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Jessica Detko
Jessica Detko

2020 Unsung Legal Heroes: Jessica Detko

Since 2008, Jessica Detko has been one of Fish & Richardson’s most in-demand paralegals — especially now that she’s part of a four-person post-grant specialty team.

The 2012 America Invents Act lets companies challenge the validity of competitors’ patent claims at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). Among her post-grant colleagues, Detko has helped create a double-checking procedure for when a petition or major brief is filed in a post-grant proceeding. Timely filing is critically important since the PTAB will reject a petition if the filing deadline is missed.

Detko’s bosses call it a perfect job for her organizational skills and can-do attitude.

How and when did you know you wanted to pursue a career in the legal field?

I had worked in a correctional facility while earning my B.A. in sociology of law, criminology and deviance from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. But I thought I would try being a legal secretary to see if I might want to go to law school. I worked at Fish & Richardson, and within a few months I realized that I really enjoyed paralegal work and didn’t want to be a lawyer.

What inspires you and motivates you to achieve your goals?

I love the attorneys and clients I work for. I also love the challenges of taking on new and different responsibilities.

What is something that most people don’t know about you?

I’m a pretty open book! But I used to play the drums. My father played the drums and passed that on to my sister and me. My sister excelled, and I wasn’t a big fan. But I can still play “Wipe Out.”

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I love to bake. I have a 7-year-old daughter, so we bake together. I also love crafting and watching movies.

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