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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

For 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 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.
  • - WLI Graduate Fellow, Gloria Ochoa has been appointed by Spokane Mayor Condon to serve as a member of the cabinet of his administration as Director of Local Government and Multicultural Affairs. Previously, Gloria served the Spokane Tribe as Chief Judge.
  • Tracy Flood has been selected to receive the 2013 Washington Women Lawyer’s President’s Award. - The honor will be conferred at WWL’s Annual Dinner at 6:00 p.m.,, Friday, October 11th, at the Seattle Aquarium. The theme of this year’s dinner is Diversity and Inclusion in the Legal Profession.
  • Congratulations to the 2013 Graduating Class of Washington Leadership Institute Fellows - Join us in celebrating on Friday, Aug. 16, 5:00 - 7:30 p.m. at Perkins Coie in downtown Seattle. Please contact Dawn Bell to RSVP.
  • - Harvard Law Diaz is also a graduate of the inaugural class of the Washington Leadership Institute.
  • - Several WLI fellows were selected as Super Lawyers or Rising Stars in the annual ranking that recongnizes attorneys that have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Those selected as Super Lawyers are: Lincoln Beauregard,  Joaquin Hernandez. Rising Stars, those under age 40 or who have been practicing for 10 years or less are:  Cynthia Buhr, Lisa Dickinson, Colleen Frei,  Lauren King, Gloria Ochoa Lawrence, Dainen Penta, Kevin O’Rourke and Kammi Mencke Smith.


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 5/5/2014