Pro bono work is an important and rewarding part of our profession. We have a long-standing and top-down commitment to pro bono work. As a firm, we are proud of and support the work our lawyers do on behalf of those in need.
Irell & Manella is a signatory to the Pro Bono Institute's Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge®, reinforcing our firm-wide commitment to provide pro bono legal services to low-income and disadvantaged individuals and families as well as nonprofit groups. For additional information about the Pro Bono Challenge, please click here.
Pro Bono Program
We encourage all of our attorneys to make a substantial contribution to our pro bono efforts. In addition to being an important and fulfilling part of an attorney's career, we believe that pro bono work offers excellent opportunities for attorney professional development.
“Irell associates receive full billable credit for pro bono hours. We take on new pro bono matters each month and provide them with the same level of excellence – the same level of attention, dedication and creativity – as we do for our paying clients.”
– Michael Ermer, Irell & Manella pro bono chair
Our pro bono program requires that all new hires (whether a first-year or a lateral) bill at least 60 hours of pro bono work within their first year at the firm. We count associates’ pro bono hours equally with client billable hours.
Irell’s pro bono assignment process is designed to bring interesting and appropriate pro bono opportunities directly to new associates. Before an associate arrives at the firm, he or she is asked to complete a survey gathering information about the attorney's primary pro bono areas of interest. Each associate is then matched with a pro bono work coordinator who is responsible for screening opportunities and identifying those that meet the attorney's interests. Coordinators also help line up partners to supervise new attorneys in their pro bono activities. Additionally, associates are encouraged to find pro bono matters on their own and work coordinators are available to assist with the intake process.
Work coordinators also serve on the firm's Pro Bono Committee, which is comprised of associates and partners. The committee meets regularly to discuss the firm's pro bono efforts and evaluate the progress of matching new attorneys to pro bono matters.
Irell partners with numerous local and national public-interest and legal aid organizations, including:
- American Civil Liberties Union
- Alliance for Children's Rights
- AMVETS Legal Clinic
- Anti-Defamation League
- Bet Tzedek
- Constitutional Rights Foundation
- Inner City Law Center
- Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project
- Kids In Need of Defense
- Lambda Legal
- Natural Resources Defense Council
- Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Pro Bono Program
- Public Counsel Law Center
- Public Law Center
- Western Center on Law and Poverty
In partnership with the Alliance for Children's Rights, Irell attorneys and summer associates participate in the annual Adoption Saturday program, in which people work together to help children's dreams of a permanent family come true in a single, special day.
Leading up to the official adoption day, individual attorneys and prominent law firms like Irell volunteer their services to adoptive parents. The attorneys work with child welfare workers to help fast-track paperwork. Judicial officers and the entire courtroom staff open a courthouse on a Saturday just to handle adoption proceedings. Community volunteers donate time and gifts to create a festive atmosphere that makes the day even more memorable for young and old.
For more on Adoption Saturday, please click here.
- Michael Fehner Receives 2021 Pro Bono Award from Public Counsel
- Landmark Pro Bono Suit Spurs Innovative Trauma Programming
- Irell Named Law360 Pro Bono Firm of 2016
- A Big Pro Bono Victory for Emergency Shelter Coalition
- Landmark Class Action Suit Filed Against Compton School District
- UC Irvine School of Law Honors Irell with Pro Bono Award
- State Bar Honors Irell With President's Pro Bono Service Award
- Irell Named the Law Firm of the Year by Public Law Center
- Century City Bar Association Pro Bono Law Firm of the Year
- Irell & Manella's Pro Bono Program Featured in the Daily Journal
- Irell Attorneys Help a Homeless Veteran Obtain Benefits
- Irell & Manella Receives Public Counsel 2011 Law Firm Pro Bono Award
- Irell Receives Social Justice Award