Irving H. Green was a much-honored trial attorney known for representing the underdog in courts across the country. During his career, Green received numerous awards -- including the Ted Horn Memorial Award, an honor given by the Los Angeles Trial Lawyers Association. He also was a member of the Inner Circle of Advocates, a group whose membership is limited to 100 outstanding trial lawyers in the United States.
Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1905, Irving Green grew up poor and attended night school, graduating from law school when he was only 20. While waiting a year to be sworn into that state's bar (its legal minimum age was 21), he worked for West Publishing Company, selling law books so that he could earn enough money to open his own law office. Mr. Green was admitted to practice in 1952, and he practiced in Los Angeles until 1981.
Irving Green's enthusiasm for his work, his determination to help those who had no other champion, and his excellence and creativity serve as an inspiration today. Of his father, UCLA Professor of Mathematics Mark Green has said: "He lived his convictions while having a successful career." In a letter written about her late husband before the inaugural lecture, Fay Bettye Green noted: “Irving Green never forgot his background. . . . The trial of a case was his raison d' être -- his research was thorough, and his skills enabled him to convince the jury of his client's cause."
The Green family has chosen to honor Irving Green by creating a program designed to bring truly outstanding trial lawyers to UCLA to inspire law students and to engage in an exchange with them focused on the often unpopular role of lawyer.