In March of 2000, Julie J. Weatherly, Esq. established RISE, Inc. primarily for the purpose of providing consulting and legal services to public school districts and other educational agencies to assist them in their efforts to comply with laws applicable to educating students with disabilities. Having provided legal representation since 1986 to agencies exclusively in the area of special education law, Julie believed that her clients (as well as students with disabilities) would be better served by first exploring preventive avenues before formal litigation ensues. As a part of these preventive services, RISE provides ongoing day-to-day consultation, policy/procedure review, inservice training, workshops, conferences and seminars for educators, mediators, hearing officers and law judges, LEA Representatives and other IEP team members and parent groups. In addition, RISE has access to a variety of experts in the field of special education and special services provision to assist its clients in their efforts to effectively and efficiently educate students with disabilities. RISE also continues to provide formal representation in matters that have become litigious, including representation at formal or informal meetings, including mediation and resolution sessions, due process hearings and court proceedings. RISE's attorneys also often assist their clients in responding to complaints filed with state and federal agencies under the IDEA, Section 504 or other relevant laws.
On January 1, 2013, Leslie A. Allen, Esq. joined RISE to assist in defending school systems and other agencies in special education matters and ensuring their continuous compliance with the law. On June 1, 2022, David ("Butch") Sargent joined the firm after retiring from his service in public education for over 35 years.
Julie and Leslie are both members of the State Bars of Alabama and Georgia and Butch is a member of the Alabama State Bar.