Alex Morkill: Helping People Access their Constitutional Rights

Friday, January 22, 2016
Alex Morkill believes everyone should have access to their Constitutional rights, regardless of their ability to afford a lawyer. That’s why volunteering at the ACLU has “a feel good-purpose to it,” he said. “It’s a storied organization.”

Drawing on his background as a paralegal, Alex works as a volunteer in the ACLU-WA’s Legal Intake Department, listening to people with legal concerns and connecting them with resources that can help.

A sense of purpose is important to Alex, who earned a degree in environmental science from Seattle University but decided he could have a bigger impact by becoming a paralegal. He’s considering becoming a Limited License Legal Technician, or “triple LT.”

Washington is the first state in the nation to offer this new level of legal professional, who is licensed to assist clients on specific areas of law. Alex hopes Washington’s program will pave the way for other states to make legal services more affordable.

A Spokane native who grew up on a farm, Alex spent much of his childhood playing chess. He competed in national tournaments while in grade school.

Academics eventually took precedence over chess competitions, but Alex says the game had a lasting influence; it helped him develop critical thinking skills and learn to deal with defeat.
In chess, Alex said, your mistakes can teach you more than your wins— if you let them.

“It’s a matter of putting your ego aside and really studying those mistakes, he said. “And then really building on them.”