Elena Park, Cozen O'Connor
West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania
For nearly ten years, Elena Park has provided pro bono legal counsel and representation to the indigent on complex immigration matters including work authorization, visa processing, asylum, cancellation of deportation, paths to legalization and raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials. She regularly devotes over 200 hours of pro bono time a year to her pro bono immigration practice. As an active member of her firm's Pro Bono Committee and program, she has worked with Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS), the Philadelphia Bar Association's Volunteers for the Indigent Project (VIP), and the ACLU.
Park has been driven by the desire to assist the arguably most impoverished, most needy, and least accepted segment of our population -- undocumented aliens. Her fight has been not only to assist in securing legal status in the United States, but also to help develop and support the immigration rights advocacy infrastructure in her community. To that end, she has volunteered a considerable amount of time teaching, educating, mentoring, lobbying and supporting pro bono agencies that help indigent clients on immigration matters.
Park has managed to obtain legal status for clients in extremely difficult cases that no one else was willing to take on. Her efforts have been recognized by the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation (Pro Bono Award 2011), Pennsylvania Bar Association (Pro Bono Award 2007 and 2010, Contribution to the Legal Community 2010) and the media (Legal Intelligencer 2007, Thomas Reuters Dec 2008). She traces her devotion to helping the indigent in immigration matters from her own personal background. A child of Korean immigrants, her parents came to this country with virtually nothing and struggled to make ends meet. Nevertheless, they instilled in her a strong work ethic, a drive for professional excellence, and the desire to help those in need. Park takes great personal and professional satisfaction in helping the needy from around the world achieve the American dream