CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Matt Manning was born and raised in Austin and got his law degree from the University of Toldeo. He has been a lawyer for about eight years now and currently practices as a personal injury and civil rights lawyer.
He said the amount of social change he can make as a lawyer was what inspired him to get into the law field.
Work is what brought Manning to Nueces County and he has made it his mission to continue the work of past civil rights leaders.
“I’m just trying to continue the legacy that I’ve been born from…and I do that through trying to help people of all walks…in particular black people as well…through legal practice,” Manning said.
He worked as a prosecutor for the City of Corpus Christi and for three years he was the first assistant district attorney for Mark Gonzalez, the current district attorney of Nueces County.
Lisa Greenberg was his mentor before he started working for Gonzalez. When Manning took the job with Gonzalez, he was put on cases against her. However, Greenberg said even though they have gotten in some heated arguments, they still have a close relationship and said she admires his passion.
“There are certain people that you meet that really strive to do the right thing and when they believe in something…they’re not going to sit down and be quiet…they’re going to stand up and do what they believe is right…and that’s Matt,” Greenberg said.
Outside of being a lawyer, Manning has spoken at a Black Lives Matter rally and transgender day of remembrance ceremonies. He was also vocal about ending the Dixie song, which used to be Refugio District’s fight song, and said the song is rooted in racism.
People like John Garcia, Manning’s intern while Garcia was in college, said they collaborate ideas on current events, especially ones involving civil rights.
“We bounce ideas off of each other all the time on what he has coming up, and what he’s going to be working on, and what he’s excited about, and what he needs to go out there and say in the public forum,” Garcia said.
Manning was thinking of running for President at one point, but said he is not pursuing it any longer; he said he would rather be impactful.
His message to young African American youth struggling to find justice in today’s system is to find their role in movements that have to do with civil rights.