Lauren Hanzel first entered the world of law with the intention of pursuing sports law. She had been a Division I college athlete at Stanford University, where she was a member of the 2002 Water Polo National Championship team, and represented the United States playing in the U.S. Water Polo National Team Program. During her time at Tulane Law School, she was the editor-in-chief of the Sports Lawyers Journal. She also clerked for the first female elected judge in Louisiana, Louisiana Supreme Court Justice Jeannette Theriot Knoll. This was who encouraged Lauren to pursue a career in public service.
During her second year in law school, Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans and, seeing the poor response to the hurricane and the lengthy recovery, Lauren realized that our government needed inspired, motivated people to serve.
In combination with Justice Knoll’s encouragement and her childhood in Annapolis, Maryland, she was inspired to pursue a career in the Navy JAG corps. During Lauren’s 10 years in the Navy, she saw the best and worst of our criminal justice system, mostly from the side of the Government. She felt as though she had reached a point where she could be of more value in serving individual clients as a civilian attorney. Having been stationed her first tour in Charleston, South Carolina, she wanted to move back to the Charleston, SC, area to start The Hanzel Law Firm, where she could serve the people of South Carolina and the many Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors, Marines, Coasties, veterans, and families in our area.
Lauren has represented individual clients as well as the U.S. Government, which is what she has spent the bulk of her career doing. She deployed to Iraq, where she was the liaison for high-value detainees at Camp Bucca and Camp Victory, and won an Army Achievement Medal as a Navy lieutenant for her work supporting the Army in Iraq. Both she and partner Michael Hanzel understand mission, teamwork, and sacrifice and the experience of service members who have deployed for our country in a variety of fields. As a Staff Judge Advocate working for operational commands and military installations and Naval Justice School Officer-in-Charge (OIC) and Instructor, Lauren also understands intimately what a client is up against when the government is pursuing a case. Clients deserve to have someone in their corner who believes in their rights and is willing to fight for them, and her experience in the Navy taught enables her to do that.