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Irell & Manella LLP

At a Glance


“It is a community of very intelligent, hard-working, and friendly attorneys.”


“Real work, real respect, real responsibility.”


"Stress from learning to be an associate.”

“Lack of transparency regarding firm future.”


About Irell & Manella LLP

A Southern California powerhouse for 80 years, Irell & Manella matches or exceeds its multinational peers in salary, prestige, and high-stakes cases, serving clients worldwide from just three locations in Los Angeles, Newport Beach, and Washington, DC.

A Glamorous Start

Irell harkens back to the glamour days of old Hollywood—1941, to be exact: the year in which Orson Welles released a little flick called Citizen Kane and two tax attorneys—Eugene Berger and Lawrence Irell—established what became one of the most prestigious law firms in Tinseltown. Arthur Manella joined the firm in 1944; within a year, Berger had passed away, and Manella had become a partner. The Tax practice started handling tax affairs for Hollywood stars, including Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Burt Lancaster, Elizabeth Taylor, and Lou Costello, and the firm became a California fixture.

California Powerhouse Plus One

Irell has resisted the rapid expansion of many of its peers, but its reach has been mighty nevertheless. Among its strengths are its Intellectual Property and Complex Commercial Litigation practices. The firm’s high-profile clients include: Johnson & Johnson, Uber Technologies, Juno Therapeutics, City of Hope, Genentech, Gilead, PayPal, St. Jude Medical, Snapchat, TiVo, and Skechers, and almost a dozen universities.

Irell’s IP group has garnered top honors—including being named the IP Litigation Department of the Year by The American Lawyer and ranking among the Top 20 in Vault’s Intellectual Property Practice Area ranking. The firm’s IP practice is broken into five sub practices: appellate, intellectual property litigation, intellectual property transactions, patent office trials, and patent portfolio management. The firm provides IP counsel across numerous industries, including biotechnology, e-commerce, pharmaceuticals, software, telecommunications, and video games. Irell’s expansion beyond the Golden State with its new office in Washington, DC, strengthens the practice even further, with the USPTO, U.S. International Trade Commission, and Federal Circuit just steps away.

Mind the Gap

Irell’s Gap Program encourages mentoring among its associates. Through the program, associates who are in their third year or above can invite lawyers who are at least two years below them out for a meal on the firm’s dime. Associates also receive an associate mentor when they join the firm. And associates can consult “litigation solicitors” for career guidance on high-level practice pointers. Mentoring isn’t only for junior associates at Irell, though. Fourth-year associates and above are matched with partner advisors, who can provide career advice and shadowing opportunities and also assist in finding new ways for the associate to develop their skills.

COVID-19 Update

Irell moved to working remotely on March 17, 2020. The firm was well-prepared to pivot almost all functions to a remote model due to prior investments in technology and security infrastructure. The firm continued to thrive in 2020 and remains very busy. We are actively recruiting laterals, clerks and summer associates. We conducted our full 10-week summer program remotely in 2020 and 2021. Our incoming class of associates will still start in the fall of 2021. Irell will participate in virtual OCI for the upcoming recruiting season.

News & Awards

  • Irell secured a $2.175 billion jury verdict—the second-largest patent jury award of all time—for VLSI Technology in a suit against Intel Corporation. The case involved two patents on technology used in Intel’s microprocessors.
  • Irell won a 9-0 U.S. Supreme Court decision rejecting the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s position that applicants who appeal to a district court must pay the agency’s legal bills, no matter who wins (Peter v. NantKwest).
  • Irell convinced the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to affirm a district court’s dismissal of a securities fraud class action against Uber Technologies, which sought billions of dollars in damages. The Ninth Circuit’s opinion is the first to address the causation pleading requirement for claims under California’s market manipulation statute asserted in federal court.
  • Irell secured the largest patent jury verdict of 2019 and a $1.2 billion judgment for Sloan Kettering Institute for Cancer Research and Juno Therapeutics in patent litigation against Kite Pharma related to cancer immunotherapy known as CAR T-cell therapy.
  • IP Practice Group of the Year, 2020—Law360
  • Trials Practice Group of the Year, 2020—Law360
  • Patent Impact Cases of the Year, 2020—LMG Life Sciences
  • Top Verdict of the Year, 2019—Daily Journal
  • IP Litigation Department of the Year, 2018—The American Lawyer

Why Work Here

We Are True To Ourselves

Irell attorneys are a diverse group.  Although we come from a wide array of backgrounds, countries and experiences, we share a common passion for practicing law at the highest levels and we are all dedicated to finding the best solutions for our clients.  Our differences enrich us and our common desire for excellence binds us.  At Irell, we can be ourselves and focus on our shared passions.

Even casual office discussion often involves recent cases, ongoing matters, and interesting legal issues.  We wouldn’t have it any other way, and we encourage hearty discussions and debates about developing legal and social issues.  In fact, the firm produces in-house discussions and training sessions, usually led by associates, on topics relevant to our practice and our community several times every week.  The environment around the office is prime for inquisitive legal minds.

Irell & Manella LLP

1800 Avenue of the Stars
Suite 900
Los Angeles, CA 90067-4276
Phone: (310) 277-1010

Firm Stats

Management Committee: Ben Hattenbach, Lisa Glasser, and Keith Orso
Hiring Partner: Keith Orso
Total No. Attorneys (2021):
50 - 100
No. of Partners Named 2021:
Billable-Hour Requirement:

Base Salary

All offices
Class of 2021: $205,000
1st year : $205,000
2nd year: $215,000
3rd year: $240,000
4th year: $275,000
5th year: $305,000
6th year: $330,000
7th year: $350,000
8th year: $365,000
Summer Associate: $3,942.50/week

Employment Contact

Alanna Cowan
Manager of Recruiting & Development
(310) 203-7540
General Recruiting Email:

No. of U.S. Offices: 3

No. of International Offices: 0

Major Office Locations

Los Angeles, CA
Newport Beach, CA
Washington, DC

Major Departments

Complex Business Litigation
Class Action Litigation
Intellectual Property Litigation
Intellectual Property Transactions
Patent Office Trials
Patent Portfolio Management
Securities Litigation
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.