HARRISBURG (April 28, 2011) - The Dauphin County Bar Foundation and Elena Park of Cozen O'Connor's West Conshohocken office will receive Louis J. Goffman Awards from the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation for outstanding pro bono support and service. The awards, named for a late Pennsylvania Bar Association president, will be presented May 4 during the Pennsylvania Bar Association Annual Meeting awards luncheon at the Philadelphia Sheraton City Center Hotel.
The Dauphin County Bar Foundation is being recognized for its "We Care about Children" campaign that raised funds to employ a dedicated custody attorney at the Dauphin County office of MidPenn Legal Services. MidPenn is a non-profit, public-interest law firm that provides civil legal services to low-income residents and survivors of domestic violence.
In late 2008, the foundation made a leadership commitment of $100,000 and challenged the county's lawyers and the business community to raise an additional $225,000, which would provide five years of payroll support for the dedicated custody attorney. Presentations by foundation supporters offered a focused message that legal aid helps stabilize low-income families and, therefore, helps stabilize the community and the workforce. The custody attorney was hired last December and the foundation is continuing its campaign this year to meet its total fundraising goal.
The Dauphin County Bar Foundation campaign is modeled on similar campaigns conducted during 2004 and 2008 in Lancaster County and during 2007 in York County. Together, these campaigns have raised more than $1 million to support the employment of attorneys dedicated to custody matters involving low-income families.
Elena Park provides legal consultation and representation for indigent clients with immigration issues such as the consequences of entering the U.S. without inspection, work authorization, visa processing, asylum, cancellation of deportation, paths to legalization and raids Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.
Park has been involved in several high-profile cases, including litigation in Hazleton (Lozano V. City of Hazelton) in which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit declared unconstitutional a local ordinance that sought to penalize landlords and employers for renting to or hiring the undocumented.
Park teaches, mentors and lobbies to support pro bono agencies that help indigent clients with immigration issues, and she speaks frequently to legal, business and community groups about immigration law. She also writes about immigration law for professional journals such as the National Law Journal and Workforce Management.
Park is a member of the American Bar Association, American Immigration Lawyers Association, Asian Bar Association, International Association of Korean Lawyers, Montgomery Bar Association and Pennsylvania Bar Association.
She holds degrees from the University of Toronto and Temple University Beasley School of Law.
The Pennsylvania Bar Foundation, the charitable affiliate of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, improves the public's understanding of the law and its appreciation of democracy and strives to ensure that citizens, particularly Pennsylvania's most vulnerable, have full access to our legal system. The foundation accomplishes its mission by making grants, seeking financial support from individuals and organizations both within and outside of the legal community, and encouraging bar members to donate their time, talent and expertise in service to the public.