|Howard Gittis, Philadelphia Lawyer, Adviser to Ron Perelman, and Penn Law Benefactor
BY LARRY TEITELBAUM
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Gittis was an academic whiz kid at Penn Law School. His
team won the National Moot Court Championship for the first
time in school history. After law school, Gittis served in the Air
Force Reserve before receiving his first big break. He was offered
a clerkship with Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Thomas
McBride, who hired Gittis when he left the Court and founded
his own firm. In 1962, McBride’s firm merged with Wolf, Block,
Schorr & Solis-Cohen. Gittis became the youngest partner in
firm history, later serving as chairman for more than a decade.
He was chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association in the
early 1980s and in 1985 the National Law Journal listed Mr.
Gittis among the top 100 lawyers in America.
In an interview last year, Dick Frieder, L’58, a Law School
classmate who remained one of Gittis’ best friends, described
what made Gittis a first-rate lawyer. “One of Howard’s strengths
is his ability to mediate and to make both sides of the issue realize
that they both can come out a winner if they compromise
and negotiate,” Frieder said. “Howard is the best that there ever
was at that.”