Irell & Manella Receives Public Counsel 2011 Law Firm Pro Bono Award

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March 2011

Irell & Manella LLP received this year’s Public Counsel 2011 Law Firm Pro Bono Award for providing those in need with access to justice. The award was presented during the annual William O. Douglas Dinner on March 18 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles. Former President Bill Clinton, founder of the William J. Clinton Foundation, and CBS Television were also honored.

Irell has a long-standing relationship with Public Counsel, the nation's largest nonprofit law firm, and has provided pro bono representation to clients who cannot afford counsel since the firm's founding more than 60 years ago.

In the last year alone, Irell won important cases for pro bono clients, including:

  • representing an immigrant family that won a final ruling, which allowed the entire family to remain in the U.S. after three appeals and 10 years of litigation in the immigration courts;
  • helping nine garment workers secure awards and settlements totaling more than $250,000 in unpaid wages;
  • and protecting a young Chinese girl who was a victim of child trafficking by obtaining a special juvenile status immigrant visa, educational benefits and residency status in the U.S.

Attorneys at Irell have also secured victories in cases, which resulted in broad relief and systemic reforms, including the settlement of constitutional litigation challenging a Laguna Beach ordinance on behalf of members of the city's homeless community and a landmark case permitting high school students to form a gay-straight alliance club at their school. Irell has also handled criminal matters pro bono, including the successful six-year representation of a death row inmate whose sentence was overturned in federal court.