Press Releases | 02/12/2024

Abha Fadipe Chosen as 2024 LCLD Fellow; Marla Spain, Ph.D. and Francesca Cusumano Appointed to Pathfinder Program


ROYAL OAK, MichiganBrooks Kushman Attorney Abha Fadipe has been chosen to represent the firm as a member of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity’s (LCLD) 2024 Class of Fellows. This innovative program focuses on the development of the industry’s next generation of professional leaders. It offers participants virtual and in-person training, peer-group projects, and networking opportunities with LCLD’s top leadership and industry professionals alike.

Brooks Kushman Associates, Marla Spain, Ph.D., and Francesca Cusumano, have also been appointed to represent the firm in LCLD’s 2024 Pathfinder Program. This program is designed to provide attorneys with the practical tools necessary to expand their internal professional networks through relationship-building skills, foundational leadership skills, and career development strategies.

“Brooks Kushman is proud to continue its nearly decade-long partnership with LCLD,” said Brooks Kushman Chief Diversity Officer, Chanille Carswell. “We value LCLD’s tireless efforts to build the leadership pipeline by providing career advancement training, mentoring, and networking opportunities.”

Abha Fadipe focuses her practice on domestic and foreign patent preparation and patent prosecution in electrical and computer technologies. She is experienced in a variety of technology areas including thermal systems, 5G-antenna systems, electric drive systems, electric power systems, vehicle-to-vehicle communication, and advanced manufacturing technologies. Abha has in-depth experience in consulting with international counsel, especially in Japan, China, Germany, and across Europe, on how to respond to actions by foreign patent offices to provide a comprehensive international portfolio. Prior to entering the legal profession, Abha was a product engineer for over three years at a tier-1 automotive supplier. Abha holds a Juris Doctorate, as well as a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering, all from Wayne State University (WSU).

Marla Spain, Ph.D., focuses her practice on patent prosecution support in the life sciences practices. Her technical expertise includes molecular biology, genetics, human physiology, biochemistry, biotechnology, physics, and biology. Prior to joining the firm, Marla was a research associate at Wayne State University School of Medicine Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics where she was working to understand the molecular mechanisms of retinal degeneration and regeneration. Marla holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of Richmond School of Law and earned her Ph.D. in Biological and Biomedical Sciences from Oakland University.

Francesca Cusumano focuses her practice on intellectual property litigation, with experience in patent infringement, trade secret misappropriation, and trademark infringement cases. Francesca also has experience in patent preparation and prosecution involving industrial chemicals, materials sciences, and automotive systems subject matter and is a registered patent attorney. She brings a client-focused approach to her practice, working alongside her clients to understand and support their goals in obtaining and defending their intellectual property. Francesca holds a Juris Doctorate from Wayne State University Law School. Prior to that, Francesca graduated from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, where her volunteer research focused on excited sate dynamics of photoactive chemicals.

Click here to learn more about LCLD and the Fellow and Pathfinder programs.

About Brooks Kushman P.C.

Founded in 1983, Brooks Kushman P.C. has built a national reputation as a premier intellectual property and technology law firm. We accomplish this with the understanding that the most effective IP solutions come from putting great minds together – our clients and our own. With offices in Michigan, California, Washington D.C., and Nevada, we forge strong relationships with corporations, small to medium-sized businesses, and leading universities across the country.

Brooks Kushman counts a number of Fortune 100 companies across a variety of industries among its clients. The firm is also recognized by leading legal publications and rankings, including Corporate Counsel magazine, U.S. News & World Report, Law360, Intellectual Asset Management, Managing Intellectual Property, and Intellectual Property Today. For more information, please visit

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