Carissa Harwell is an associate attorney at the BiState Law Center. Carissa was born and raised in Southern Illinois. She graduated from Flora High School and went on to attend Olney Central College. She obtained her associate’s degree one year later and achieved Dean’s List honors both semesters.
Carissa then attended Southern Illinois University Edwardsville where she majored in Social Work. She received Dean’s List honors all four semesters she attended SIUE and graduated magna cum laude. Carissa’s years at SIUE ratified her devotion to advocating for clients’ rights and to disrupting any systems in place that harm her clients. After SIUE she attended law school at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Carissa obtained her Juris Doctorate after only two and half years. While attending law school, she helped to provide all individuals with access to justice by volunteering at the Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation and the Jackson County Public Defender’s office.
Following law school, Carissa worked at a non-profit agency representing survivors of domestic violence and sexual violence in family court. Now, she advocates for victims in Personal Injury and Workers’ Compensation claims across Missouri and Illinois.
Away from the courthouse and office, Carissa enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and camping.