Spring Break Spotlight: Princess Hanson ’24 Volunteers to Help Veterans in Need


In the law school universe, no one needs a little time off in March more than 1Ls. But when Princess Hanson heard about the Public Interest Center’s Spring Break Service Program, she jumped at the opportunity to volunteer for a week, along with 23 of her St. John’s Law classmates and peers.

To prepare for working remotely in a range of public interest and public service placements, Hanson and the other student volunteers completed online trainings in professionalism and confidentiality, writing for public interest supervisors, and research. With that foundation, Hanson started her weeklong placement with The Veterans Consortium (TVC), the nation’s leading charity providing free legal services in federal venues for veterans in need.

“I first received training on TVC’s work and the broader field of Veterans Law,” Hanson says. “Then, guided and supported by my TVC mentor attorney, I screened final decisions from the Board of Veterans’ Appeals to identify meritorious arguments and drafted screening memorandums. While TVC gave us templates, sample memos, case law, and commonly used Veterans Affairs acronyms and terms, they also encouraged us to frame our own arguments and give input on our assignments.”

In addition to learning the law hands on, Hanson had an opportunity to network with TVC lawyers and hear about the many ways they serve and advocate for U.S. military veterans. Reflecting on all she accomplished in just a week, Hanson shares: “I was nervous about handling an actual case for the first time. But with the support TVC provided, I enjoyed discovering a new field of law and meeting and working alongside the attorneys in the program. I hope to work with them again.”

The appreciation is mutual. After completing their service, Hanson and the other St. John’s Law student volunteers received this note of gratitude from a TVC representative:

I want to thank you for choosing to spend your spring break with The Veterans Consortium contributing to our mission with your work on CAVC screening memos. Additionally, I’m glad you had a chance to learn more about some of our other legal assistance programs for veterans with our Discharge Upgrade, Women Veterans and Veterans Naturalization initiatives. The field of veteran law is fairly new and your exposure will serve you and the veteran community well in your future endeavors.

With appreciation,
Steve Jordan
Captain (ret) U.S. Navy Executive Director

With that validation, and as busy as she was over spring break, Hanson came away feeling renewed. “This first year at St. John’s has been, and continues to be, highly challenging,” she shares. “Volunteering with TVC provided an eye-opening experience that reminded me why I decided to go to law school, and it gave me reassurance that there is light at the end of this tunnel.”

To learn more about the Spring Break Service Program and other public interest and public service programs and initiatives at St. John’s Law, please visit the Public Interest Center’s website.