30 Great Places to Work 2021
This past year has been very challenging for people all over the world. The everyday routines that we had become so accustomed to disappeared. Offices and businesses were shut down, schools went remote, and people were faced with the task of balancing home and work life – while in lockdown. As the vaccine rollout continues and life returns to a new normal, law firms like Rebar Kelly focus on the future.
Since its inception in 2012, Rebar Kelly’s Managing Partner Cathleen Kelly Rebar has sought to make the firm a place where no one ever stands still. If you are not growing and keeping up with the times and technology, you are left in the dust quickly these days. This mentality has helped the firm weather the COVID crisis with minimal strain. In fact, the firm grew during the last year and looks forward to future opportunities for an even larger footprint. This commitment to growth and expansion that Rebar has focused on, along with her partner Chris Kelly, has led to Rebar Kelly being named one of CIO Bulletin’s 30 Great Places to Work again in 2021.
Rebar has long known that staying on top of technological advances is the only way to compete in a global business market. When the lockdown began, and uncertainty was the norm, the firm was able to seamlessly transition to remote work without sacrificing the service to clients. “Every person at this firm changed the way they worked to adapt to the new normal without passing any of the burden onto other employees or clients,” says Rebar. “I am really proud of the staff and their dedication to making it work. We have attorneys who had kids doing remote learning, depositions, and reports due – all before 10 AM some days. Everyone was juggling responsibilities, but in the end, we were able to succeed in a very difficult environment under trying circumstances.”
Now, as businesses reopen, the firm looks forward to opening in-person operations and returning to a new normal. In 2018, Rebar Kelly undertook a massive renovation of their Blue Bell, PA main office. The staff looks forward to returning to the office. “Working from home has had advantages over the past year, but there is just so much productivity possible in an office as spacious and hi-tech as ours,” says Rebar. The firm has now grown to 5 locations, with the main office in Blue Bell, PA, and offices in New York, NY, Princeton and Saddle Brook, NJ, and Stanford, CT. The new Saddle Brook office has allowed the firm to establish an imprint in the North Jersey area, which has been a goal for a long time.
As states and cities reopen, the firm is looking forward as well. With restrictions lifting, marketing opportunities have returned. Rebar, a New York native, is excited to return to the city. “’I love New York’ is cliché, but it is true. The city has an energy that cannot be matched. The past year really slammed New York City, and it is so great to see it coming back.”
The firm also looks forward to returning to the kind of togetherness that made them a truly special place to work. Every year the firm focuses on several team-building events, and Zoom has not provided the same kind of enjoyment for the staff. As restrictions lift, the firm has started to be able to plan events again, such as their annual anniversary party and holiday festivities, meant to unite the satellite offices with the Blue Bell main location.
Rebar has also been an elected judge in Montgomery County, PA, for over ten years, running for re-election for another 6-year term this year. With election season in full swing, Rebar has election events coming up in May, including her “Fest at the Fairgrounds” concert event on May 23. She is enthusiastic about the election season – though she is unopposed in the primary. Many members of the staff at the firm will be in attendance at the event, another example of the close culture of the employees.
The firm has always been extremely active in local charity events, and the pandemic shined a light on so many in need this past year. The firm opted to make a donation to Feeding America in-lieu of sending holiday cards this past holiday season. This year, they are again a sponsor of the John Shapiro Superheroes Run event, raising money for kids battling cancer.
Earlier this year, the firm added a new position, with Jenika Parson being added to the team as Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Parson is focused on efforts to increase diversity at the firm as the staff grows, bringing insight from years in HR to the firm’s Saddle Brook office location. Some of her main goals for the year are obtaining NAMWOLF and WBENC certifications. Recently, the firm received a RING Certification. RING is an organization focused on “Inclusion for the Next Generation.”
Cathleen Kelly Rebar is the Founder and the Managing Partner of Rebar Kelly. The firm specializes in representing insurance companies in coverage and liability cases. In response to the new challenges presented by the pandemic, Cathleen has expanded her representation to include matters related to COVID-19.
As an award-winning attorney and fierce litigator with an impressive record of victories in the courtroom, Cathleen has acted as lead counsel in some of the insurance industry’s most high-profile cases and served as an elected magisterial district judge in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, for over 10 years. With almost two decades of experience, she leads a team of lawyers who have tried hundreds of cases to successful verdicts.