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Volunteer Spotlight Published August 11, 2021

Leena Ketkar

Meet VIP’s Volunteer of the Month

Last week, the Pew Charitable Trusts reported that Philadelphia has at least 10,000 “tangled titles,” representing $1.1 billion of family wealth in jeopardy. Philadelphia VIP is proud to support volunteer attorneys who donate their time and talent to address the city’s tangled title problem.

VIP’s Volunteer of the Month for August, Leena Ketkar of the real estate practice group at Blank Rome, LLP, is among those volunteers tackling tangled title head-on.

How does your work with VIP make a difference?

“I think access to justice for low-income Philadelphians should be a concern for all of us. Housing is a basic, fundamental need, and being able to help just one family keep their home is a privilege.

“One of my VIP clients, a single mother of two, is dealing with a tangled title matter. Her house has been in her family for some time, and it holds a lot of sentimental value. What stands out to me about her is how appreciative she is and how hard she is working to provide a better life for her family. My experience with her has solidified how meaningful it is to own a home, as well as the sense of security it provides.”

What has volunteering with VIP done for you?

“I was introduced to VIP by another volunteer, a partner at my firm. I was inspired to get involved by his enthusiasm, and by the passion I saw in the VIP team members I met.

“I am thankful that my firm is so committed to pro bono work and that it gives us the resources and time to participate in pro bono work that is meaningful to us. Personally, I feel lucky that I have the skillset to help people in my community.

“Volunteering with VIP has made me feel more connected with my community and my neighbors and allowed me to use my legal knowledge to tangibly help my community.”