About Morris Wolf
Founder, Wolf Block, Schorr and Solis Cohen Law Firm
March 23, 2009: The 106 year old Philadelphia law firm of Wolf Block decided to close its doors and go out of business, Monday, citing economic hardship caused by the looming depression. Wolf Block practices real estate law and has been hit hard by the economic downturn and collapse of the housing market.
Established in 1903 by Horace Stern and Morris Wolf, Wolf Block originally did business as Stern & Wolf. Horace Stern became a distinguished member of Philadelphia society and in 1920 was named as a Judge. At that Stern resigned as a partner and time two new partners were taken on; the firm was renamed Wolf, Block and Schorr.
Fifteen years later Horace Stern would become a Philadelphia Supreme Court Judge and in 1952 became its Chielf Justice. His early ties to Wolf Block helped the firm's credibility both in Philadelphia and the rest of the United States. In 2002 WolfBlock Government Relations LP was formed and the firm establishes itself as an expert in American real estate law.
IT"S BEEN SAID that the two men who co-founded Wolf Block in 1903 were notorious underchargers of clients because they were worried about the stereotype of the “covetous Jew.” Horace Stern was a short, self-effacing, turtle-looking law professor, a shy, happy sort of legal monk you’d often find in the firm’s library, plucking dusty volumes from the shelves and scribbling away at briefs. The other co-founder, Morris Wolf, was a tall aristocrat who played tennis at the Philmont Country Club and read Cicero for fun. (The firm’s original name was Stern & Wolf; lawyer Gordon Block came along later, in 1918.) Wolf was embarrassed by money because he had grown up with so damned much of it. All the way into the 1960s, Wolf refused to let his lawyers carry business cards because he thought they were vulgar. The point of having a law firm, for Wolf and Stern, was not to make money, but to luxuriate in the practice of law. They built what prominent Wolf Block litigator and former city solicitor Alan Davis would later call “an artificially erected intellectual ghetto,” a craftsman’s paradise where lawyers—sheltered by the majestic Packard Building, with its iron-gated elevators and sprawling library stacks — would argue for hours about a single sentence in a brief. “We would turn out product that was worthy of General Motors for Sam’s Gas Station,” Davis said, “because that’s who we represented.” Wolf Block wasn’t just a law firm. It was the Promised Land.