Erika Evans and Craig Sims have been selected as Co-Chairs of the Washington Leadership Institute (WLI), leading efforts to recruit and develop underrepresented attorneys for leadership positions.
Washington Leadership Institute
The Washington Leadership Institute (WLI) is a leadership development program created in 2004 by the WSBA Board of Governors at the behest of then president Ronald R. Ward. Its mission is to recruit, train and develop traditionally underrepresented attorneys for future leadership positions in the Washington State Bar Association and legal community. It is a collaborative leadership program between the Washington State Bar Association and the University of Washington School of Law.
The program strives 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 program sessions include topics such as the “nuts and bolts” of law practice, leadership styles, the judiciary and the legislative process.
The WLI provides the fellows with numerous opportunities to personally interact with legal, judicial and political leaders. The program offers a unique combination of benefits:
- The program is a no-cost endeavor for Fellows because all travel, lodging and meals are covered
- No tuition fee
- CLE credits, enough to satisfy approximately 3 full years of MCLE requirements — at no cost
- Exposure to practice and industry leaders
- Training in the law, courts and the bar
- One-on-one interaction with judges
- Mentorship from well-known bar leaders
Apply to Become a WLI Fellow
The 2023–24 WLI application process is now open from Sept. 27 to Oct. 13, 2023 until 5 p.m.
Questions? Please contact Dawn Bell at (206) 543-0346 or via email at email@example.com.
“WLI was huge in giving me the tools I need to be better. The relationships in particular continue to be important and rewarding. I appreciate that the end goal is to understand the meaning of community and to then serve. The program is not just career oriented – but with the career advancement, one also gains a corresponding credible voice that is needed to make a difference.”— Judge Bernard F. Veljacic, Washington State Court of Appeals, Division 2
ABA Midyear Meeting
The ABA Midyear meeting was held virtually in February 2022. Washington Leadership Institute (WLI) Program was highlighted along with The Men of Color Project. Checkout the video!
Recent graduating class of the WLI Fellowship Program provide a guide for new, underrepresented attorneys and incoming law students.
Retired Washington Supreme Court Justice Fairhurst served on the Court from 2003 to 2020 and was a board member of the Washington Leadership Institute.
The award is the latest recognition of work shaping legal leaders while serving underrepresented communities.