UC Irvine School of Law Names Pro Bono Community Awards


IRVINE, Calif.—The UC Irvine School of Law awarded Irell & Manella LLP the Community Pro Bono Partner Award and presented Orange County attorney Daniel Cornelious, Jr. with the Pro Bono Community Advocate Award. These award recipients have worked hard to help the underrepresented in Orange County and to provide opportunities for pro bono service for the UC Irvine School of Law students.

Instilling the values of public service is at the very core of the Law School’s mission. Students are offered extensive pro bono opportunities to do public service work while in law school. Students are taught that so many in society are unable to access the legal services they desperately need, and are provided the opportunity and training—beginning in their first year of law school—to better meet that need and to use law to improve society. More than 90% of UC Irvine School of Law students participate in the pro bono program and students contributed more than 10,000 hours last year in pro bono work.

Irell & Manella has been a vibrant community pro bono partner with the Law School in helping underrepresented members of the community handle the complicated and lingering effects of the economic crisis in the Orange County Bankruptcy Courts. Attorneys from Irell have partnered with UC Irvine School of Law students to assist in bankruptcy matters referred by the Public Law Center. With Irell’s supervision and mentoring, students assist self-represented debtors in completing and filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy petitions. Irell lawyers also work alongside students in connection with the Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project and litigation matters affecting active military personnel and veterans.

“We are honored to receive this award from UC Irvine School of Law, an institution dedicated to instilling a commitment to pro bono work in every student,” said Michael Ermer, Irell & Manella Pro Bono Chair and Managing Partner of the Newport Beach office. “We believe pro bono work is one of the most rewarding and important aspects of being a lawyer, and our firm is proud to partner with a school that shares the same deep commitment to providing equal access to justice to all.”

Daniel Cornelious, Jr. initiated a monthly Expungement clinic with UC Irvine School of Law students, called the Clean Slate Clinic. It’s the first regular private Expungement clinic to be offered in Orange County. He worked with four UCI Law students for several months to help create the clinic. He now supervises at the clinic offered the third Saturday of every month at the Legal Aid Society of Orange County.

“I am honored to receive this award from UC Irvine School of Law. I am proud to be able to partner with UCI Law to improve the quality of life and remove barriers to successful re-entry for ex-offenders. I’d like to thank UCI Law for the resources it has provided to help bring the expungement clinic into fruition,” said Daniel Cornelious, Jr.

“Pro Bono work is a fundamental part of the UC Irvine School of Law and we are indebted to outstanding partnerships with Irell & Manella and Dan Cornelious to make our pro bono mission a reality for our students while advancing positive change in our communities through public interest legal work,” said Anna Davis, Director of Public Interest Programs for UC Irvine School of Law.


UC Irvine School of Law is an innovative and visionary law school focused on educating talented and passionate lawyers driven by professional excellence, intellectual rigor and a commitment to enrich our communities through public service.The Law School is a collegial, supportive and friendly environment and our faculty is comprised of accomplished, nationally-ranked thought leaders from around the country with a broad range of expertise. More about the Law School, including the Pro Bono program, is available at law.uci.edu.