Bright Horizons
Family law attorney Sheryl R. Rentz applies her passion and experience to helping others through the toughest of times
by Pete Croatto and Leigh Stuart

Ardmore attorney Sheryl R. Rentz excels at helping individuals through the often turbulent and complicated world of family law. She approaches each case with preparation, passion and solid planning, as well as the business savvy one can only acquire after having lived the fast-paced life of a corporate achiever.

Sheryl always knew she wanted to pursue a career in law, yet abundant opportunities in the business world initially led her down a different path. She had many options upon earning her MBA—not the least of which was a teaching position at Drexel University—and chose to follow one can’t-miss opportunity to pursue a corporate career with what was then Western Electric’s brand new marketing division. She quickly found herself in a position of power and prestige, wherein she not only met with influential politicians and generals but also worked with them on a daily basis.

Yet, despite all the glamour and travel that came with this position, Sheryl felt unfulfilled. She felt drawn her true passion—a career in law—and decided she could delay pursuing her dream no longer.

She began attending night classes at Temple University’s James E. Beasley School of Law while working at Bell Labs, which was a division of Western Electric in the 1980s. After earning her Juris Doctor in 1991, she promptly decided to strike out on her own.

Fate stepped in once again when Sheryl found herself regularly approached for work, though not in the telecommunications field with which she had grown so familiar. She found that her prospective telecommunications clients had more immediate needs—namely, issues surrounding child support and divorces. They asked if she could help with those matters, and her answer was a resounding “yes.”

The more complex cases, she learned, necessitated a certain level of business sense and many of the analytical skills she had used in her “past life” to evaluate stock options and stock grants. Fortunately for clients, Sheryl understood tax issues that tended to leave other attorneys flustered. Even better, she says, “I just liked the work.”

The rest, as they say, is history.

Today, Sheryl works in a thriving office, wherein she serves clients living in Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties. She has also amassed a five-star team that includes her paralegal, Linda Byrne, who has been by her side for almost 20 years, and her assistant, Liz Robbins, who has been with Sheryl for more than three years. A third team member, whose role is less loquacious but no less vital, is Sheryl’s dog, Carly Rose, which has a regular presence at the office.

Sheryl’s time in the engineering field—a field that is all about preparation and careful measurements—proved an excellent training ground for her career as an attorney. She readies for her cases tirelessly, poring over newly minted case law to ensure her clients are benefiting from the most up-to-date information available.

Sheryl knows, however, that family law is about much more than just facts and figures. She also excels at dealing with the human side of matters. For example, to help witnesses feel as comfortable as possible with proceedings, she will work with them to prepare for the often daunting experience of testifying in court.

Sheryl also knows that every case is different. As such, she approaches each client’s situation as a wholly unique one. If needed, she determines what external experts are necessary to lend a hand or provide testimony. Not one to waste time, Sheryl prefers to assemble such a team as quickly as possible so the client knows exactly who is on his or her side. The same efficiency applies to the discovery process. At every step, the client is integrally involved in the process.

“I explain to clients the law but also the process,” Sheryl says. “Getting through a divorce, getting through custody, getting through support, getting through a protection from abuse [order]—everything has a process, so it is important they understand what to expect, how to expect it, and the sequence of events.”

Sheryl assures each client that he or she has a skilled team in their corner. In court, though, she emphasizes, “I’ve prepped for the case and when you retain me, you get me.”

And when she says, “You get me,” she means it. She can be easily contacted via phone or email, and her two-person staff is familiar with every client.

Moreover, Sheryl understands that with each client, a major life event lies in her hands, so she knows that familiarity and communication are essential. Sheryl keeps her clients abreast of all matters and communication involving their case, no matter how diminutive a detail may seem. For example, should Sheryl place a call to opposing counsel, and the call goes unanswered, Sheryl will text her client to inform him or her about the lack of feedback. “It takes all of 20 to 30 seconds, but at least the client feels they were kept in the loop,” she says.

The same logic applies when Sheryl is on the receiving end of a request, such as a long email that arrives while she is in court. Sheryl will respond to the client via text to confirm receipt of the email and will assure him or her that the matter will be dealt with at the earliest possible opportunity. Measures such as these ease clients’ minds and let them know that they are at the forefront of her list of priorities.

When a decision is finally entered, Sheryl wants her clients to be in a position to have a fresh start, especially if children are involved. She says nothing is more rewarding than when a decision ensures that all parties involved, meaning parents and children, have the opportunity for a new and clean start, with a bright future on the horizon.

The Law Offices of Sheryl R. Rentz
326 W. Lancaster Ave., Suite 100
Ardmore, PA 19003

Photograph by Jody Robinson