Diversity & Inclusion
Irell & Manella has always been committed to building a diverse and inclusive law firm and creating an environment where attorneys of all races, ethnicities, gender identities and sexual orientations can thrive. This focus permeates our culture and has resulted in a population of attorneys from a variety of backgrounds and one of the highest percentages of minority partners for law firms in the United States. All partners are equity partners, and many women and minority partners have served on the firm's Executive Committee and in other firm leadership positions, including as managing partner. Irell's commitment to diversity has a long history—the firm had one of the first African American equity partners of any major law firm in Los Angeles and one of the nation's first Asian American managing partners.
Irell is regularly recognized for its achievements in diversity and inclusion. For instance, The American Lawyer’s 2021 Diversity Scorecard ranked us #9 out of 225 large firms. In addition, Irell ranked #1 in the nation in terms of having the highest percentage of minority partners of any of the firms surveyed – 28.6 percent.
“Irell & Manella is focused on delivering the highest quality legal services and achieving excellence through diligence and creativity. Our attorneys are hired and evaluated based on the quality of their work. This focus has penetrated our culture and resulted in a population of attorneys from a variety of backgrounds.”
– Kyle Kawakami, Irell & Manella Diversity Chair
Consisting of partners and associates, Irell & Manella's Diversity Committee is dedicated to promoting an institutional culture that fosters the recruitment, advancement and development of a diverse population that reflects our larger community. The committee is responsible for recommending and implementing strategies to further diversity and inclusion, and its goals align closely with those of the Women's Network, Associates Committee and Executive Committee. The Diversity Committee also sponsors a number of events and trainings targeted at inclusion, including sessions on unconscious bias and featuring key figures and diverse attorneys who are making a difference.
Irell & Manella is committed to promoting diversity in the legal profession and to providing equal opportunity to people of all ages interested in pursuing a career in law. Irell attorneys support and participate in a number of youth programs that share in that mission, including:
- ProjectSELF: Each summer, Irell's Newport Beach office hosts interns in connection with ProjectSELF (Summer Employment in Law Firm), a hands-on internship for low-income, minority high school juniors that provides access to professional and career environments and positive mentors to help them with goal setting and college preparation. The program is run by the Orange County Bar Foundation in partnership with the Orange County Chapter of the Association of Legal Administrators.
- UCLA Law Fellows Outreach Program: Irell regularly sponsors the UCLA Law Fellows Outreach Program, designed to encourage and prepare high-potential undergraduate and graduate students for a career in law, increase the diversity of the law school pool, and demystify the law school experience
Irell & Manella is committed to supporting various community and legal diversity organizations throughout Southern California and nationwide, including:
- Leadership Council on Legal Diversity
- California Minority Counsel Program
- Orange County Women Lawyers Association
- Asian Pacific American Dispute Resolution Center
- National Bar Association
- Langston Bar Association
- Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Los Angeles County
- Equality California
- Lambda Legal
- National Association of Women Lawyers
- Women's Lawyers Association of Los Angeles
For more on our community involvement, please click here.
Women at Irell
Irell's women attorneys play an integral role in the firm's leadership. They are represented on all firm committees including the Executive Committee. For more on Irell's women attorneys, please click here.