Women at Irell

Irell & Manella LLP is committed to attracting and promoting women attorneys by creating an open, professional environment in which they can thrive based on merit and creativity.  Irell's women attorneys play an integral role in the firm's leadership, including serving as the former managing partner of the Newport Beach office and as practice group chairs; they also serve as members of the firm's Executive Committee.

The firm's lawyers have long been committed to promoting the advancement of women in the law and other professions.  Immediate past Newport Beach managing partner Andra B. Greene, for example, has authored an array of publications and has spoken extensively on the topic. She co-edited the book, "The Woman Advocate," published by the American Bar Association, for which she contributed a chapter entitled, "The Litigating Mom."  Jane Shay Wald, head of the firm's trademark practice, was recently named a "Woman of Achievement" by the Century City Chamber of Commerce and the Chambers Women's Business Council for her professional dedication, charitable involvement and commitment to excellence.  

Irell is a member of Catalyst, a leading nonprofit membership organization working globally with businesses and the professions to build inclusive workplaces and expand opportunities for women at work. 

"Irell & Manella has long had a culture of diversity where lawyers thrive and advance based solely on merit and irrespective of gender, race, religion or sexual orientation.  We are proud of the fact that our partners and associates – men and women – have been recognized among the very best lawyers in the country.  In keeping with that culture and tradition, I and the firm have made it a priority to ensure that Irell’s women attorneys have the tools and support necessary to maximize their potential as outstanding lawyers and become leaders at the firm, in the profession and in the community."  Andrei Iancu, Managing Partner

Honors and Awards

Irell's women attorneys are frequent recipients of prestigious honors and awards, including:

  • "Best Lawyers in America"
  • "California's Top 100 Women Attorneys” Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journal
  • "California's Top 75 Intellectual Property Litigators" Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journal
  • "Consumer Law Project's Pro Bono Award" Public Counsel 
  • "Influential Women in IP Law" Law360
  • "Intellectual Property Lawyer of the Year" Century City Bar Association
  • "IP Stars" Managing Intellectual Property 
  • "Most Powerful and Influential Women in California" California Diversity Magazine
  • "Most Influential Women in IP Law" Law360
  • "Outstanding Women Lawyers" The National Law Journal
  • "Rising Stars" Law360
  • "Ten Women of Power in Orange County" OC Metro
  • "Top 10 Trademark Lawyers" Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journal
  • "Top 30 Intellectual Property Lawyers" Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journal
  • "Top 50 Women Lawyers in Southern California" Los Angeles Magazine
  • "Top 50 Lawyers in Orange County" Los Angeles Magazine
  • "Top 100 Lawyers in Southern California" Los Angeles Magazine
  • "Top Lawyers in Orange County" Orange Coast Magazine
  • "Social Justice Award" ACLU Foundation of Southern California
  • "Vanguard Award" California State Bar Intellectual Property Section
  • "Wiley Manuel Award for pro bono service" State of California
  • "Woman of Achievement" Century City Chamber of Commerce
  • "Women Leaders in Tech Law" The Recorder 
  • "Women Worth Watching," Profiles in Diversity Journal
Work/Life Resources

Irell offers a number of resources to help its attorneys achieve a successful work/life balance. For more specifics regarding our benefits package, please click here.

WLALA/LACBA Call to Action

Irell has signed the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles (WLALA)/Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA) Call to Action, which reinforces our commitment to implement various initiatives to attract, retain, and advance women lawyers.  Signatory law firms also agree to participate in a newly-created Coalition which will work with the WLALA/LACBA Joint Task Force to provide a forum for continued collaboration and cross-firm sharing of measurements of success of women’s initiatives, and a formal network of firm leaders (including associates) with a continuing commitment to advancing and retaining women lawyers. For additional information about the Call to Action, please click here.

Judiciary Appointments

A number of Irell's women attorneys have left the firm to serve as judges. Most recently, Governor Jerry Brown appointed former Irell partners, Laura A. Seigle and Melissa R. McCormick to judgeships in the Los Angeles County Superior Court and Orange County Superior Court, respectively. Previously, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed former Irell partner, Christine Byrd to a judgeship in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit also appointed Sheri Bluebond as a Federal Bankruptcy Court Judge for the United States Bankruptcy Court, Central District of California. Other former Irell women lawyers appointed to judgeships include: 

  • Louise LaMothe, United States Magistrate Judge, United States District Court for the Central District of California 
  • Dorothy Kim, Judge for the Los Angeles Superior Court 
  • Gail Standish, United States Magistrate Judge, United States District Court for the Central District of California  
  • Nicole Bershon, Judge for the Los Angeles Superior Court 
Professional Development/Mentoring

In addition to the training and speaker events throughout the year, Irell's Women's Network sponsors internal events on topics relating to developing women attorneys. The Network also hosts regular happy hours for women associates and partners in both offices. Every woman associate participates in the firm's robust mentoring programs. 

Community Involvement

With the firm's support and encouragement, Irell's women attorneys are or have been actively involved in various organizations in the legal and greater community, including:

  • Academy of Television Arts & Sciences
  • American Bar Association Business Law Section
  • American Bar Association Section of Litigation
  • American College of Commercial Finance Lawyers
  • American College of Trial Lawyers
  • American Intellectual Property Law Association
  • Association of Business Trial Lawyers
  • Bet Tzedek
  • California State Bar Business Law Section
  • California State Bar UCC Committee
  • Century City Bar Association
  • Century City Chamber of Commerce 
  • Chancery Club of Los Angeles
  • College of Commercial Arbitrators
  • Constitutional Rights Foundation
  • Copyright Society of the USA
  • Federal Bar Association
  • Federalist Society, Los Angeles Lawyers Chapter
  • Financial Lawyers Conference
  • International Trademark Association
  • Lambda Legal Los Angeles Leadership Board 
  • Los Angeles Copyright Society
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association
  • Los Angeles County Bar Foundation
  • National Association of Women Lawyers
  • Orange County Bar Association
  • Producer's Guild of America
  • Public Counsel 
  • Public Law Center
  • Women's Foundation of California
  • Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles  
  • Women's Leadership Council of Brown University