Wednesday, January 2, 2019
Mordie Rochlin is a retired tax and estates lawyer that is the only man alive that personally knew all five of the namesake partners of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. Though he may have retired 35 years ago in 1983, he still puts on his impeccable suits and returns often to the office at the amazing age of 106. Until he was sick with pneumonia 4 years ago Rochlin was known to conduct business in the office three times a week and was a regular to partner lunches.
Rochlin said in a recent interview “I had been taught by a very wise doctor when you start thinking of retiring, get a plan of what you’re going to do when you retire. My mode of retirement was that I would spend four days a week up at my weekend house and then three days practicing law.” He does not reside in a nursing home, but rather a private Manhattan residence, and though he is need of a wheelchair and a caretaker he is not restricted to his house.
His mind has not waived; to this day Rochlin can still recite all the names of his teachers at Grandview Elementary School, all the names of his professors at CUNY, and even his days at Columbia Law School. Because of the beliefs of the time, it was difficult for a Jewish lawyer to get interviews during the Great Depression. He thought it was a dream come true to see his name written in gold-leaf on the door after he completed a one-year internship at the firm. “I didn’t realize when I walked in the door in 1938 that I would spend the rest of my life,” he says. “Paul Weiss was my life. The way I looked on the firm, it was not only a community of scholars but a community of friends.”
See Susan DeSantis, Paul Weiss Partner, Who Retired 35 Years Ago, Still Works in Office at Age 106, New York Law Journal, December 19, 2018.
Special thanks to Jim Hartnett, Jr. (Dallas, Texas Probate Attorney) for bringing this article to my attention.