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Washington Leadership Institute

The Mission

The mission of the Washington Leadership Institute (WLI) is to recruit, train, and develop minority and traditionally underrepresented attorneys for future leadership positions in the Washington State Bar Association and legal community. We strive to recruit fellows for each class who reflect the full diversity of our state, which includes race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and geographic location.

The Curriculum and Service Projects

2014 A Guide for Young People with Disabilities in Washington

More information on the curriculum and examples of past projects here.

The Board

Ronald R. Ward,
WLI Founder

Hon. Mary Yu
James Williams

Patrick A. Palace, WSBA
President and ex-officio member

Dean Annette E. Clark
Ex-Officio member

Dean Jane Korn
Ex-Officio member

Jeffrey A. Beaver
Hon. Bobbe Bridge (Ret.)
Hon. Mary Fairhurst
Hon. Steven González
Nancy L. Isserlis
Victor Lara
Karen Lee
Hon. Lorraine Lee
Diankha L. Linear

Felix G. Luna
Hon. Ricardo S. Martinez
Hon. Susan J. Owens
Frederick (Fred) B. Rivera
Craig A. Sims
Dean Kellye Y. Testy
James Williams
Karen Denise Wilson
Hon. Mary I. Yu

Read the board members' full biographies.

News and Events

  • - Congratulations to Nancy Isserlis, a WLI Advisory Board member, who is receiving a prestigious YWCA Award that recognizes Outstanding Women! (Link to press releases 1 and 2.)
  • - http://kuow.org/ Diane Meyers (WLI Alum 2011) was interviewed by Austin Jenkins on KUOW on August 25 in their coverage of Washington Supreme Court Sets Standard for Post-Conviction DNA Testing. (The full text and audio both appear at the link.)
  • - Washington Leadership Institute (WLI) seeks 2014-15 class of fellows. Apply Now!
  • - Congratulations to WLI founder Ron Ward, who received the Loren Miller Bar Association Lifetime Achievement Award at the recent LMBA Annual Scholarship Dinner.
    On September 18th, Ron will become the first recipient of the Washington State Bar Foundation’s Sally P. Savage Leadership in Philanthropy Award at the WSBA Annual Awards Dinner.
  • - Congratulations to 2013 WLI Fellow, Rashelle Davis, who has been selected as a 40 Under 40 honoree by the Business Examiner! She will be honored on Aug. 19, 2014 at Pacific Lutheran University, Mary Baker Russell Music Center.
  • - Congratulations to Judge Yu, who was appointed by Governor Inslee to the Washington Supreme Court!
  • - Congratulations to Bernard Veljacic (WLI 2009 Fellow) who has been appointed to serve as a Superior Court judge for Clark County, Vancouver, WA by Governor Inslee!!!
  • - Congratulations to Judge Mary Yu who will be receiving the 2014 Washington State Association for Justice "Judge of the Year" award on May 2nd at their May Day Celebration.
  • -

    Please join our WLI Co-chairs, James Williams and Judge Yu, in congratulating Diane M. Meyers, WLI Fellow of 2011!

    “Graham & Dunn is pleased to announce that Diane M. Meyers was elected as firm shareholder and to the firm’s board of directors. Meyers is a commercial litigator, whose practice focuses on insurance coverage and environmental and natural resources matters. She has significant experience in a variety of complex commercial matters and handles environmental litigation and claims involving hazardous site investigations, cleanups, cost recovery, and natural resource damages. In addition to serving on Graham & Dunn’s Board of Directors, Meyers also serves on the Ninth Judicial Circuit Historical Society Advisory Council and is Pro Bono General Counsel to Puget Sound Bike Share.”

  • - WWL Winter 2014 Newsletter
    Tracy Flood, winner of the 2013 recipient of the WWL President’s Award, answers questions on her career as an attorney and diversity in the profession.


For questions about the WLI, please contact:

Dawn Bell
Assistant to the Dean
Washington Leadership Institute Coordinator William H. Gates Hall |371
Box 353020
Seattle, WA 98195-3020
P:(206) 543-2586 F: (206) 616-5305

Last updated 9/10/2014