RISE – Reaching Individuals through Service and Education
Through February RISE seminars empowered underserved individuals to avoid potential legal problems and find the easiest path to address their current issues. These seminars covered: (1) knowing your rights, reclaiming your driver’s license, and criminal records issues; (2) housing and tenant’s rights, basic contract law, and debt collection; and (3) basic employment rights and basic family law. In sessions, a RISE attorney provided a presentation on the topic at hand and attendees were able to ask questions to ensure understanding. We also provided attendees paper handouts with space for notetaking and light snacks.
In the wake of COVID-19, RISE needed to transition to virtual clinics and services to continue to meet the legal needs of those in our community. RISE purchased a Zoom Pro account with the capacity for breakout rooms so that RISE attorneys could meet one-on-one with attendees. They also purchased a DocuSign account to allow for virtual execution of documents. After launching on the new virtual platform, RISE once again saw great success with their events. This summer, RISE held a virtual will and DNR clinic where RISE attorneys assisted individuals with creation and execution of these documents and held two successful virtual Slice & Advice events in which individuals were provide assistance on a variety of topics.
These events also parlayed into RISE attorneys providing direct legal services to approximately twenty attendees. Additionally, in late August, RISE held a housing and tenant’s rights seminar in coordination with the Lewisville Public Library. More recently, in early October, RISE partnered with the Library once more to provide a virtual will and estate planning clinic. In sessions, RISE attorneys met with individuals, who were either low-income or impacted by COVID-19, to complete wills, DNRs, advanced directives, durable powers of attorney, and medical powers of attorney.