An attorney who has protected intellectual property rights and advanced standings in the international marketplace for a range of global companies will share wisdom learned from his accomplished career when he delivers a Commencement address to Elon Law’s Class of 2023.

Jack B. Hicks, a partner in the Greensboro office of the multinational law firm of Womble Bond Dickinson, will join 140 graduates and their families for a ceremony that begins at 10 a.m. on Friday, December 8, in Alumni Gym on Elon University’s main campus.

Among the topics Hicks plans to cite: the role of innovation and the use of artificial intelligence in the legal profession.

“We’re so excited to have Jack Hicks address our students at graduation,” said Elon Law Dean Zak Kramer. “Jack is a lawyer with a global practice and a keen commitment to innovation in law and industry. He is the perfect person to charge our graduates as they launch their own legal careers.”

“We’re so excited to have Jack Hicks address our students at graduation. Jack is a lawyer with a global practice and a keen commitment to innovation in law and industry. He is the perfect person to charge our graduates as they launch their own legal careers.”

Zak Kramer, Elon Law Dean

Hicks’s practice over the past three decades includes managing complex intellectual property matters, from federal and state litigation to international patent and trademark filing strategies. A leader of Womble Bond Dickinson’s Manufacturing Industry Sector and of the firm’s Innovation Board, he represents a diverse group of manufacturing and services providers, with a focus on the furniture, building products, lighting,  apparel, food and beverage, nanotechnology, automotive and aerospace industry sectors.

Hicks regularly represents clients based outside the United States, including Europe and Asia, as well as American companies doing business overseas. At both the European Patent Office in Germany and the European Union Designs Department in Spain, he contributed eLearning materials intended to help U.S. companies pursue targeted and cost-effective intellectual property protection throughout Europe.

A passion for teaching and mentoring led Hicks to serve Elon University School of Law as an adjunct instructor in intellectual property. For nearly a decade he co-led multiple Elon Law and Elon MBA student trips throughout Asia and Europe, inspiring students to broaden their vision for using a legal education to advance global industries and the common good. His contributions earned Hicks in 2013 an Outstanding Service to Students Award from the Student Bar Association.

Hicks has been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America (BL Rankings) in the fields of copyright law, intellectual property litigation, patent litigation, patent law, and trademark law. He also has been honored in North Carolina Super Lawyers magazine and Business North Carolina as a “Legal Elite.”

His professional and civic engagement throughout his career includes leadership tenure with organizations such as the US-EPO Council, the North Carolina Bar Association Intellectual Property Section, the American Intellectual Property Law Association, the Carolina Patent, Trademark and Copyright Lawyers Association, the International Trademark Association, and the Licensing Executive Society.

He also has served on Boards of the American Home Furnishings Alliance, the National Conference for Community and Justice of the Piedmont Triad, Inc., the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro, and The ARC of Winston-Salem.  Hicks serves as an Elder at First Presbyterian Church in Greensboro, and he has travelled to Honduras, Mexico, Peru, Brazil and Romania to build homes with Global Habitat and the Fuller Center for Housing.

He is married to former educator Sharon Hicks and proud father of two grown children Luke and Hannah.

Hicks earned a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in mechanical engineering from the University of Virginia. He worked as a design engineer on airborne radar and optics applications of a major aerospace company before attending the University of Texas at Austin School of Law where he graduated in 1987 with honors and was a member of the Texas Law Review.

About Elon Law
Elon Law is the preeminent school for engaged and experiential learning in law. With a focus on learning by doing, it integrates traditional classroom instruction with a required, full-time residency-in-practice field placement for all full-time students during the winter or spring of their second year. The law school’s distinctive curriculum offers a logically sequenced program of professional preparation and is accomplished in 2.5 years, which provides exceptional value by lowering tuition and permitting graduates early entry into their careers.

Elon Law has graduated more than 1,500 alumni since opening its doors in 2006. Its annual enrollment now tops 440 students and the law school is regularly featured in PreLaw Magazine’s “Best Schools for Practical Training” rankings, reaching #5 in the nation in 2023. Elon Law was also among those schools highlighted in 2023 by Bloomberg Law for its innovative approach to student development.

Elon University has applied to the American Bar Association and SACSCOC for approval to begin the Elon Law Flex Program, a part-time, in-person program of legal study for working professionals in Charlotte, North Carolina, starting in Fall 2024.

About Womble Bond Dickinson
Womble Bond Dickinson provides mission-critical legal services to companies who are leading the way in innovation. With more than 1,000 lawyers in 32 locations throughout the UK and US, we offer practical solutions and new perspectives for global clients in multiple sectors such as technology, life sciences, energy, and advanced manufacturing – all designed to help get our clients where they need to be. WBD is a 2023 Mansfield Rule Certified Plus law firm for meeting objective hiring, leadership, and promotions targets relating to diversity, equity, and inclusion.