The 2023 Student Veteran of the Year was awarded to Michael Meszaros at the yearly Veterans Day Commemoration event on Nov. 10, read more about the event here.
Meszaros has dedicated himself to a life of service, with a servant leadership style that put his soldiers before his own needs. As a student at the S.J. Quinney College of Law, he advocates for the veterans community of the Salt Lake Valley and represents indigent defendants in the criminal justice system.
While attending the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, he graduated from Airborne School and the Small Arms Master Marksman Course. After graduating from West Point, he was commissioned as a lieutenant in the infantry in 2012.
While attached to the 1st Cavalry Division in the 1st Battalion of the 5th Cavalry Regiment, Meszaros served as a mechanized platoon leader and scout platoon leader when he led his platoons through a nine-month security force rotation to the Republic of Korea. He also developed an intensive soldier training program that culminated in his platoon having the highest success rate in the brigade at Expert Infantry Badge testing.
Within the first two years of law school, Meszaros has found his place in the top third of his class. He earned an Outstanding Academic Achievement Award for his performance in legal research; served on the Utah Law Review as junior staff; and was selected to represent the college on the National Moot Court Competition Team for the 2023-24 academic year.
As the student director for the Young Lawyers Association Pro Bono Veterans Legal Clinic, he provides access to free legal advice for a wide variety of legal issues for veterans. He continues to work with the law school faculty and local attorneys to improve the College of Law’s ability to work with the local veteran community with the ultimate goal of establishing a full-service Veteran’s Legal Clinic program at the S.J. Quinney College of Law.
When Putin launched his invasion of Ukraine, Meszaros felt an undeniable need to help. During the latter half of the spring semester of his first year, he and his team went to Poland where they delivered medical equipment, desperately needed protective gear and clothes to refugees displaced by the Russian invasion.
Meszaros constantly strives to find a way to use his skills and talents to help others and leaves wherever he has been better than he found it. He has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of his fellow students, the lives of veterans around Utah and beyond and his indigent clients. He never shies away from an opportunity to help. He truly exemplifies the best in service to others and his community.