Clayton Morgan Receives Corporate Counselor’s Award

Clayton Morgan of Duke Energy in Raleigh received the Corporate Counselor’s Award on April 8 at the virtual annual meeting of the North Carolina Bar Association Corporate Counsel Section. Morgan has been with Duke Energy and its predecessors since 1996, serving as Associate General Counsel since 2004.

Morgan serves as chair of the Legal Aid of North Carolina Board of Directors and as co-chair of the NCBA Awards and Recognitions Committee. He is a past chair of the Corporate Counsel Section, past chair of the Nominating Committee, and past co-chair of the NCBA Minorities in the Profession Committee.

Morgan served from 2011-14 on the NCBA Board of Governors and the North Carolina Bar Foundation Board of Directors.

In discussing the honor, Morgan noted wryly that the Counselor’s Award was established to honor the “superstars” of the profession based on various criteria.

“As I have never considered myself a ‘superstar’ in the profession,” Morgan said, “this honor really came as a shock to me. I’m just one person trying to honor the profession by using my talent in the best way possible. To have one’s peers bestow an honor such as this on you is remarkable because it says you are trying to do something right.”

Morgan knew at an early age that he wanted to be a part of the legal profession.

“As I grew in the profession,” Morgan said, “I instinctively knew that when you answer the call to become a part of this noble profession, inclusive in that calling is your willingness to use your gifts to not only advance the goals/objectives of your employer but to also help others overcome their individualized adversity. Every week, thousands of attorneys in this state do just what I do: we roll up our sleeves, manage our hectic schedules during the day, answer the call to be an involved spouse/parent after work, serve on community/state boards after hours, volunteer for various pro bono assignments and zealously guard our work/home life balance (so we are able to daily recharge our bodies).

“We don’t perform any of our after-hour duties for any accolades. Rather, we do it because our training can be used to pay it forward in a number of ways. I just happen to be the one who was recognized by my peers for doing so – and I am grateful for that recognition.”

As a member of the NCBA and the Corporate Counsel Section for 30 years, Morgan is also grateful for the impact these memberships have had on his career.

“As a member of both the NCBA and Corporate Counsel Section, I can truly state that it has served as a major catalyst for my overall career growth,” Morgan said. “At the macro level, early in my career my NCBA involvement allowed me to step out of my comfort zone in a number of ways. Whether it was serving on panels, leading/co-leading Committees/Section or just being a fly on the wall and benefitting from the wealth of talent in a room, I have been enriched beyond measure.

“At the micro level, the Corporate Counsel Section has afforded me the opportunity to enjoy the peer-to-peer networking/collaboration which are quite enjoyable and necessary. However, in addition to that benefit, at its core, the atmosphere of the Corporate Counsel Section is more intimate and personal – allowing its cadre of in-house attorneys to make/solidify lifetime relationships, all while working together to keep our members abreast of the opportunities and challenges to our ever-changing in-house profession.

“As attorneys, we tend to be driven by our abilities to solve problems through our own strength. However, in both the Corporate Counsel Section and the NCBA at large, my career has been strengthened and fortified by both sharing my individualized approaches to issues while simultaneously learning from this state’s stellar legal professionals.”

Morgan is the third recipient of the Corporate Counselor Award, preceded by Guy Brooks (2016) and Tamara J. Stringer (2017).

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