- BS Scientific and Technical Communication 1991
She didn’t know it at the time, but Linda Kennedy’s legal career launched at Michigan Tech.
Looking to combine her flair for writing and interest in chemistry, Linda chose Michigan Tech’s scientific and technical communication program and received her BS in 1991. She went on to the University of Minnesota to receive a BA in chemistry in 1996, followed by a JD in law in 1998.
Linda’s first role as a lawyer was with Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione in Chicago, where she authored briefs, patent applications and legal opinions. Each of these tapped into her technical and writing skills refined by Tech’s amazing faculty. Since then, Linda has been a partner at Michigan-based law firms and has served as in-house counsel for Fortune 500 companies like Dow Chemical and what is now Raytheon Technologies. Currently, Linda is co-founder and partner at Panagos Kennedy PLLC, where she counsels C-suite executives on intellectual property (IP) and business matters. She has advised clients as large as Collins Aerosapce and as small as individuals launching their first start-up.
Linda has also volunteered her time, pro bono, to represent prisoners in civil rights litigation. Additionally, she is currently the chair of the Michigan State Bar Public Outreach and Education Committee and vice chair of the Professional Development Committee of the Oakland County Bar Association.
“Tech rewarded intellectual curiosity. That’s where I finally developed the guts to ask questions and try new things. That’s where I first stepped into leadership and learned the magic of teamwork. All of that is directly relevant to the practice of law,” she explained. “Every new case has its own set of complicated facts. I must dig in, even when it is outside of my comfort zone. And each new case must be driven to a resolution, which takes teamwork for strategy development, revision, and execution.”
The skills gained during her time at Michigan Tech paved the way for Linda to find success in her career, receiving many recognitions like being named a Michigan Super Lawyer, a Best Lawyer in America, and one of a class of “Influential Women in Law” (Michigan Lawyers Weekly), and one of a class of “Notable Women in Law” (Crain’s Detroit Business). She also has published several articles about IP and business.
During her time as a student, Linda was a member of the Delta Zeta sorority, served as president of the Board of Student Publications and the Panhellenic Council, and was co-editor of the Lode’s Winter Carnival Pictorial. She has been actively engaged with the Michigan Tech community as an alumna, currently serving on the Michigan Tech Entrepreneurial Support Corporation and the Scientific and Technical Communication Advisory Board. She served on the Michigan Tech Board of Trustees from 2013–2020 and was a member of the Alumni Board of Directors from 2005–2010.
“I am compelled to give back to an institution that was transformative to me,” she said. “Tech is not like other schools. It’s small enough to offer students meaningful relationships with faculty and leadership roles they might not get at larger institutions, and big enough to have a great reputation that opens doors to fulfilling careers. I want to be a part of keeping that going for today’s students and tomorrow’s students.”
In addition to an exciting career journey, Linda has taken many adventures across the world. She summited Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, hiked the Inca Trail in Peru, skied in the Alps in Switzerland, cycled through West Cork in Ireland, and went on safari in South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, and Zambia. She is a 10+ year cancer survivor.
Linda was inducted into the Presidential Council of Alumnae, as well as the Academy of Sciences and Arts, in September 2023.
Updated November 2023