Family Matters
Attorney Erin C. Lentz-McMahon offers exceptional legal counsel in all matters of family law
by Jenny Graham

Erin C. Lentz-McMahon, Esquire, a partner at the firm of McMahon, McMahon & Lentz, believes matters of family law—including divorce, distribution of assets, custody and protection from abuse—require more than simply knowledge of the facts.

“I think that people going through these types of situations need somebody who has patience and empathy, and I think that I’m the type of person that has a really big heart,” she says. “I really like to take the time to get to know people. When you’re practicing family law, you are becoming involved in the intimate details of people’s lives. It’s not just contract drafting—people need help.”

Her instinct to pursue a career wherein she could utilize this concern for others to help many people proved a driving force behind Lentz-McMahon’s decision to go into law. She pursued, and earned, her undergraduate degree from Gannon University in Erie through the paralegal studies program, minoring in criminal justice and leadership studies. Lentz-McMahon went on to attend Widener University School of Law in Harrisburg, ultimately earning her Juris Doctor degree in 2005. That same year, she served as a law clerk for the Honorable Robert G. Bigham, a prominent family and orphans’ court judge in Adams County.

It wasn’t until the following year, however, that Lentz-McMahon, who is originally from a small, rural area in western Pennsylvania, embarked upon the cross-state move that would start her new chapter in life. Lentz-McMahon accepted a position as a law clerk with another illustrious local figure, Justice Sandra Schultz Newman, the first female ever elected to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, and has resided locally ever since.

After honing her courtroom skills for nearly two years as a Montgomery County prosecutor, Lentz-McMahon decided to branch out on her own in 2008 by founding her own firm. Then, in 2010, Lentz-McMahon joined forces with her husband, John I. McMahon Jr., Esquire, who had already established himself as leader of the firm, which was started by his father in 1961.

The firm has grown significantly in the time since. Along with her husband and Brooks Thompson, who joined the team several years ago, the attorneys of McMahon, McMahon & Lentz represent clients in a gamut of criminal defense, personal injury matters and Lentz-McMahon’s area of focus, family law.

At present, Lentz-McMahon is working to obtain certification as a transformative mediator, which will qualify her to serve an active role in the mediation process during which divorcing pairs engage in conversation with one another to facilitate decision making regarding family and custody matters that arise during the course of a separation. “The end goal is not to reach a conclusion; rather, it is an opportunity for the involved parties to have a discussion with one another,” she explains, noting the process is meant to “empower parties to hear one another,” and lead the parties to discuss the parameters for dissolving their marriage.

Since embarking upon her professional career approximately a decade ago, Lentz-McMahon has earned licenses to practice in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey, joined several notable professional organizations and lectured as a representative of her field at conventions of colleagues. She is an active member of the Montgomery County Bar Association, the Pennsylvania Bar Association and the Montgomery County American Inn of Courts, as well as the Doris Jonas Freed American Inn of Court for Matrimonial Lawyers.

As if these affiliations weren’t enough to speak to her dedication to law, Lentz-McMahon also volunteers as a legal aid attorney for indigent parties in need of family law representation. She has also provided pro bono representation for minors through her work with the Montgomery County Child Advocacy Project, an organization she says “has been very, very helpful in being able to ensure that children have a voice and have an advocate.”

As an attorney focused on family law, Lentz-McMahon has helped many people through very difficult times in their lives, including divorces and related issues such as custody and division of assets. These matters are sensitive and difficult to navigate, requiring not just skill in law but excellent listening and communication skills. One former family law client, to be referred to as simply “Brad” for reasons of confidentiality, says Lentz-McMahon displayed excellence in all of these arenas.

Brad first met Lentz-McMahon three years ago, when he was prompted to seek out her aid as he was going through what he describes as an emotional and tumultuous divorce.

“It was a rollercoaster ride,” he says of the split. “I was in uncharted territory that was emotionally and financially unpredictable. It was not what you would call a very agreeable set of circumstances.”

Brad says that during this trying time, Lentz-McMahon proved a valuable asset. She not only helped to swiftly and expertly draft legal documents, but she also displayed an even temperament that had a soothing effect.

“She’s a very steady, consistent person with a level approach. I’d get upset, and she’d calm me down. She definitely ‘talked me off the ledge’ a couple of times,” he says. “She just took care of things. I didn’t have to sweat, or endure anything.”

Lentz-McMahon, he says, spearheaded communication with involved people as well as the courts systems, completing all necessary paperwork with skill.

“As far as a divorce goes, I don’t think it could have been any more comfortable than it was,” Brad says. “Any time I needed something to be conveyed, she conveyed it. I never was adrift or uninformed. … She was very thorough, and she is very personable, very professional and very knowledgeable.”

Yet another client she helped through a divorce, John, was similarly impressed with Lentz-McMahon’s work on his case. John explains that while he and the woman from whom he sought separation were amicable regarding custody issues, he did require professional assistance in determining dissolution of assets. He says that Lentz-McMahon met with him whenever necessary, and that she was very good in negotiating and documenting all necessary matters.

“She just knows the ins and outs of the law,” John says. “She’s very intelligent, very knowledgeable when it comes to divorces, and just a great person overall.”

Now, clients such as Brad and John will have another office at which to conduct business with Lentz-McMahon. She has just opened a new office that will operate out of her home, a decision she says is meant to help create a comfortable environment where even the most apprehensive of family law clients can feel at ease.

“A lot of people have a hard time opening up and sharing their experiences,” Lentz-McMahon says. “I think this [home environment] will offer people a unique setting that other firms don’t offer. We’re opening our home.”

The firm will, of course maintain, its other office locations in Norristown and Jenkintown, so that clients who wish to conduct business in a more formal setting can do so; however, Lentz-McMahon feels the home office, which will feature a stately great room as well as office space, will add a new dynamic to the firm’s client interactions.

McMahon, McMahon & Lentz

1617 Montgomery Ave.
Villanova, PA 19085

21 W. Airy St.
Norristown, PA 19401

The Pavilion
261 Old York Road, Suite 525A
Jenkintown, PA 19046

Photograph by Jody Robinson