Van graduated from the University of Illinois through a NROTC scholarship and went straight to flight school in Pensacola, Florida. Van served as a Naval Aviator for ten years and completed four deployments based out of Bahrain, Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Japan. Upon completion of his fourth deployment Van was honorably discharged.
Van attended Lewis and Clark Law School and upon graduation worked as a Deputy District Attorney in Multnomah County. In 2007 Van moved to Bend and worked as a Deputy District Attorney in Deschutes County until December of 2021. Van was a team leader, then a supervisor at the Deschutes County District Attorney's office mentoring other attorneys while handling a major felony caseload.
Van chose to leave prosecution and join criminal defense after years of guilt ridden sleepless nights. He waved adios to those who continue to persecute the innocents and joined the side of the fair and downtrodden. A statue is scheduled to be erected in his honor sometime in early 2023.