Student in the Dual JD Program explores criminal defense work

Law student Gabrielle Bayne spent a recent vacation in Colombia, where she enjoyed parasailing over Medellin.

By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

Surrounded by an incredible support system of parents, coaches, and teachers in her formative years, Gabrielle Bayne knew she wanted to provide that type of advocacy for others, through a career in law.

“Pursuing a legal career is a lifelong dream that was made possible through many sacrifices made by my parents and grandparents,” she says. “When I graduate, I will be the first lawyer in my family.”

She took the first step by earning a degree in business administration from Concordia University of Edmonton, after seeing both parents pursue careers in the business sector and work for tier one companies. After graduation, she worked in the business sector for a few years, where her affinity for pursuing some type of business law developed.

“Operating a successful business is at the core of all industries and I felt a Bachelor of Management would provide me a well-rounded foundation when entering the workforce,” she says.

Bayne is now in her 2L year in the Dual JD program offered by the University of Windsor Faculty of Law and Detroit Mercy Law, where she particularly appreciates the school’s practical hands-on approach, providing not only classroom teachings but also externships, clinics, seminars and moots.

Growing up, Bayne spent a lot of time visiting family and exploring Canada and the United States, and understood early on how closely intertwined the two countries are.

“The Dual JD program allowed me to further explore the similarities and differences between our two countries, specifically our two legal systems,” she says. “As our world continues to become more globalized this program provides an adaptable and transnational approach to studying the law.”

With an interest in the intersection between businesses and criminal law, Bayne will work for Miller Canfield as a summer associate and looks forward to exploring the Criminal Defense Litigation Group which works on internal investigations and compliance programs.

She interned last summer at the U.S. District Court in Detroit, for Judge Jonathan J.C. Grey.

“Working for Judge Grey and his law clerks was an amazing experience,” she says. “Not only did I get to learn from a patient, kind, and brilliant judge, I had the opportunity to witness the incredible advocacy, through both oral and written submissions made by the attorneys appearing before Judge Grey. This externship provided me the platform to further develop my legal research and writing skills through internal memorandums.”

Bayne enjoyed her time at the courthouse so much that she returned this year as a student attorney at the Federal Pro Se Legal Assistance Clinic, engaging with members of the community.  She assisted with various matters from social security appeals to employment discrimination claims to interpleader actions—and has returned this semester as an advanced student.

Bayne has received several kudos at Detroit Mercy Law, including the book award for both civil procedure and torts, given to the student with the highest grade in the course.

During her 1L year, she received a Pass with Distinction in the G. Mennen Williams Oral Advocacy Tournament. This year she received Honorable Mention Oralist in the Zuber Moot, placing her in the top six oralists out of over 85 competitors; and received top oralist out of more than 100 competitors in the Transnational Moot.

“The support I’ve received from my professors and peers has been instrumental in my academic success,” she notes.

In her 1L year, she was on a team that won their group in the University of Windsor’s 7th Annual Alternative Dispute Resolution Mediation Competition. “This was an extremely valuable experience that allowed me to sharpen my negotiation capabilities,” she says. “UDM Law offers an ADR Law Firm Program which I’m hoping to take next year to further my understanding and knowledge of ADR.”

Her career goal is to be an impactful member of the legal profession, as an attorney, professor, or judge.

“Wherever my career path leads me my ultimate goal is to continue to grow,” she says. “My dad has always taught me the importance of being comfortable with being uncomfortable and that’s a mindset I hope to carry throughout my career.”

For the past two years, Bayne volunteered for Pro Bono Students of Canada. In her first year, she worked on a “Know Your Rights” research project on business law and immigration; this year she is providing free legal services to marginalized or homeless youth. She also has spoken on three panels for Detroit Mercy, providing insight to incoming law students; and is a peer mentor for a 1L group.

In her leisure time, Bayne loves staying active with hot yoga, soccer and her latest obsession of pickleball. She played varsity soccer for five years in undergrad including three years as captain; Concordia Thunder won four provincial medals and had two national championship appearances. And before law school, she coached a U-9 Boys soccer team.

“Since law school, I’ve come out of retirement and currently play on our intramural law school coed soccer team JDFC— intramural champions two years in a row,” she says. “It’s been such a fun experience to play with my classmates.”

Travel is another passion, with 21 countries racked up to date, and Malta, Morocco, and Ireland among her favorites. She has fond memories of a study abroad semester at Universidad Del Pais Vasco in

Bilbao, Spain, immersing herself in the culture and meeting people from all over the world, becoming conversational in Spanish and experiencing a different educational environment, as well as exploring Spain and surrounding countries.  

Her most recent trip was to Colombia, where a highlight was paragliding over Medellin.

Bayne is a native of the Canadian city of Edmonton—where her parents and younger sister still reside. “My family is an incredible support system and I would not be where I am without them,” she says.

She now makes her home in the Detroit suburb of Northville, with her boyfriend of five years, Adam Wheeldon. After graduating from university and working in Edmonton for a year, the two moved across Canada to Toronto to further their careers.

“Now studying and working in Michigan we look forward to furthering our careers here and exploring all that Michigan has to offer,” she says.

“I love Detroit—it’s such a vibrant city with a rich history and incredibly resilient people. I also love the passion the city has for their sports teams. This past year I had season tickets for the Lions and getting to experience such a monumental season will be a core memory.”

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