The need for affordable housing is probably the single biggest challenge facing poor people in the District, and gentrification and its consequences have only intensified the problem. Rising for Justice comes at the issue in an innovative way. Acknowledging that 90% of landlords have attorneys and only 3% of tenants do, Rising for Justice uses legal defenses to intervene in crises and prevent evictions. Homelessness prevention constitutes 70% of its work, with small claims, criminal defense cases, and juvenile justice work rounding out the docket. The idea just makes sense: law students from American, Georgetown, GW, Howard, and UDC pair up with some of DCís neediest citizens, whose incomes fall well below the poverty line. Many are female heads of households with young children or heads of extended families on public assistance or disability. The goal is to stabilize their living situations, teach them the value of asserting their rights, and create a group of young attorneys who will continue to help poor people throughout their careers. Now that's philanthropy at work.

Headquarters: DC-Ward 3

Where They Operate: DC-Citywide; DC-Ward 1; DC-Ward 2; DC-Ward 3; DC-Ward 4; DC-Ward 5; DC-Ward 6; DC-Ward 7; DC-Ward 8

Age Groups Served: Youth (5-11); Pre-teen/teen (12-17); Young adult (18-24); Adult (25-49); Seniors (50+)

Population(s) Served: Low- to Moderate-Income Community Members; Students; Disabled; Low- to Moderate-Income Community Members

Schools They Work In: Law schools at the following local universities:; American University ; Catholic University; Georgetown University; George Washington University; Howard University; University of the District of Columbia

  • Number of people we serve annually:  
    Rising for Justice provides legal assistance to more than 3,000 low-income residents each year.
  • Number of hours of volunteer legal work we record annually:  
    The 90 law students Rising for Justice trains provide over 30,000 hours of free legal help.

Awards & Recognition

Rising for Justice has been selected to be refeatured in the 15-16 Catalogue for Philanthropy.


Budget (FY2015)

  • $3 million or higher
  • The current budget for Rising for Justice is: $1 million to $3 million
  • $500k to $1 million
  • Less than $500k

Catalogue charities range in size from $100,000 to $3 million. This graphic indicates the budget range of the organization featured here. If you see an organizational budget above the $3 million mark, that is because the featured charity has grown in size since it first appeared in the Catalogue. We proudly present on our website the work of these "growth" charities.

About the Catalogue for Philanthropy

Each year 120 expert reviewers evaluate applicants for distinction, merit, and impact. Each featured charity has been successfully site visited and its financials given the thumbs up. The Catalogue for Philanthropy charges no fees and raises funds separately to support its work. Since 2003, it has raised over $40 million for charities across the Greater Washington region.

The Catalogue for Philanthropy looks to friends like you to keep our services independent and entirely free of charge. Consider a small contribution to the Catalogue to cap off your gift and help the causes you care about get the full support they deserve!

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