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Irell & Manella LLP

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



Irell & Manella has been around since 1941 and has resisted any temptation to engage in outrageous expansion efforts, so that it has maintained a small to midsize firm feel. The firm has only three offices—two in Southern California and one in Washington, D.C.—and only 70 attorneys, and does exemplary work in the areas of intellectual property litigation and general business litigation.

Firm Stats


Total No. Attorneys (2023)

50 - 100


No. of Partners Named (2022)



Featured Rankings

Vault Law 100


No. of 1st Year Associates Hired (2023)



No. of Summer Associates (2023)

19 total (17 2Ls; 2 1Ls)


Base Salary

1st year: $215,000

Vault Verdict

Irell & Manella is an IP and litigation powerhouse and might be a great fit for anyone looking for a smaller firm with no downsides on prestige or clientele. Associates report a friendly, professional, and balanced culture with respect for attorneys’ home lives. Partners treat associates well, although transparency, particularly as it relates to the partnership, is a pain point for some. Associates report manageable hours expectations subject to the ebb and flow of litigation, and are universally happy with their compensation (market salaries and above-market bonuses). Work is substantive, fairly allocated, and appropriate to associates’ levels. Associates praise the firm’s technology, with WFH fully supported and a generous tech stipend for setting up home offices. Formal...

About the Firm

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...

Associate Reviews

  • “The culture is professional, progressive, and overall friendly. Toxic work behavior is not tolerated, and people are generally respectful of others' time.”
  • “Lawyers at Irell socialize during the workday, and sometimes after hours, but everyone also has their own separate life. The culture at Irell is very friendly, intellectual, and quirky.”
  • “There is a once-weekly lunch arranged by the firm. There was a holiday party. Day-to-day atmosphere is collegial and pleasant. But because there are so few associates at the office, it is hard to be yourself (as you would around others in your class).”
  • “The firm's culture is overall warm and polite. Lawyers socialize together at firm events more or less every week (not everyone attends every week, but it is common to socialize), and on rare occasions after hours. The day-to-day atmosphere varies in its details, but has been courteous and professional. Lawyers and staff interact, for example, in the hallways, and by email, and these interactions have also been courteous and professional that I am aware of, and sometimes also very friendly, depending on the persons involved.”

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.

Diversity at Irell & Manella LLP

"In 2014, we proudly established the Irell & Manella Diversity Scholarship. We award an amount of $15,000 each to a select number of 2Ls, who in addition to meeting certain criteria, receive and accept an offer to join our summer program. For more details about the scholarship, please visit"

Getting Hired Here

  • “Being at the top of your class at California law schools (UCLA, USC, UCI) seems to help. Journals don't really matter as much as very strong grades. Of course, helps if you have a STEM undergrad (it's a patent firm), and that can offset lower grades from lower-ranked law schools.”
  • “I believe my firm is looking for strong candidates who stand out in some way, and will contribute to the collegial culture of the firm. I am not aware of feeder schools beyond top law schools in California, generally. I don't know about interview training or guidelines at the firm.”
  • “It seems like Irell may be becoming a bit less selective than it used to be, but it still aims to hire top talent.”

Perks & Benefits

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