Patent pro: Dean's Fellow draws on his scientific background


A Dean’s Fellow and 1L student at Detroit Mercy Law School, Craig Luca enjoys hiking and backpacking, and is pictured in the Colorado Rockies.

Photo courtesy of Craig Luca

By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

An new 1L student and Dean’s Fellow at Detroit Mercy Law School, Craig Luca earned an undergrad degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Lyman Briggs College at Michigan State University. 

“I found a love for chemistry in high school and loved how these forces and reactions shape our world,” he says. “That curiosity drove me further in undergraduate when I got to work in a plant biology lab studying cell wall development and I was hooked. All the intricacies and nuances to how life works at the smallest of levels amazed me—next thing I know I have a degree!”

After graduation, Luca worked as a Patent Classification Specialist for CPA Global in Southfield, later promoted to Quality Assurance Team Lead. He then worked remotely as a PCT Patent Analyst for Clarivate, a global leader in insights and analytics. 

“The work really allowed a science nerd like myself to dive deep into budding new technologies—from great ideas to silly ones,” he says. “A silver lining from the pandemic was I was able to see the new vaccines, rapid tests and treatment options in what was essentially real time which I found fascinating.”  

Luca did not originally have Lady Justice in his sights—his first career goal was to become a teacher.

“But I really grew fond of being on the frontlines on innovation in a sense and a transition into law school seemed a natural evolution,” he says. “I’ve also loved to go into the weeds on particular topics and discuss my thoughts which I think the study of law paired well with my brain in that regard.” 

I worked in labs throughout undergrad and loved the process and the work I performed—but at times the progress felt slow to me and single focused on the particular project. Being on the legal side of ideas allows me to have more flexibility in this space and I get to still be involved in the process.” 

Luca is thrilled to be a Dean’s Fellow at Detroit Mercy Law; Fellows receive full-tuition scholarship support, alumni mentors, and leadership, networking, and service opportunities throughout law school.

“ I’m extremely excited about the opportunity to be able to represent the law school in this way and it makes me want to demonstrate my aptitude for learning and the law,” he says. “Honestly, I’m nervous and excited to start school but greatly looking forward to the challenge it presents!”

Luca is open-minded as to where his interests and opportunities may take him but with his science and patent work background, is currently looking to become an Intellectual Property attorney in the biochemical space.   

“Being on the frontlines of cutting edge science is truly fascinating to me and if I can continue to be a part of that in a more substantial way I would like to,” he says.  

Born in Detroit and raised in the Oakland County village of Lake Orion, Luca currently lives in Ferndale, also in Oakland County. His mother, a University of Detroit Mercy alumna, is a retired nurse who worked at Detroit Medical Center and Henry Ford Health; his father is the North American president of Macauto USA Inc., a Tier 1 and 2 automotive parts manufacturing sales company; and his brother is a certified medical dosimetrist at Emory University Hospital Midtown in Atlanta. 

Luca currently is training to run in October’s Detroit Free Press/ TCF Bank Marathon, and has run it a few times in the past. 

“I’m an avid hiker and backpacker, recently hiked through Pictured Rocks which was a blast! Hanging out with my friends is also how I spend a lot of my time,” he says.  

He enjoys being a part of Detroit and is excited to be playing a larger part in the resurgence of the city, and to getting involved in volunteer work. 

“I spent a lot of time in and around the city growing up and have always had this emotional connection to it,” he says. “I’m new to the area, so I’m looking to get my feet wet with something in the city soon.”

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