RISE Impact Report

A Message From Our Leaders

The RISE Clinic at LMU Loyola Law School was founded on the radical idea that attorneys and service providers can take an anti-carceral approach to justice, and that crime survivors, like criminal defendants, deserve to have their interests represented in the criminal justice process.

In 2021, the RISE Clinic was awarded funding by Department of Justice (DOJ) for 3 years, as part of national network of clinics across the country dedicated to providing legal representation to assist in asserting and seeking enforcements of the rights of survivors of violent crime.

In its inauguration, the RISE Clinic became the only victims’ rights program in a law school and the first in the country specifically designed to train law students in representing survivors of violent crime within the criminal justice system. In their practice, RISE Clinic students were some of the first Crime Victims’ Rights attorneys in the country filing Notices of Appearances in criminal proceedings to inform the court that survivors had their own counsel. In addition, the clinic also incorporated a social worker as a co-teacher to promote a trauma-informed approach and community models of lawyering centered on survivor empowerment.

Unfortunately, the RISE Clinic along with the 14 other RISE programs in this network, will not receive additional funding to continue this important work. Although we celebrate our accomplishments and advocacy efforts over the past 3 years, it is with a bittersweet feeling that we prepare to close the RISE Clinic. We reflect on the challenges faced by survivors amid a climate that continues to rely on a traditional justice system that perpetuates mass incarceration.

The RISE Clinic hopes that policy reform and reallocation of resources will ultimately allow survivors to seek justice on their own terms. We also hope that the law students who participated in the RISE Clinic will be a leading voice for criminal justice reform locally and nationally. Read our Impact Report here.

With gratitude,

RISE Team: Stephanie Richard, Esq., Paloma Bustos, MSW, Anabel Sanchez Esq.