Celebration of Service Marks 50 Years of Rising for Justice

Event Honored Brian Ellis, General Counsel of Danaher and featured
Karl Racine, Attorney General of the District of Columbia. 

Washington, D.C., September 30th, 2019 – Over 400 leaders of the D.C. legal
community gathered last Tuesday for Rising for Justice’s 2019 Celebration of Service, the largest and most successful event in the organization’s fifty year history. Launched in 1969 by five D.C. area law schools as Law Students in Court, Rising for Justice is today a nationally recognized leader at training social justice advocates and representing clients in grave legal jeopardy. 

Addressing the gathering, District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine
spoke of his clinical experiences as a law student and how they continue to shape his approach to the law, including in his role as the first elected Attorney General of the District of Columbia. “Standing up for our most vulnerable residents should always be our top priority," said Racine.

The event honored Brian Ellis, General Counsel of Danaher Corporation and life-
long advocate for justice. Ellis spoke movingly of his own formative experiences as a young lawyer, particularly as a prosecutor in Chicago and as a pro bono attorney who successfully overturned a death penalty conviction.

The audience was introduced to Candace Lewis, a Rising for Justice client who
was able to avoid an illegal eviction thanks to Rising for Justice student attorneys.
After a short video illustrated her challenge and eventual victory, Candace took the stage and thanked the gathering: “This experience did much more than just resolve my issues with my landlord. This experience taught me that I have the right to stand up for myself.”

Out-going Executive Director Moses Cook was recognized by Kirra Jarratt, CEO
of the D.C. Bar Foundation. Jarratt summarized Cook’s accomplishments – tripling the organization’s budget, doubling the staff size, and growing the organization’s impact to serve over 4000 clients each year without charge. The D.C. Bar Foundation has provided crucial support for the Rising for Justice Eviction Defense Services, now the largest provider of legal services in the District of Columbia and the only organization available for tenants facing eviction every hour the court is open, including nights and weekends.

For pictures from the event, click here.

About Rising for Justice

Since 1969, Rising for Justice has been leveraging the collective forces of students and experienced advocates to achieve justice for all. To prevent injustices today, Rising for Justice represents D.C. residents who are in grave legal jeopardy. To build a better tomorrow, Rising for Justice trains law students to be life-long advocates for justice. And to ensure justice always, Rising for Justice innovates sustainable solutions to problems of justice and equity. www.risingforjustice.org