Jonathan Wolfe is not sure if he, or his identical twin brother, David, first hit on the pretty girl at the fraternity party, but he is sure they both took a shot.
“One of us approached her, and she wanted nothing to do with him,” Jonathan says, unsure whether he is insulting himself. “Then the other one approached her and she couldn’t figure out why this guy kept hitting on her and why he had changed his clothes.”
The second guy must have also changed her mind — she ended up marrying David.
And the fact David is married with a child and Jonathan isn’t marks the only substantial difference between the 30-year-old Skoloff & Wolfe attorneys. Their lives, and résumés, match almost as perfectly as their DNA.
“It is really a special relationship,” Jonathan says of their brotherly bond. “To have gone through every stage of our lives together is certainly something we’ve enjoyed.”
Summers during high school were spent playing soccer in Europe, which led to recruitment calls from Cornell to fill the Big Red’s backfield (defenseman Jonathan helped protect his brother in goal). There they both became brothers of Sigma Chi fraternity and finished their government majors with distinction, though a case of mono held David back for a fifth year. Both went to NYU for law school, got jobs at big New York firms — David at Davis Polk and Jonathan at Milbank Tweed — and then left those firms to join their father’s firm, Skoloff & Wolfe.
“We wanted the big New York law firm experience after college,” David says. “But the whole time we were at those firms, we would talk about how it was our dream to come [to Skoloff & Wolfe] and work together.”
Now the twins both have a daily commute from Manhattan, and they chat on the phone every morning on their respective routes. Both brothers view this nearly constant companionship as a blessing.
“With identical twins, I think they are either best friends or they don’t get along,” David says. “It was lucky we ended up best friends. We are also able to push one another.”
They credit this friendly competition with their success. Though Jonathan concentrates on family law and David focuses on real estate property valuation, both helped found the firm’s general litigation group.
“We get a pretty good reaction when we show up in court together — we have puzzled a judge or two — but people enjoy it,” Jonathan says. “We’ve learned to play those situations pretty well since we have been doing it our whole lives.”
The twins’ presence at the firm also provides a daily dose of pride for their father, Saul Wolfe, who never anticipated that the firm he and his partner started 45 years ago would become a family affair.
“You can’t imagine how wonderful having them here is,” Saul says. “Not only for the personal gratification of getting to see my sons every day, but their energy and enthusiasm for the law is so rewarding.”
One might think sharing everything would grind on the brothers after a while. But they insist that, much like their past, they will spend their future together.
“We are pretty confident we will continue to work here and help grow the firm in other directions,” Jonathan says, before adding with a chuckle, “and I will continue to carry David for another 40 years.”