Rights in Systems Enforced (RISE) Clinic



The Rights in Systems Enforced (RISE) Clinic, a new addition to the Loyola Social Justice Law Clinic, engages students in the direct representation of survivors of violent crime who seek to assert their rights in state and/or federal criminal enforcement systems, and require legal assistance with collateral civil matters. The RISE Clinic approaches survivor representation through a critical race and gender justice lens, which calls for culturally competent and trauma-informed legal counseling to center the interests of its clients. Through this work, the RISE Clinic joins a progressive intersectional anti-violence movement focused on survivor empowerment against private and state perpetrated harms. By foregrounding survivor voices, whose victimization is often complicated by their own criminality, the RISE Clinic opposes punitive legal regimes that overcriminalize and overincarcerate people of color and other groups disproportionately harmed by carceral approaches to public safety.


RISE Clinic students will defend survivors of violent crime in court through motion practice, briefings and oral arguments. For clients, not already entangled with criminal and/or immigration enforcement, students will provide comprehensive assessments and consultations that address their clients' needs and interests. Under the supervision of RISE Clinic faculty, students will learn to develop collaborative relationships with their clients to ensure client safety, social services support and access to civil legal remedies. If clients require RISE Clinic representation in criminal proceedings, students' survivor defense will utilize emerging legal tools to protect clients from prosecutorial overreach and assert survivors' rights if they face criminal charges. The RISE Clinic's individual representation of "victim-witnesses" and "victimdefendants" protects survivors' rights while advancing systemic change in law enforcement regimes that frequently re-exploit and dehumanize victims of violent crime. Survivor defenders grapple with the structural inequities that subject people of color, especially those who are also women, youth, LGBTQ+, disabled and immigrants to criminal violence, and also make them targets of criminalization.


The RISE Clinic is a semester-long course comprised of four units, two graded units and two externship units graded pass/fail. Students enrolled in the RISE Clinic should expect an average of sixteen hours per week for clinical course and legal work, which reflects the standard ratio of four hours of clinical work per one credit hour. The RISE Clinic will meet as a class for two hours, once per week. During class time, students will learn lawyering skills related to their client representation and also participate in case rounds to share and discuss the status of their respective cases. Students will also meet weekly with the RISE Clinic Director and Case Manager.


Interested students should submit their resume, transcript, and a one-page personal statement that explains their interest in survivor defense (no more than 350 words) through Symplicity. You can also contact us by email at: rise@lls.edu.

RISE students Christineh Gasparyan '23 (left) & Viveka Ray-Mazumder ’23

RISE Students Find Success for Survivors of Crime

RISE Clinic students like Christineh Gasparyan '23, and Viveka Ray-Mazumder ’23, engage in legal representation through a critical race and gender lens based in trauma-informed advocacy. Participating in RISE’s inaugural class, Gasparyan not only provided crucial legal support for a survivor of labor trafficking during the federal prosecution of her trafficker; Gasparyan was also able to secure $20,000 in compensation for her client through the California Victim Compensation Board.

Crime Victims' Rights: An Introduction for Legal Professionals Working with Survivors of Violence

The RISE Clinic designed a comprehensive 8-hour training for attorneys to learn practical skills on how to support survivors of violent crimes access legal systems on their own terms. The training is open to all licensed attorneys that wish to provide legal representation to survivors as they navigate the criminal justice system. There is no cost to participate. 

RISE Clinic Symposium

Criminal Justice Reform: Protecting, Enforcing, and Advancing the Rights of Victims

On April 20, 2022, the RISE Clinic hosted multiple panels to engage judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and survivors in a dialogue to help identify solutions that are culturally and socially responsive to all crime victims. Recordings of the panels have been posted to our even website.

Survivor Voices: Shifting the Conversation on Crime Victims’ Rights & Criminal Justice Reform

On October 21, 2022, RISE invited survivor leaders from diverse backgrounds to participate in a retreat with the goal of identifying recommendations to improve the criminal justice system and ensure that crime victims are treated with dignity and respect.

Human Trafficking Forum

On June 30, 2023, the RISE Clinic, in collaboration with the Sunita Jain Anti-Trafficking Initiative at Loyola Law School, gathered representatives from the District Attorney's Office and survivors of human trafficking to discuss bail reform and pre-trial conditions and how this impacts survivor safety.

Get in Touch

Rights in Systems Enforced (RISE) Clinic

919 Albany St.
Los Angeles, CA 90015

Stephanie Richard



Paloma Bustos

Social Worker





Loyola RISE materials were produced under 2020-V3-GX-K022, awarded by the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in these materials are those of the contributors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.

RISE is a national project made possible with funding from the Office for Victims of Crime U.S. Department of Justice. RISE aims to provide crime victims with access to no cost legal services to aid enforcement of their rights. For more information about this national rights enforcement initiative, visit the RISE Project website at https://tinyurl.com/ncvli-RISE.