Dual Purpose: Law student eyes a career in sports, cultural heritage


Caroline Hendrick, a Detroit Mercy Law 2L student in the Dual J.D. program, spent the past four summers working as a camp counselor in Switzerland.

Photo courtesy of Caroline Hendrick

By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

Caroline Hendrick originally planned on an archeology career after studying Greek and Roman antiquity in undergrad, but thought law school would be an excellent education and prepare her for several career fields, not just limited to those in a law firm.

The Toronto native is a 2L student in the Dual J.D. program at Detroit Mercy Law and the University of Windsor Faculty of Law.

“The international aspect of the Dual program is what makes it so special,” she says. “Students will leave the program with a more global legal education because of the focus on transnational law and being exposed to various teaching methods used by professors from different countries. 

“Canadian ‘Duals’ are given opportunities to work in the United States that a single J.D. student in Canada wouldn’t have,” she adds. “I’m still exploring my interests but I hope to work outside of Canada in a field I’m most passionate about — sports, cultural heritage, and with people from around the world.”

The Windsor resident is enjoying her law school experience.

“The law building is beautiful,” she says. “It has excellent facilities and resources for students and is located downtown, so there is lots to do if you need a break from studying.

“The commute from Windsor is typically hassle-free, especially because of the law building’s proximity to the tunnel. A major downside is the toll we need to pay each time we cross the border. I usually leave 30 minutes before class and have plenty of time to spare, thanks to my NEXUS card.” 

Hendrick, who in undergrad in Canada volunteered with teen-age immigrants from Columbia, serves as vice president in the Hispanic & Latino/a Law Students Association.

“We’re able to make a deep impact on the Hispanic community in the Detroit area,” she says. “Last year, we volunteered at legal clinics in Southwest Detroit and Pontiac.

“Members were able to register attendees of the clinics and work directly with attorneys. This fall, we sponsored a DACA applicant and collected goods for people in Puerto Rico who were affected by Hurricane Irma. Serving as vice president of HiLLA has been humbling, and is a great way to give back to the community—and I’ll take any opportunity to practice Spanish and interact with people from around the world.” 

Her interest in Spain stems from her mother’s family, that immigrated to Canada from Spain.

“She is now a doctor and my dad works for the Toronto Maple Leafs,” Hendrick says. “I’m incredibly grateful to my parents for their infinite support and instilling values in me such as integrity, authenticity, and the importance of family. Their lives have inspired me and shaped me into the person I am today. I’ve been fortunate enough to travel with my family—my mother and I summited Mt. Kilimanjaro in 2013 and my brother and I worked in Switzerland together last summer.”

In her leisure time, Hendrick enjoys the art exhibits and museums in Toronto, and is passionate about sports, especially ice hockey.

During her college days at Western University in London, Ontario, Hendrick was a goalie on the varsity lacrosse team, an invaluable experience that taught her the importance of time management, teamwork, and balance.

“It also prepared me for law school as we trained for hours each day, in addition to taking a full course load. It paid off, as we won three consecutive championships,” she says. “Now, I manage the demanding schedule of a Dual J.D. student but make time for physical activity, which will always be part of my life. I love the outdoors, regardless of the season and try to do something active at least once a day.”

For the past four years, Hendrick has worked as a camp counselor at International Summer Camp Montana in Crans-Montana, in the canton of Valais, Switzerland.

“The camp’s philosophy is to broaden the worldview of children through sports, hiking, and social activities in the Swiss Alps,” she says. “It draws people from over 50 countries, so it’s great to network, and we spend almost all of our time outside. Sometimes there are cultural and political conflicts between campers, and it’s up to the staff to ensure they are resolved diplomatically.”

Hendrick’s closest friends are those she made in Switzerland.

“A highlight from last summer was hiking through the night with seven co-workers to watch the sunrise from the top of Bella Tola, a 9,925-foot peak,” she says. “We were so exhausted we fell asleep on the top for hours before climbing down.”



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