Former West Chester Borough Council President Joins Gawthrop Greenwood

Ellen B KoopmanEllen B. Koopman (Submitted Image)

WEST CHESTER, PAGawthrop Greenwood, PC, a regional law firm with offices in West Chester, PA and Greater Wilmington, DE, this week welcomed Ellen B. Koopman as an associate attorney practicing in municipal government law as well as land use, land development and zoning.

As a former President of West Chester Borough Council, Koopman knows what it’s like to be in the shoes of her municipal clients, including those embarking on a career in public service. She draws on her professional experience as both a public servant — and an attorney representing public servants — to assist municipal clients throughout Chester County with identifying their ultimate goals and creating a strategy to achieve them.

Koopman has served as a municipal solicitor to a multitude of elected officials, advising townships and planning commissions on scope of authority, drafting ordinances and resolutions and representing municipalities in land use and zoning matters in the Court of Common Pleas. As solicitor for the Department of Children, Youth and Families in Chester County, she represented the agency in dependency and other matters in the Court of Common Pleas and defended indications of child abuse before the Bureau of Hearings and Appeals.

“The pandemic has reinforced how important local government decisions are to our everyday lives. Ellen’s years of municipal service as well as more than 12 years in the Public Defender’s Office are an asset to elected officials as we help them navigate the next phases of recovery plans,” said Patrick McKenna, chair of the management committee at Gawthrop Greenwood, PC.

Koopman began her career clerking in the Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia for Major Trials in the Criminal Division. She then served more than a decade as Assistant Public Defender in the Chester County Public Defender’s office, engaging in more than 20 trials including nine felony jury trials. Clients appreciate Koopman’s depth of experience litigating pre- and post-trial motions, misdemeanor and felony jury and non-jury trials, as well as drafting written motions, arguing positions in court and advocating for clients in sentencing proceedings. She has briefed and argued appeals before the Pennsylvania Superior Court.

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Koopman earned her Juris Doctor at Temple University Beasley School of Law and her undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago. A member of the Chester County Bar Association, Koopman has served on the Grants Allocation Committee and the Education Committee for the Chester County Fund for Women and Girls.

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