Southfield’s Brooks Kushman, an intellectual property and technology law firm with offices across the country, has announced shareholder Linda Mettes has been appointed chief diversity officer.
In her role, Mettes will be responsible for overseeing and strategic planning of diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives in the Detroit and Los Angeles offices. She will expand Brooks Kushman’s involvement in diversity, equity, and inclusion associations, pipeline initiatives, and community outreach programs, in addition to hiring, mentoring, and promoting diverse professionals.
Mettes will succeed Sangeeta Shah, who served in the role since 2011 and was appointed CEO of the firm in January.
“We are thrilled to have Linda as our chief diversity officer to further Brooks Kushman’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion within the firm and the community,” says Shah. “With her impressive track record for helping others at the firm and in the Detroit community, Linda is well-suited for this new role.”
Since joining the firm in 2013, Mettes has been active in diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. She has worked alongside practice group leaders to set standards and has supported and guided litigation associates in the firm. She is also involved in national organizations and is a fellow and city lead with the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity. She is part of the Women’s Leadership Network with the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, and part of the Women in IP Committee with Intellectual Property Owner’s Association.
“Diversity can no longer be looked at as a numbers game in our profession,” says Mettes. “To make meaningful progress and help people reach their full potential, we must foster an inclusive culture in our organizations and our community at large. I believe that it is important for Brooks Kushman to serve as an agent for change, and I look forward to working with the firm to further our diversity initiatives and make a difference in my community.”
Brooks Kushman will expand ongoing diversity initiatives and continue community outreach and volunteering with local nonprofit organizations. It currently supports organizations including Detroit Cristo Rey High School, Alternatives For Girls, TutorMate, the Girl Scouts of Southeast Michigan, and more.
The firm will also continue its involvement in the legal community through partnerships and relationships with key local, national, and international organizations, including the Corporate Counsel Women of Color, the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, diversity and women focused bar associations, and ChIPs. It also has relationships with organizations such as the Intellectual Property Owner’s Association and the American Intellectual Property Law Association to support their women-focused committees and events.
Mettes is a patent attorney and focuses her practice on intellectual property litigation. She has handled cases in federal courts across the country and has nearly 25 years of experience.