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Alicia Hughes

Visiting Assistant Professor of Practice, Interim Director, Center for Civil Rights and Social Justice

Areas of Expertise

Intellectual Property; Civil Rights and Social Justice; Education Policy; Health Law


Patent Litigation, Patent Prosecution and Practice


Alicia Hughes is a visiting assistant professor of practice and interim director of the Center for Civil Rights and Social Justice at Emory University School of Law. Most recently, she was a visiting lecturer at Boston University and a lecturer in business law at the University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business. A former patent examiner at the United States Patent and Trademark Office and inaugural associate director of a statewide biotech institute, Hughes received a B.S. in biology from Texas Southern University, where she was Student Government Association president, a Douglass Honors Institute Scholar, international champion debater, and the MARC-NIH Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher, based on work performed at Baylor College of Medicine. She completed her JD at the University of Miami School of Law, where she was an inaugural Miami Scholar and an editorial board member of the University of Miami School of Law International and Comparative Law Review. As Miami Law BLSA president, she and her mentor founded a program for minority students geared at diversifying the Florida Bar. It remains the statewide model, has been studied across the country, and garnered an early ABA Diversity Award. 

Early on, Hughes worked in a large law firm and completed a federal judicial clerkship at the US District Court for the Middle District of Alabama. A former congressional staffer and co-founder of the Congressional Universal Healthcare Task Force, she completed public policy fellowships at the University of Virginia’s Sorensen Institute and at the Aspen Institute where she is a Rodel Fellow, both high honors associated with her work as an elected official. Most recently, Hughes served as National Bar Association chief policy advisor and parliamentarian. She received the C. Francis Stratford Award, the highest honor the NBA bestows, for exceptional service to the bar and the legal profession. She is a former Miss Black USA and is currently pursuing an executive Ed.D. in higher education from the University of Pennsylvania.

Education: JD, University of Miami School of Law; BS, Texas Southern