Clinton shares his experience with TexasLawHelp.org LiveChat and what motivates him to donate his time and talents.
Clinton Morgan is the founding attorney of the Morgan Legal Group, PLLC, in Houston, Texas, and has volunteered as a TexasLawHelp.org LiveChat representative since his second year of law school at South Texas College of Law. LiveChat is a free service on TexasLawHelp.org that allows individuals to connect with practicing attorneys, paralegals, or law students about legal matters.
On what draws him to pro bono work
I see pro bono as a duty owed by me as an attorney to my community. As attorneys, we have a chance to serve in a greatly needed way. If I do not capitalize on my opportunity, I am wasting my chance to impact others positively.
I continue to donate my time on LiveChat because of the people I am helping. Most of my chats end with the visitor sincerely thanking me for assisting them. I am addicted to the feeling of knowing that I am impacting many lives every week.
On why he got involved with LiveChat
I became involved with LiveChat after attending a presentation at South Texas College of Law. I remember thinking this is an opportunity for me to serve my community in a way that could impact many lives.
I wanted to be able to help those in need in some way, and I realized that LiveChat provided a needed service to those attempting to navigate a legal issue independently. Many people I help through LiveChat cannot afford an attorney, and the help they receive is very valuable to them. LiveChat is one more tool in the legal community's toolbelt to keep those who cannot afford a private attorney from falling through the cracks.
On his pro bono work on LiveChat
I began volunteering as a LiveChat representative during my second year of law school because it enabled me to help my community while also completing my schoolwork. Most law students intend to practice law post-graduation, and LiveChat gives them a small taste of that while in school. Being a LiveChat volunteer in law school taught me law and skills that I use in my practice today.
LiveChat also allows me to serve our community in a manner that fits well with my practice. I can log on weekly and help Texans in need. I often cannot fully solve the website visitors' legal issues; however, I can provide guidance and give them hope that they will be able to overcome their situation.
On working with clients on LiveChat
I have had many enjoyable and memorable chat sessions. One that sticks out the most is a young mother in an abusive relationship. I could feel the desperation as she explained how she did not know what to do or who to contact. I was able to provide her with resources in her area to help her get out of this situation. By the end of the chat session, this young woman went from desperate with no hope to being empowered with a plan. Sessions like this one often happen on LiveChat.
On the importance of providing virtual legal assistance in Texas
In today's world, when we have a problem, we go to the internet. The legal community needs to be where the needs of our communities are being met. Furthermore, virtual assistance for many people may be their only option. If we are not there to help, these people will go unserved.
In an ideal world, I would be able to sit down with each person I chat with to provide help; however, that is not feasible. Remotely helping people allows me to serve a more significant number of people in a way that meets their needs. Despite never meeting the visitors face-to-face, I genuinely feel I am making a difference in each one's life. It is enriching.
On advice to the legal community interested in volunteering through LiveChat
Do it. We have a duty to serve our community, and LiveChat is a very efficient way to do so. Do not hesitate to contact me if you want more information.
LiveChat is a fantastic opportunity to do pro bono work in a way that is sustainable in the long term. It is rewarding. It is fun. If you are looking for a way to give back, give it a shot.