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Dominic Paluzzi '04, '07

dominic paluzziRecent graduate takes his education to work

With an undergraduate degree in business administration (2004) and a J.D./M.B.A. (2007) from the University of Detroit Mercy, Dominic Paluzzi is well prepared for whatever curve ball the economy throws. He is an attorney at McDonald Hopkins PLC, yet also finds the time to serve as president of the UDM College of Business Administration (CBA) Alumni Board.

Giving back to his alma mater as both a mentor and financial donor is a core value to Paluzzi, who has family connections to the University. His father, Joseph Paluzzi, Jr., was an adjunct professor in the business school for 30 years. His sister, Felicia Paluzzi, graduated in 1997 with a degree in engineering and now works at Ford Motor Co., while his brother, Joseph Paluzzi, III, earned a finance degree in 1990 and owns Michigan Home Builders.

Paluzzi has found that staying in contact with alumni is a good way to add to his network of professionals and friends. He has made great connections with prominent UDM graduates from 30 years ago, who can advise him and offer new opportunities. In turn, he is pleased to give career advice to recent graduates.

His years at UDM were an intensive blend of studying and having an active social life. He was president of the CBA Student Advisory Board for two years, a position that including being a liaison between the students and CBA administration. Even as a commuter, he found much to do on campus, especially nights and weekends.

“UDM continues to do great things to contribute to the overall college atmosphere. They’ve built up the athletic area, added a new track and fitness area,” he said.

The smaller campus experience translates well to the classroom. “If you need to contact the professors, they are often in their office,”  Paluzzi said. “This is a significant difference from larger universities where students more often interact with teaching assistants than with their
professors.”

Paluzzi applies the skills he learned at UDM to the practice of law as he counsels large corporations on business matters. Of his joint degree, he notes, “Often times, a client’s business goals trump its legal goals and the ability to balance those interests is critical to a client’s success.”

Another aspect of learning that has a long-term benefit is making presentations. “At UDM, students were constantly presenting for students and faculty. Now I do that in my job, before judges and clients.”

He commends the UDM School of Law for being named one of the “Top 10 Most Innovative Law Schools in the Country” in 2009 by Equal Justice Works. One example of this innovation was a law firm program in which a pseudo client presented a legal problem and the class had to decide how to proceed through litigation.

He also appreciates the work done by the advisors at UDM. “They make sure that you don’t get off track from the curriculum. My advisor, Associate Dean Bruce Brorby, advised me throughout my undergraduate years. I still look to him for his valued
opinions.”

Paluzzi received tuition assistance through two scholarships: a Spiritus Scholarship for his undergraduate business degree and a Dean’s Scholarship for his J.D./M.B.A. degree.

The UDM co-op experience provided an added educational edge for Paluzzi. It also opened doors to employment for him, as it does for many UDM students. He completed two paid internships during his undergraduate years—at Daimler-Chrysler (now Chrysler Corp.) and DTE Energy—and received job offers from both. He went on to law school at UDM and was hired as a summer associate at Butzel Long and then hired as a full-time associate there. Paluzzi is now an attorney at McDonald Hopkins, PLC, in Bloomfield Hills, practicing in the areas of trade secret and non-compete law, data security counseling and breach management, as well as commercial litigation and new construction litigation.

“Now, more than ever, it’s important to have UDM alumni network together,” Paluzzi said. “It’s a difficult job market out there but we can overcome it if UDM alumni help each other. I give back because UDM has provided me with a great deal and I want to make sure that the University continues to prosper.”