Spreading Holiday Cheer with Hammerberg Lawyers

Hammerberg Lawyers, one of Rise Women’s Legal Centre’s generous ongoing supporters, reached out to Rise with a wonderful offer for us and our clients. Every year, as part of their firm-wide holiday tradition, they like to create special gift baskets for families in the community who could use some extra holiday cheer. This year, Hammerberg asked Rise to help them find some families who might welcome a little help with their holiday celebrations.

The Hammerberg staff’s favourite thing about their tradition is shopping for each family specially, so that each basket is as welcome and perfectly suited to its recipients as possible. We asked each mum for some details about her kids (their ages, sizes, favourite colours), their family’s dietary habits, and if there was something special the kids were hoping for this year. We anonymized the information and passed it along to the Hammerberg Lawyers team. Hammerberg’s Chief Operating Officer Tracey Scher, who spearheaded the project, dropped everything off to Rise this week, and the bounty was home-delivered by Rise staff.

In addition to the personalized baskets, Hammerberg Lawyers contributed over a dozen $100 gift cards to Great Canadian Superstore, to be distributed by Rise to some of our clients whose families could use the extra holiday cheer.

Rise would like to thank Hammerberg Lawyers for their incredibly generous support throughout this exciting first year. We’re proud to count them among our friends in the legal community.

The Twelve Weeks of Rise

The Twelve Weeks of Rise

As the fall semester comes to a close, one of our students shares a reflection on the challenges and triumphs experienced throughout their semester spent working at Rise, with a seasonally appropriate rendition of The 12 Days of Christmas.

From the staff and students at Rise, we wish you and you family a wonderful holiday season!


The Twelve (12) Weeks of Rise – By: Arash Ehteshami

In the first week of Rise
the clinic sent to me:
A boat load of incomplete files.

In the second week of Rise
the clinic sent to me:
Two supervised intakes
and a boat load of incomplete files.

In the third week of Rise
the clinic sent to me:
Three stressed clients
Two supervised intakes
and a boat load of incomplete files.

In the fourth week of Rise
the clinic sent to me:
Four friendly colleagues
Three stressed clients
Two supervised intakes
and a boat load of incomplete files.

In the fifth week of Rise
the clinic sent to me:
FIVE SLEEPLESS NIGHTS
Four friendly colleagues
Three stressed clients
Two supervised intakes
and a boat load of incomplete files.

In the sixth week of Rise
the clinic sent to me:
Six restless evenings
FIVE SLEEPLESS NIGHTS
Four friendly colleagues
Three stressed clients
Two supervised intakes
and a boat load of incomplete files.

In the seventh week of Rise
the clinic sent to me:
Seven coffee runs
Six restless evenings
FIVE SLEEPLESS NIGHTS
Four friendly colleagues
Three stressed clients
Two supervised intakes
and a boat load of incomplete files.

In the eighth week of Rise
the clinic sent to me:
Eight urgent deadlines
Seven coffee runs
Six restless evenings
FIVE SLEEPLESS NIGHTS
Four friendly colleagues
Three stressed clients
Two supervised intakes
and a boat load of incomplete files.

In the ninth week of Rise
the clinic sent to me:
Nine missed calls
Eight urgent deadlines
Seven coffee runs
Six restless evenings
FIVE SLEEPLESS NIGHTS
Four friendly colleagues
Three stressed clients
Two supervised intakes
and a boat load of incomplete files.

In the tenth week of Rise
the clinic sent to me:
Ten more served pleadings
Nine missed calls
Eight urgent deadlines
Seven coffee runs
Six restless evenings
FIVE SLEEPLESS NIGHTS
Four friendly colleagues
Three stressed clients
Two supervised intakes
and a boat load of incomplete files.

In the eleventh week of Rise
the clinic sent to me:
Eleven gray hairs
Ten more served pleadings
Nine missed calls
Eight urgent deadlines
Seven coffee runs
Six restless evenings
FIVE SLEEPLESS NIGHTS
Four friendly colleagues
Three stressed clients
Two supervised intakes
and a boat load of incomplete files.

In the twelfth week of Rise
the clinic sent to me:
Twelve page assignments
Eleven gray hairs
Ten more served pleadings
Nine missed calls
Eight urgent deadlines
Seven coffee runs
Six restless evenings
FIVE SLEEPLESS NIGHTS
Four friendly colleagues
Three stressed clients
Two supervised intakes
and a boat load of incomplete files.

Welcome!

Welcome!

Welcome to Rise Women’s Legal Centre, a non-profit legal clinic providing services to women in BC.

As the summer winds down, we are getting ready to welcome our second cohort of upper year students from UBC’s Allard School of Law, re-start new client intake, and reflect on everything that has happened since we opened our doors to family law clients on May 24, 2016.

It has been said that there is no single area of law that touches the lives of as many people as family law. Family breakdown can impact anyone, is often terribly scary, and may one of the most emotionally difficult experiences of peoples’ lives. All of this is made far worse by a complex legal system, and while we know that there is a lot of self-help information available online and in paper form, none of it compares to being able to work directly with a real person. Without legal assistance the legal system can be daunting and leave people stuck and unable to move forward; the idea behind the name “Rise” is our hope that clients will be able to journey through and past and beyond the difficult times by moving their legal matters towards some form of resolution.

The stories our clients have told us this summer have been inspiring, traumatic, depressing and life-affirming in equal measure. We have talked to women with a huge range of ages, backgrounds and lived experiences and have learned so much about running a student clinic. It’s one thing to read that deep and abiding cuts have been made to Legal Aid in BC over the past 15 years, but quite another to watch women literally dragging suitcases of court documents into your office as they struggle through the system on their own, often for years at a time. In my mind’s eye, this is what 15 years of cuts to legal services now looks like. (Incidentally, in my mind’s eye “hope” now looks like the brilliant and committed law students who will soon become part of the next generation of lawyers.)

Although one tiny legal clinic cannot fill the gap in legal services in this province, we hope to constantly find new ways to offer compassionate and professional services to women who would not otherwise be able to access their legal rights. Although we’ve limited our services to family law in summer 2016 we’re hoping that with the help of some wonderful lawyer volunteers we will be able to expand our services this fall and into the spring, so check back with us.

To any clients who came to Rise this summer: we hope that we were able to help in some small way, and thank you for taking the time to make contact with us. To summer students who are leaving us: thank you for all your energy and enthusiasm. To the fall students and volunteers about to join us: we can’t wait to meet you.

Allons-y…!

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