A Philadelphia paralegal who has worked in the profession for three
decades, and has been with the city’s office of the firm Pepper Hamilton since 2002, was recently given the 2013 Pro Bono Award from the Philadelphia Association of Paralegals, according to a Pepper Hamilton news announcement.
Karen Aloia, who works as a senior paralegal in Pepper Hamilton’s Trusts and Estates Practice Group, was recognized for her work with the group Philadelphia VIP on a mortgage foreclosure diversion program that began back in 2008.
Aloia has been involved with the program since its inception, according to her law firm.
Aloia handles intake during mortgage foreclosure conciliation conferences, she reviews cases and provides case summaries to VIP staff, and she serves as the organization’s representative to clients, housing counselors and court personnel, according to Pepper Hamilton’s news release.
Philadelphia VIP bills itself as the “hub of pro bono legal services in Philadelphia."
The organization’s website says Philadelphia VIP promotes equal justice for poor residents through pro bono civil legal services.
It works in conjunction with other legal service organizations and is dedicated to promoting a “culture of volunteerism by educating and exposing attorneys and law students to issues of poverty.”
In a letter to the Philadelphia Association of Paralegals, Sara Woods, VIP’s executive director, said that thanks to Aloia’s hard work and dedication to the mortgage foreclosure program at VIP, many poor city residents who would likely otherwise not be able to secure legal representation when trying to save his or her home from foreclosure have been able to obtain pro bono legal assistance.
“Mortgage foreclosure is an incredibly stressful situation and Karen not only provides technical assistance, but she listens to client stories with empathy and provides the front line support of which so many clients are in need,” Woods said in her letter to PAP, of which Aloia has been an active member throughout much of her legal career.
Aloia is also a past board member and treasure of the PAP, according to Pepper Hamilton.
Pepper Hamilton employs more than 500 attorneys and additional staff nationwide.
The firm, which has offices in seven states and Washington, D.C., specializes in providing corporate, litigation and regulatory legal services to companies, governmental entities, nonprofit groups and people both nationally and internationally.
Earlier this year, Pepper Hamilton tapped former FBI director and federal judge Louis Freeh to serve as the law firm’s new chairman.
Freeh had previously headed an internal investigation by Penn State University as to the extent of the school’s knowledge of the events surrounding the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal.