudson is relishing her law school experience, especially the tight-knit community at Detroit Mercy Law. 

“Everyone knows everyone for the most part,” she says. “Every time I enter a classroom, I’m greeted—typically by name—with a ‘good morning’ from one of my classmates. It’s a great community of uplifting faculty, staff, and students. 

“I also am extremely grateful to have such intelligent friends that are open to collaboration and group study before finals. I wouldn't be as far as I am without their support.” 

Hudson also has returned to The Dobrusin Law Firm, this time as a law clerk.

“It’s been an amazing place to learn about IP law—the attorneys are truly invested in teaching law clerks the skills they will need for a career in patent law,” she says. “I’ve been able to work on patent applications and draft claims for clients. I also really appreciate it’s a supportive environment for women in STEM. The staff and attorneys are truly incredible people that give back to the community and support one another.” 

Last semester, she volunteered through Dobrusin in collaboration with General Motors' "A World in Motion (AWIM) PreK-12 STEM Program,” and facilitated the straw rocket launchers program for a third grade class in the Pontiac School District. 

“This is another reason I love working at Dobrusin, they really are focused on community involvement,” she says. 

A member of the Intellectual Property Patent Law Clinic last semester, Hudson is Director of Community Relations for the school’s Intellectual Property Law Society, where last year she served as vice president. She also is a member of the Women's Law Caucus. 

A native of Wyandotte, located on the Detroit River south of the Motor City, Hudson currently lives in Detroit, where she enjoys the proximity to so many great restaurants. 

“A lot of people will ask me for recommendations when they are coming into town, so I try to keep up to date with the hottest spots,” she says. 

“My family has season tickets to the Tigers, so I am at those games a lot. I also love going to the Detroit Institute of Arts and studying in Kresge Court—it’s so pretty.” 

She lives 25 miles from her tight-knit family; her parents Jackie and Kirk live in Wyandotte with a canine family member named Gracie. Hudson’s sister Caroline and brother-in-law Anthony and two children live close to her parents. 

 “I love being an auntie, a sister, and a daughter,” Hudson says. 

Her leisure hours are often spent shopping. “I’m what some may call a shopaholic—I love clothes and shoes a lot,” she says with a smile.

 “I also enjoy working out and use it to release stress after a long day of work or studying.” 

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