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ABA to Honor One of Our Own

(Article originally appeared in SIDEBAR, Summer 2011)

MBA Member Elena Park, a lawyer with Cozen O’Connor in West Conshohocken, is among just three individuals and two firms being honored nationally for outstanding pro bono efforts.  Park will be honored on August 8th, 2011 at the Pro Bono Publico Awards Luncheon: an event taking place at the ABA’s Annual Meeting in Toronto. The Pro Bono Publico Awards honor individuals and organizations in the legal community that enhance the human dignity of others by improving or delivering volunteer legal services to the poor or disadvantaged.

Park originally joined the Montgomery Bar Association in 2004 and has served as a member of our Diversity Committee.  She devotes nearly 200 hours of pro bono time annually to her pro bono immigration practice where she’s assisted arguably the most impoverished, needy, and least accepted segment of our population -- undocumented aliens. For over 10 years, Elena has volunteered her time teaching, educating, mentoring, lobbying for and supporting pro bono agencies that help indigent clients on immigration matters.

"The difference between good and great lawyers is that great ones make a difference in society. That’s fundamentally what pro bono does. It is crucial to taking on this country’s appalling lack of access to justice, without which there is no rule of law," said ABA President Stephen N. Zack. "These awardees represent the best of our profession. This award appropriately honors their work," he added.  President Zack will present the 2011 awards. The keynote speaker for the luncheon is David Jacobson, the U.S. ambassador to Canada.

This isn’t the first time Elena’s efforts have been recognized.  She’s received honors from the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation (Pro Bono Award, 2011), the PBA (Pro Bono Award, 2007 and 2010; Contribution to the Legal Community, 2010) and the media (Legal Intelligencer, 2007; Thomson Reuters, December 2008). In addition to being an active member of the Montgomery Bar Association and Pennsylvania Bar Association, Park is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Pennsylvania, and the ABA.

Please be sure to congratulate Elena on a job well done!  More information on the Pro Bono Publico Awards and the 2011 recipients is available on the ABA’s website, americanbar.org.