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Alumna Spotlight: Hannah Lyons

While it warms our hearts to hear that alumna Hannah Lyons (CLAS 2018) misses the Women's Center as much as it misses her, it's rewarding to see her thriving at the Law School as she steps into her new role as Lead Executive Editor of the Virginia Law Review this year. We recently had the pleasure of receiving this update from Hannah:

"Even though I (sadly) no longer work at the Women's Center, I apply the lessons I learned there almost daily in my legal studies. Most importantly, my experience interning with the Free Legal Clinic taught me to treat clients with empathy, which is a value that is sometimes underappreciated in the stereotypically "masculine" legal field. 

I have also continued to work to promote gender equality while in law school with my work on the Virginia Law Women's Speak Up Project. Through that project, we hope to raise awareness about gender disparities at Virginia Law and in the legal profession more generally. I am grateful for my experience at the Women's Center, which prepared me for law school and taught me to always be on the lookout for avenues to enact positive change." 

As a 4th year, Hannah was a seasoned member of the team at the Women's Center having shared her quiet warmth with all who came through the door during her many shifts at our front desk as well as being an intern on our Legal Clinic team. She shared these thoughts from that vantage point back in November of 2017. 

Get to know Legal Clinic Team intern, Hannah Lyons!

Year: 4th

Major: Political Philosophy, Policy, and Law; English

Hometown: Richmond, VA

Why are you passionate about your program at the Women's Center? 

Interning for the legal clinic, which provides free consultations with attorneys for community members, has given me the opportunity to help individuals with legal issues even though I am not a lawyer (yet!). Inequity in access to legal aid is a huge issue for low-income individuals: according to the Department of Justice, less than 20% of legal problems faced by poor people are addressed with the help of a lawyer. Although it is limited to Charlottesville, the Legal Clinic combats this problem by providing very tangible help to individuals in need. It is especially rewarding to experience how grateful the clients are when they leave their appointments, and it is wonderful to have the opportunity to meet local attorneys who graciously agree to work pro bono for the clinic. 

What other organizations are you involved with at UVA? 

One of my favorite organizations besides the Women’s Center is Big Brothers & Big Sisters. Through this program, I have a nine-year-old “little sis” named Jelasia, who I have known for almost two years. We hang out each week and participate in activities together. Lately, her favorite place to go has been 1515 on the Corner. She loves doing her homework with me on the top floor and then getting to play air hockey in the basement afterwards. 

What is your favorite memory of UVA thus far? 

My first year, there was a huge snow storm in Cville. I went into Alderman early on a Friday morning to finish a paper, and at that point there was no sign of precipitation. When I emerged from the depths of the library that afternoon, all of Grounds was covered in a breathtaking blanket of snow. That night, my best friend and I walked from dorms to the Corner, and explored Grounds along the way. Seeing UVA covered in snow at night was such a beautiful and eerie experience. Plus, as a fourth year, I have recently become super nostalgic about first year and dorm life, and that snowstorm seems to epitomize all of that for me. 

What is something you know you do differently than other people? 

I eat an absurd amount of pickles. There are currently two giant jars of them in my fridge. My roommates think it’s gross; they’re wrong. 

What is your guilty pleasure? 

Baking! I love to bake desserts, especially when I am stressed. This summer, I decided to learn how to make French macarons—which was much harder than I expected. I probably went through three batches before I finally figured out the recipe.

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