2018 Award Recipient: Bob Lukens, Esq.

Bob Lukens, Esq. is the Supervising Attorney of Community Legal Services’ Intake Unit at their North Philadelphia Law Center. Our nonprofit partner Community Legal Services (CLS) provides free civil legal assistance to more than one million low-income Philadelphians. CLS assists clients when they face the threat of losing their home, income, health care, and even their families.

Mr. Lukens has devoted the majority of his career to the public interest community, serving as a legal aid attorney for over two decades. He currently serves as an advocate for borrowers in the Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion Program, which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year. The program was created in 2008 in the midst of the financial crisis, giving homeowners an opportunity to communicate with their lenders in an effort to save their homes. In 2008, Mr. Lukens began working with the Philadelphia Legal Assistance Save Your Home Philly Hotline, where he was in charge of ensuring that thorough and proper intake was taking place. Mr. Lukens’s support of homeowners risking foreclosure continues through his position at CLS. Mr. Lukens continues to run conciliation conferences, scheduled for every Thursday morning and afternoon. He has been be present for these Thursday sessions nearly every week for the past 10 years.

Mr. Lukens has also helped support future advocates for homeowners and has led nearly a dozen trainings for Philadelphia VIP attorney volunteers representing borrowers in the Diversion Program, breaking down complicated area of law and giving volunteers the confidence needed to advocate for their clients. He also taught at Temple University’s Beasley School of Law, working with students and preparing the city’s next generation of attorneys.


"The Diversion Program is celebrating its ten-year anniversary this June. Over the past ten years, the Diversion Program has saved over 11,000 homes and has become a national model for a judicial response to the foreclosure crisis. Bob has been 'on the ground' in Courtroom 676 for hundreds of Thursday mediation sessions, and his presence and devotion to the program are a large part of why it has been so successful."
- The Honorable Rosalyn K. Robinson

“Bob Lukens exemplifies the best of what a legal aid attorney is: one who zealously advocates for people when they are at their most vulnerable. One who does not shy away from stark challenges and refuses to compromise for less than clients deserve. One with boundless energy to provide clients with honest, thoughtful, and compassionate counsel. And one who inspires others to do the same. Bob Lukens is the kind of attorney who law students aspire to be when they enter the profession.”
- Sophie Bryan, Executive Director of Philadelphia VIP

"Bob has cemented a role in the Morgage Foreclosue Diversion Program of leadership and dedication to the citizens of Philadelphia who need his guidance the most. Bob's lifelong contributions to nonprofit legal services make him the ideal candidate for this award."
- KML Law Group, PC

“Bob maintains an encyclopedic knowledge of the arcane and intricate rules governing mortgage loan modifications, as well as the statutes and caselaw that govern consumer rights litigation. But what is even more impressive is how he can, in one instant, have a conversation with another experienced lawyer regarding the nuances of, for example, FHA HAMP lien priority issues, and then moments later, her home. He does all of this with an unflappable patience that serves to bring parties together to resolve disputes.”
- Michael Froehlich, Managing Attorney at Community Legal Services

“For the past 10 years, Bob has worked tirelessly with the Philadelphia Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion Program. He has dedicated his life to helping those in need and has changed countless lives. We simply cannot overstate his contribution to the success of this nationally renowned program. Without Bob, homeowners, housing counselors, court staff, and lenders would be far worse off in this process.”
- The Honorable Annette M. Rizzo (Ret.)