Our Team

Joining Our Team

We understand that making important decisions about your career can be challenging. At Brooks Kushman, we want to help make this decision about your future easy. We strive to create an environment where our employees enjoy coming to work every day, all while maintaining a cohesive goal of exceeding client expectations.

For over 30 years, Brooks Kushman has built a reputation as a cutting-edge intellectual property law firm. This reputation is upheld every day by our team of highly dedicated attorneys and professional staff, who are actively involved in the Detroit and Los Angeles communities. We recognize that the vitality of our firm lies in our ability to continue to recruit and retain high caliber intellectual property professionals.

At Brooks Kushman, we offer a fast-paced, challenging and collegial work environment that provides each attorney the ability to advance their own career. Attorneys at Brooks Kushman are not evaluated, promoted or compensated on a rigid, uniform basis. Rather, progress is determined by each lawyer’s demonstrated ability to take on additional responsibilities. Attorneys can be considered as potential Shareholders at Brooks Kushman after practicing for as little as seven years.

We are always seeking talented professionals to join our growing practice. The firm carefully considers academic performance and prefers candidates from distinguished law schools that are highly ranked in their class, who served on a law review and/or successfully participated in moot court competition or other clinical programs. New associates will have significant client contact from the earliest stages of their careers. Our firm also gives substantial weight to maturity, extracurricular activities, legal and other work experience and dedication to excellence in the practice of law. Advanced scientific or technical degrees are strongly preferred for candidates interested in our patent prosecution practice.

Brooks Kushman is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, veteran status, marital status, sexual orientation, disability or any other category prohibited by applicable local, state or federal law.

Development & Training

At Brooks Kushman, we believe that outstanding work opportunities produce the best attorneys. New attorneys are given the flexibility to explore our firm and develop their own strengths and areas of interests while experiencing a variety of the firm’s practices. We do not follow a practice area rotation or assignment schedule. Our attorneys are able to challenge themselves with real work and client contact from day one.

Associates are mentored by Senior Associates or Shareholders that have similar interests and backgrounds. The firm maintains an open-door environment in order to foster close working relationships among attorneys. We believe this is a great way to improve your skills and advance your career.

Our firm has also created the BK Boot Kamp™ to develop formalized training classes, specifically tailored to patent prosecution and intellectual property litigation. These training sessions, taught by Shareholders John Nemazi, Michael Brodbine, and Thomas Cunningham, meet weekly to continuously develop the skillset of associates. Associates are placed into the BK Boot Kamp™ as soon as they join the firm and remain in the class until they have established a comprehensive understanding of the subject matter. These sessions were created to ensure that our new attorneys gain the proper training and receive the necessary tools to provide high quality legal services to our clients.

Lastly, as part of our continuing legal education policy, Brooks Kushman has several subscriptions to legal educational programs. The firm also offers internal educational programs to discuss new issues, procedures or rulings that impact our work and our clients. In addition, we host annual retreats focused on educating our attorneys in specific practice areas and in the business of legal practice.

Culture & Benefits

Working at Brooks Kushman, attorneys enjoy a collegial working environment and the opportunity to build their own practice. In fact, we provide our attorneys with the necessary tools, education and mentoring to best prepare for their future. Clients come to Brooks Kushman for the long haul, we hope for the same from our attorneys.

We remain focused on delivering value and unprecedented intellectual property strategies to our clients. This process is augmented by the support and development our attorneys receive.

Compensation & Benefits

Brooks Kushman offers a competitive compensation and benefits package. Starting salaries for our associates are commensurate with other large law firms. Early in their career at Brooks Kushman, by the mutual agreement of the lawyer and the firm, associates can forego a salary for a percentage of their billings.

In addition to our generous compensation plan, we offer the following benefits:

  • Health Insurance with available vision and dental plans
  • Short-term and Long-term Disability Insurance
  • Life, Death and Accidental Dismemberment Insurance
  • 401K and profit sharing with matching funds that may exceed an employee’s contribution
  • Flexible Spending Account

Other Compensation

In addition to our compensation and benefit plans, Brooks Kushman offers attorneys a personal business expense fund. This is used at the individual’s discretion to cover expenses related to business development, individual training, continuing legal education and client development. The firm also pays for our lawyers’ memberships to mandatory bar associations and covers the cost of bar review preparation courses and bar exams.

Firm Activities

We believe in the importance of a cooperative work environment. At Brooks Kushman we provide several opportunities throughout the year for attorneys and staff to socialize outside of the office. These events not only allow everyone to maintain rapport, they also provide opportunities for communication outside of the office environment.

Throughout the years, our firm has enjoyed outings to Detroit Tigers’ games, the MGM Grand casino, and bowling for some friendly competition on the lanes. Dueling piano players headlined an afternoon festivity for our legal professionals and support staff. Our firm celebrated its 30th year in style with dinner and dancing at the Waterview Loft Port Authority in downtown Detroit.

Our firm also plans events for employees to volunteer within the community. Each event is designed to improve the community as well as bring everyone together to work as a team. Events supporting organizations such as Forgotten Harvest, Gleaners and Habitat for Humanity allow employees to support our community.

Laterals

After just a couple months, it felt like I had been here for years. BK did a great job making sure I felt like part of the team. My opinions are valued, and I have always felt well-respected from day one.
Karen FeldmanFormerly of Dykema Gossett PLLC
Having been a partner at two AM Law 100 firms, it was refreshing coming to Brooks Kushman to see how hard they work to make the transition as smooth as possible. Everything from client on-boarding, docketing, training and client development is addressed.
David Randall Formerly of Sheppard Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP
What makes Brooks Kushman an attractive firm is the fact that you dive into new areas of interest. The firm supports attorneys at every level that wish to expand their practice.
Chris SmithFormerly of Kirkland & Ellis LLP
I came to Brooks Kushman because they are a well-respected full-service IP firm that enables me to successfully represent my clients in all IP matters.
Kristin MurphyFormerly of Rader Fishman & Grauer PLLC

Experienced/Lateral Attorneys

We are committed to adding experienced attorneys to our firm. We believe that adding lateral attorneys to our team benefits our firm in a variety of ways, including technology, career development, diversity and inclusion, as well as client satisfaction. Many lateral attorneys have joined our practice over the years and helped propel us into the future.

We are always looking for talented professionals to join our growing team. Compensation for each lateral attorney is determined based on experience, background and clientele. We do not offer a lock-step promotion program for lateral attorneys. They are individually treated.

Interested in an opportunity at Brooks Kushman? Send your resume to any of our department Chairs or to recruiting@brookskushman.com for consideration. We are always considering professionals that are interested in joining our growing team.

Training and Mentoring

We take great pride in providing a collaborate culture for our attorneys to succeed. We take every step to ensure that new attorneys feel confident in their new role and receive the resources they need to succeed. This occurs through a multi-disciplinary approach that includes every practice and professional area at the firm.

Our training program is facilitated by each of the practice group Chairs. Each department has their own set of training modules to ensure new attorneys gain the proper training and receive the necessary tools to provide high quality legal services to clients. We recognize that every candidate is unique and requires a different approach when joining a new firm. This is where other senior shareholders come into the picture. We include additional shareholders into our training efforts early in the process to help make the transition as smooth as possible.

Lastly, lateral attorneys are paired with mentors that share a similar background and experience. This ensures that laterals are given the support they need to thrive within our culture. We also provide attorneys with a variety of online subscriptions and training modules for CLE and professional development.

Summer Associates

Each summer, Brooks Kushman welcomes four to six law students to participate in our summer associate program. The program is designed to expose students to all areas of our practice, and to actively involve them in interesting and diverse legal matters. Our firm hires summer associates with the hope and expectation that they will eventually become associate attorneys at our firm.

Brooks Kushman summer associates become involved in all aspects of the firm from community activities to educational sessions and mentorship programs. Each summer associate is assigned both a patent and litigation shareholder to serve as mentors, and a career coach for a full overview of our practice areas.

Educational sessions for summer associates include a claim drafting class and basics of patent applications class, each hosted by one of our firm’s shareholders. We also provide summer associates with access to various online training subscriptions.

Our firm participates in on-campus recruiting at select law schools nation-wide each fall and spring. We also will accept applications directly from candidates throughout the year. Please send a cover letter and resume to recruiting@brookskushman.com.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can law students in their first and third year apply for the summer associate program?
    Yes. First year law students and, in exceptional cases, third year law students may apply.
  2. Is a background in science or engineering required to apply to your summer associate program?
    For patent prosecution, a background in science or engineering is required. The firm offers other practice areas including trademarks, copyrights and litigation, in which a scientific or engineering background is not a prerequisite.
  3. Can I split the summer between Brooks Kushman and another law firm?
    Yes. Candidates should note their interest in dividing the summer between law firms on their initial application.
  4. What are the dates of your summer associate program?
    Normally our summer associates join us between one and three weeks after the completion of the school year. However, because of the size of our firm, we can be flexible with regard to start and end dates.
  5. When are decisions made about hiring law students for the summer associate program?
    We typically make those decisions in at the start of the fall semester and again in February or March. However, special consideration will be made for outstanding candidates.
  6. When are decisions made about hiring full-time associates? 
    Summer associates are given feedback throughout the program about their potential to join the firm as a full-time associate. Our summer associates are given priority in the hiring process, and our firm has a strong track record of making offers for full-time employment to our summer associates. The actual hiring decisions usually are made in the fall following their summer at the firm although the timing of the offer may vary.
  7. What type of training and experiences will I receive as a summer associate?
    Our firm makes every effort to craft projects and responsibilities consistent with each individual’s interest and to cover all areas of intellectual property law so as to assist the law student with his or her future career decisions.
  8. Will I have a mentor?
    Yes, our firm provides a senior associate or partner as a mentor in the law student’s expressed area of interest. This will ensure that the summer experience is both enjoyable and beneficial to the individual and our firm.

Patent Law Clerks

Brooks Kushman offers a unique opportunity to be employed at our firm as a full-time law clerk while attending law school at night. Individuals with degrees in science or engineering or with significant work experience in these fields who are interested in becoming patent lawyers may apply. Compensation is commensurate with those with similar qualifications working in science or engineering.

Law clerks have reduced billable hour requirements to allow them to successfully complete their degree. The firm also accommodates clerks’ needs to spend additional time on their studies when exams and other academic projects arise.

Upon graduation, it is expected that the clerk will become an associate attorney at Brooks Kushman. Our firm takes experience gained while in the patent law program into consideration when determining associate assignments and partnership evaluations.

Eligible candidates for our law clerk program need a bachelor’s degree in engineering or sciences, outstanding academic performance and maturity.

Professional Staff

We are always seeking well-qualified and well-trained support staff. We have specific needs for administrative assistants, litigation paralegals, foreign filing paralegals, trademark paralegals, and accounting professionals and general office staff.

For those seeking an administrative assistant position, candidates should have two or more years of general legal experience. Those with one or more years of experience in patent law will be given special consideration.

Our staff enjoys a 37.5 hour work week in a congenial environment. Full-time employees receive a generous salary along with the following benefits:

  • Health Insurance with available vision and dental plans
  • Short-term and Long-term Disability Insurance
  • Life, Death and Accidental Dismemberment Insurance
  • 401K and profit sharing with matching funds that may exceed an employee’s contribution
  • Flexible Spending Account
  • Vacation and personal/sick days accrued according to seniority
  • Opportunities for professional training and development