Change doesn't scare Ann Hendrix. She has worked a variety of jobs, from bartender to legal receptionist to bread shop proprietor and lived throughout the United States. Now she relishes the roles of law student and proud Angeleno.
She credits her periodic yearlong moves to the United Kingdom during her childhood for feeding her curiosity about the world. Born and raised primarily in Charleston, South Carolina, Hendrix said those stints in London during the early 1980s punk scene opened her eyes to "a whole different world of people and ideas."
Hendrix earned a B.A. in Sociology from Temple University and a Masters in Industrial and Labor Relations from the University of Wisconsin, where she graduated at the top of her class and received the Melvin Lurie Memorial Prize for academic excellence.
When her husband wanted to move from Philadelphia to L.A. in 2004, she was gung ho. She took a job as a contract recruiter and eventually became an HR specialist for AIG, one of the largest insurance companies in the world.
But after years of experience working in human resources,
Hendrix was ready to exit from the corporate world and redirect her career. "In
HR there's a misguided notion that you're a liaison to help the employees, but
the bottom line is that you work for the company because they sign your
paycheck," she said. "I was always inclined to pick the employees' side."
Hendrix decided to go to law school, and Southwestern was her first choice. "For me it was an easy decision. I was so excited to find a two-year program. I'm an older student, and I'm very focused."
Although the SCALE program demands an intense commitment, Hendrix has excelled, winning Second Place Writer in the 2007 SCALE Moot Court competition, earning a spot on the 2007-2008 Law Review, and working to re-establish the Labor and Employment Law Club with her fellow SCALE II classmates, Joshua Buck and Colleen Armstrong. She finds time to mix her human resources experience with her legal education, volunteering weekly at the Workers' Rights Clinic in El Monte. There, she helps prepare wage claims, unemployment appeals, and expungement petitions for criminal records with minor offenses.
"I'm really hoping to go into employment plaintiff litigation. My passion is for wronged employees," she said. "Work affects everybody. I see it at the clinic, and I saw it in my own experiences. People spend so many hours of their life at work that it's important to me to know that people are being treated well."