Charissa graduated from Drake University Law School with Highest Honors is 2014. During law school she began volunteering which has earned her a Public Service Certificate. She holds a degree in both English and Spanish from Iowa State University, where she received her undergraduate degree. After law school, Charissa served as the Co-Director of Legal Services at the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence, where she represented survivors of violent crime in immigration and civil law proceedings and oversaw the Community Lawyers Project partnership at the University of Iowa Law School. It was from there that Charissa joined Disability Rights Iowa in 2019 as a staff attorney. Disability Rights Iowa provides an opportunity for Charissa to combine her passion for disability advocacy, which has always been prevalent in her personal life, with her legal work. Outside of working, advocacy, and volunteering, Charissa enjoys a good cup of coffee and even has her favorite coffee shipped to her home all the way from Costa Rica. She also has a love for second-hand bookstores, social justice work, learning about new cultures and languages, traveling around the world, gardening, spending time with her family, and of course – reading the books from the second-hand bookstores.