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 and currently hold positions such as managing partner of our Newport Beach office and 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. Newport Beach managing partner Andra Barmash 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 Litigators” Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journal
- "Consumer Law Project's Pro Bono Award" Public Counsel
- "Intellectual Property Lawyer of the Year" Century City Bar Association
- "Most Powerful and Influential Women in California" California Diversity Magazine
- "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
- "Top High Yield Issuers' Counsel in Silicon Valley" Barclays PLC
- "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
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.
A number of Irell's women attorneys have left the firm to serve as judges. Most recently, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed Christine Byrd to a judgeship in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. Previously, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit appointed Sheri Bluebond as a Federal Bankruptcy Court Judge for the United States bankruptcy court, Central District of California.
Irell provides a series of in-depth training sessions for all new associates as well as mentors with whom they have regular lunches. The firm conducts comprehensive reviews for all associates and offers an on-going program of seminars dedicated to professional development.
Irell regularly hosts professional development and networking events for the firm's women attorneys. Recently, the firm's two offices hosted the American Intellectual Property Law Associations' Women in IP Cross-Country Networking Dinners. Women attorneys from around Southern California convened in our offices for networking, communication exercises and truffle tasting. To see photos from the event, please click here. Lunches, happy-hours and other informal events provide a forum for women attorneys to discuss various topics in a comfortable social environment.
A number of Irell's women attorneys speak on the topic of women in the legal profession. Recent engagements have included a presentation to the entire first-year class at the University of California, Irvine Law School, and a presentation to the Women's Law Association at the University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law.
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
- 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
Irell encourages its lawyers to engage in an extensive variety of pro bono activities (click here for more information). Many of our pro bono activities are geared toward helping women and children, including:
- Representing needy children and families in dozens of adoption proceedings each year, specializing in Spanish-language clients.
- Representing Eloise McNerney, an 83-year old mother of five children and four foster children, who was the victim of financial elder abuse by her grandson. The firm also represented Ms. McNerney in connection with pending or threatened foreclosure proceedings brought by the lender.
- Representing two high school students against the Orange Unified School District concerning the students’ right to form a gay-straight alliance club. In a ruling of national importance, the court held under the Equal Access Act that the students had a federally protected right to assemble.
- Representing homeless men and women against the City of Laguna Beach in a civil rights lawsuit over a City ordinance that effectively criminalized homelessness.
- Represented Ms. Llanes in a quiet title action brought on behalf of her infant grandson, Miguel Morales Jr. The firm arranged a settlement whereby the family agreed to vacate the house and in exchange, the bank will pay $25,000 into a trust account for Miguel Jr. when he turns 18.
- Assisting Bright Star Schools, a local nonprofit organization that operates charter schools serving underprivileged students, in the foundation of a new high school.
- One of our partners is currently Chairperson and member of the Executive Committee of The Alliance for Children's Rights, Los Angeles’ largest legal services organization focusing on providing legal services to Los Angeles County’s underprivileged children.