Today we would like to highlight Manny Bamrah, a LiveHelp Volunteer for LawHelpNY, and his experience working with the live chat support program.
Volunteers staff LiveHelp, an online, real-time chat service that directs users toward relevant self-help materials, legal services organizations, and court information.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your career journey.
My name is Manny, I have been a LiveHelp Operator with LawHelpNY since June 2023. I am also a foreign applicant candidate to the New York State Bar and currently working towards being licensed as an Attorney in the state of New York. I am also working towards becoming a licensed lawyer in Alberta, Canada.
I went to law school in the United Kingdom at the University of Leicester for 3 years and completed a LLB Degree in 2014. I have also completed a BA from the University of Toronto in Management in 2011.
I have over 5+ years of experience working in a Call Center with progressive experience working from agent/TL/Supervisor and management experience in sales across multiple campaigns.
Why did you choose to volunteer as a Live Help Operator?
LawHelpNY was the perfect opportunity to assist me with New York State Licensing requirements as a foreign applicant and to learn about New York State and their legal issues.
It was also a great opportunity to further understand New York-specific legal issues and assist New Yorkers with self-help tools, resources, legal information, and find legal organizations that could assist in resolving their problems.
Being a live help operator is so much fun because it is remote, easy to navigate, and easy to learn from all the great training manuals that are provided. [The LiveHelp Program]…will provide you with all the learning tools necessary to assist New Yorkers, and their staff is so friendly as well.
How has working as a Live Help Operator impacted you?
It has been a tremendous experience to assist people from New York State, by providing them with legal information, self-help tools, and referrals to legal organizations to assist them with they’re legal problems. It has also allowed me to expand my skill set and increase my knowledge about New York State Law. The mission of the LiveHelp program perfectly aligned with my career and professional development goals and I look forward to continuing to contribute.
[This experience] has allowed me to gain a better understanding of New York State legal issues and understanding the difference between providing legal advice vs providing self-help tools, information, resources, and referrals. Providing pro bono assistance can make a difference in people’s lives and I am so happy to be able to contribute towards resolving issues for people who face legal problems in New York State.
What advice would you give to future volunteers?
As a foreign candidate for the New York State attorney license, working with LawHelpNY, Probono.net, and all their stakeholders has been an excellent experience. Volunteering for an organization as great as LawHelpNY will inspire you to believe in the assistance being provided to New Yorkers to resolve their issues, as pro bono work in the legal profession is always a good opportunity to give back to those who don’t have access to justice.
[The LiveHelp program] is the right initiative for any law student to start off their career with. It’s a great way to feel good about helping New Yorkers by providing them with free legal help, and self-help information including court forms, court locations, legal organizations in their county, and how the court system works.
My advice would be to remain patient and know that each shift is different. Some days can be really busy and others not so much. It is important to stay ready to assist when the opportunity presents itself and follow the guidelines in the training manual.
Once you get chat experience, you will start to get the idea of how best to provide assistance to chat users. It took me several shifts to get the hang of how to best provide assistance to chat users and use canned responses effectively. I remained patient and was ultimately able to get a better understanding of how to navigate the tools provided to us as chat operators to assist chat users.
If you’re looking for a well-run organization, look no further than Probono.net’s LawHelpNY initiative as volunteering for their organization will make you feel good about helping New Yorkers who face legal problems and also allow you to obtain professional development by completing the 50 Hour NYS Pro Bono Requirement.
Ultimately, it is always a rewarding experience to help someone in need of assistance and I hope to build upon my experiences with [the LiveHelp program] to use in future opportunities to assist New Yorkers who face legal problems.