David A. Lash
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David is the Managing Counsel for Pro Bono and Public Interest Services, overseeing the Firm’s national and international pro bono program. His background and skills includes complex business litigation including trial and appellate representation, real estate matters, corporate governance, board relations, labor and employment, and all areas of public policy and community relations. He has a lengthy history of representing clients in real estate litigation matters, including environmental and CEQA litigation on behalf of regional real estate developers.
David manages O’Melveny’s national and international pro bono program. He helped initiate a formal launch of the firm’s long-time pro bono program by drafting policies and procedures and creating a firm-wide infrastructure from which has grown a world-renowned pro bono program. Under David’s leadership, O’Melveny’s pro bono program has received the American Bar Association’s prestigious Pro Bono Publico Award and consistently has been recognized as one of the top 10 pro bono programs in the United States.
Prior to joining O’Melveny, David was executive director of Bet Tzedek, one of the largest and most successful non-profit legal services agencies in the United States. He has been named by the California Lawyer as an Attorney of the Year, as one of the country’s top 500 lawyers by LawDragon, and he is a recipient of the prestigious Rose L. Schiff Commitment to Justice Award from Bet Tzedek Legal Services. He is a frequent contributor to publications around the country and a frequent guest speaker on issues related to access to justice, legal aid, combating poverty, and more.
Honors & Awards
- Named to the Los Angeles Business Journal’s Top 100 Lawyers List (2022)
- Named a “Leading Lawyer” in LawDragon (2013-2014, 2019-2020)
- Recipient of the Bet Tzedek Rose L. Schiff Commitment to Justice Award (2014)
- Antonia Hernandez Public Interest Alumnus of the Year, UCLA School of Law (2000)
- Sydney M. Irmas Humanitarian Award (2003), L.A. Family Housing
- California Law Business 100 Most Influential Lawyers (1999, 2000, 2001, 2002)
- Named a “Super Lawyer” in a survey conducted by Law & Politics Media Inc. and published by Los Angeles magazine (2005-2015)
- California Lawyer of the Year (2006), California Lawyer Magazine
- US District Court, Central, Northern, and Southern Districts of California
- US Court of International Trade
- US Department of the Interior
- US Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit; US Court of Claims
- US Supreme Court
- University of California at Los Angeles, J.D.: UCLA Law Review
- University of California at Los Angeles, B.A., History: summa cum laude; Phi Beta Kappa; awarded Departmental Highest Honors; Dean’s List
Adjunct Professor of Law
- Stanford University School of Law
- University of California Irvine School of Law
- “Lawyers as Essential Second Responders in Catastrophes” Lawdragon (May 2020)
- Columnist for the Los Angeles Daily Journal, "In the Public Interest" (1995-present)
- Contributing writer, LawDragon
- Association of Pro Bono Counsel (APBCO) (2006 to present)
- OneJustice (2014-present)
- Fairfax LANI (Los Angeles Neighborhood Initiative) (1995-2002)
- Los Angeles Leadership Council of Aging Organizations (1994-2003)
- Los Angeles County Bar Association, Board of Trustees (2005-2007)
- Bet Tzedek
- Legal Services Trust Fund Commission of the California State Bar (2010-2013)
- Association of Pro Bono Counsel (APBCo) (2012)
- ACLU Foundation of Southern California
- Harriett Buhai Center
- UCLA Moot Court Program
- Caring for the Needy Committee
- Community Involvement Committee
- APBCO Leadership Council
- Los Angeles County Bar Association, Legal Services to the Poor Committee and Access to Justice Committee
- California State Bar, Legal Services Funding Committee and Long Term Services and Planning Committee
- Funding Subcommittee of the California Access to Justice Commission
- Jewish Federation Council
- Council of Agency and Federation Executives (1994-2003)
- Jewish Community Relations Committee
Frequent public speaker on issues of public interest law, pro bono management, and poverty law (ABA Equal Justice Conference, Pro Bono Institute Annual Seminar, California Pathways to Justice Conference)
- David has fostered relationships with legal aid and social services providers throughout the communities where O’Melveny’s attorneys live and work, bringing to the firm pro bono cases and projects that have had a profound impact on low income clients, communities and organizations. Through these relationships, O’Melveny has touched the lives of thousands of people who never would have been represented in securing the basic necessities of life for themselves and their families.
- David helped build O’Melveny’s pro bono program into one of the Top Twenty pro bono programs in the US as recognized by Law360. O’Melveny’s pro bono program is ranked by the American Lawyer as one of the country’s most acclaimed programs year after year. In addition to being the recipient of the ABA’s coveted Pro Bono Publico Award, O’Melveny has been recognized by the National Legal Aid and Defender Association as a Beacon of Justice winner on several occasions.
- The firm’s pro bono work has won critical Supreme Court victories on behalf of the some of the nation’s most worthy causes. O’Melveny’s lawyers, on a pro bono basis, have litigated cases David has brought to the firm in regard to marriage equality, voting rights, and privacy rights.
- David led a small delegation of lawyers to meet with Vice-President Joe Biden to discuss issues of access to justice. On the 50th anniversary of the historic meeting of pro bono law firms at the White House with President Kennedy, the Vice-President joined with David and a select group of pro bono leaders in crafting another national pro bono project that, in unprecedented ways, is now bringing life-saving legal representation to under-served residents of ten cities around the country.