Equal justice under law is an essential value of the American legal system.
Unfortunately, this principle is often unrealized when our most important rights are at stake. Most low-income residents of the District of Columbia cannot access an attorney when facing housing-related legal issues. Too many end up having to navigate complicated court proceedings alone with their homes on the line.
Rising for Justice stands in this gap. Our Tenant Justice Program advocates for tenants in the District to avoid displacement and enforce their rights. The Tenant Justice Program consists of a law school clinical program embedded within a public interest law firm. This unique structure allows the Tenant Justice Program to do more for clients while training future advocates.
Student attorneys and their supervisors work alongside our permanent staff of attorneys and other legal professionals to provide a range of services to defend and empower tenants including:
- Full representation for individuals in eviction and other housing related matters;
- Systemic advocacy through appeals, tenant association representation, court committee work, and legislative testimony; and
- Limited representation, brief services, and advice to individual tenants through direct contact and in collaboration with other housing legal services providers through the Landlord Tenant Legal Assistance Network.
The Tenant Justice Program carries on Rising for Justice’s decades-long work as D.C.’s biggest provider of same-day legal advice and services to tenants who come to Landlord & Tenant Court to face an eviction case without a lawyer. The Tenant Justice Program serves thousands of clients and collaborates with the Rising for Justice Social Work Program to provide more holistic advocacy and supportive services to clients.