May 18, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

PEM Law Opens With a Forward-Thinking Business Model

Avi Kelin

Teaneck attorney Avi Kelin and seven colleagues have launched PEM Law, a full-service firm located in West Orange and licensed in New Jersey and New York. The decision to form PEM was driven by a shared vision to reshape the legal industry by pioneering a business model they believe represents the future of law firms. Before founding PEM, the group was at Genova Burns, a well-known law firm based in Newark, New Jersey.

Kelin foresees a real shift in practice for law firms in the years ahead and is excited to move away from certain practices he believes are outdated. “The industry will change more in the next 10 years than it has in the last 50,” he said, “and by creating something new, we aren’t held back by old school protocols and bad habits.”

One primary aspect they plan to transform is the current billing structure which Kelin said is disliked by clients and attorneys alike. Clients often feel uncertain about costs, leading to dissatisfaction, while attorneys are burdened with the administrative task of tracking every minute of their workday. PEM is offering a monthly rate or subscription plan that gives clients the transparency they are seeking coupled with the excellent customer service that they deserve. PEM has introduced the concept to its client base who seem eager to explore the new approach, and so far, the feedback has been extremely positive.

Another area of focus targets the next generation of lawyers who seek a more flexible and fulfilling career path. Work-life balance is a priority for young lawyers, said Kelin, who thinks it’s necessary to rethink the traditional training process that demands long hours in the office to achieve success. PEM aims to reimagine the lifestyle of these young lawyers, allowing for a more optimal schedule without compromising on quality legal representation.

The firm, which officially launched on March 25 with a fully functioning website, DocuSign capability and tremendous client interest, is built around a customer-centric philosophy. The intention is to create a user-friendly system from initial onboarding of a client through the full lifespan of services, said Kelin, who added that as their client roster expands, they expect to hire 20-30 attorneys within the first two years of business.

As a full-service firm, PEM can handle all types of litigation including but not limited to corporate transactions, crisis management, human resources, real estate, and business litigation for Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits, small and mid-sized businesses, and individuals. Kelin’s personal expertise lies in political law, and for over a decade he has been instrumental in crafting and implementing strategies that drive meaningful policy reforms for various nonprofits and trade associations. He explained that many of the groups he connects with lack the proper organizational structure needed to engage with government processes to bring about real change.

“I want to help them use all the tools in their toolbox,” said Kelin, who helps navigate complex legal frameworks like government contracting, pay-to-play compliance, lobbying rules, and campaign finance laws that allow these organizations to maximize their impact and promote policy reform.

Kelin works with organizations that are charitable and not political as well as independent organizations that are more active on the political side. In recent years he has been especially committed to working with Jewish organizations and said the opportunity to support causes that resonate on a personal level is very fulfilling. His clients include Teach Coalition (a program of the OU), Teach Action Fund, Solidarity PAC, EPIC Coalition, Teach NJ PAC, UENJ PAC, BJ-JAC, and Beth Medrash Govoha. He previously represented the ADL and is pro bono counsel to the Bergen County Jewish Action Committee.

“Avi has been an integral part of Teach Coalition for many years, providing practical and sophisticated legal guidance. Our organization wouldn’t be where it is today without him,” said Maury Litwack, founder of Teach Coalition.

Kelin is currently serving as president-elect for the Jewish Bar Association (JBAR). Like many other bar associations, the idea of a Jewish bar association was initially intended to provide a forum for Jewish lawyers to engage with one another. The need for such a platform has become even more apparent in the wake of recent events. The Oct. 7 terror attacks and the subsequent rise in antisemitic violence seen throughout the country and specifically in local communities, has highlighted the importance of having a unified voice to address concerns and advocate for the safety of the Jewish community.

Kelin, along with 10 JBAR board members, are working closely with the Jewish federation and other politically connected organizations to bring legal insight to the forefront as it relates to recent and ongoing threats against Jewish residents of Bergen County and specifically in the greater Teaneck area. As JBAR continues to grow, Kelin said they will explore the development of other resources for victims of antisemitic conduct as well as pursuing potential legal action.

For more information about PEM Law, visit www.pemlawfirm.com or email Kelin at [email protected].

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