Volunteer Legal Services is proud to honor Amy Wilburn Morseburg as Pro Bono Services’ Volunteer of the Month for her work with Volunteer Legal Services and the Make Change! Debt Education Workshop. Although Morseburg has only been volunteering for a year, she has made an incredible impact for our clients in that short span of time.
Morseburg’s enthusiastic and engaging approach when explaining the consumer bankruptcy process for Make Change! workshop attendees really makes an often difficult subject more understandable and free of dreaded legalese. Moreover, when she is working directly with her VLS clients who are filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, her empathy for her clients makes her both a passionate and compassionate volunteer attorney.
On a personal level, I feel incredibly lucky that Amy is so involved with VLS because we attended law school together. It is so amazing to see a former classmate who is committed and dedicated to pro bono work.
Morseburg answered a few questions about volunteering and what makes her tick.
Q. What is your most memorable volunteer experience?
A. Working with a VLS client who, through lengthy discussion, we got to the root of her financial problems. Bankruptcy is part of the solution, but finding resources that will address the larger problems is what stays with me. I never want a repeat client.
Q. If possible, please share a brief client story.
A. I had a client who was a homeless veteran. He was employed full time, but was living in his car. His wages had been garnished and so he couldn’t save enough to get a down payment on an apartment, much less get ahead in life.
He filed bankruptcy, got into an apartment, got some needed repairs to his car, and is moving forward in life. The best day was when I got to deliver to him a check for the funds which had been garnished, but were not being refunded to him. It wasn’t a lot to many of us, but to him it made a world of difference. It was very rewarding to be his advocate.
Q. What does pro bono mean to you?
A. Pro bono to me means using one’s gifts for the common good.
Q. What is the biggest challenge with helping the clients in the Make Change! Debt Education Workshop?
A. Clients often have transportation difficulties, language barriers and other hurdles to overcome. Being patient and flexible is part of the job.
Q. What is your must-have office supply?
A. My calculator.
Q. Favorite Supreme Court justice?
A. The Notorious RBS, closely followed by Sonia Sotomayor.
Q. Who is your favorite pet and what is their name?
A. If I had a dog, I’d name her Dixie, to honor my Southern heritage. Instead, I have two kitties named Ariel and Bella.
Q. If you were a superhero, who would you be? Why?
A. I always thought I’d be Wonder Woman, because: a) she’s an Amazonian and I, too, am tall; and b) who wouldn’t want an invisible jet, a lasso of truth, a job in the Pentagon and sassy skirts?