Washington Leadership Institute WLI Community

In May 2003, the Washington State Bar Association Board of Governors ("Board") included in its 2003-2006 Strategic Goals the commitment to "promote diversity, equality and cultural competence in the courts, legal profession and the bar." The Board formally recognized and addressed the need for diversity within the state's legal profession and communities throughout the state. Further, the Board recognized that many newly admitted attorneys, and attorneys who have been in practice for less than 10 years, particularly those who come from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, women and those from traditionally under-represented groups, have not been recruited nor made aware of leadership positions and training available through the WSBA. In 2004, at the behest of then WSBA President Ronald Ward, the WSBA Leadership Institute was created to meet this important need.

Learn more about our amazing alumni.

2020 Fellows

  • Christopher Bhang
  • Niomi F. Drake
  • Erika J. Evans
  • Kate Francis
  • Leticia Hernández
  • Nyoka M. Jeffrey
  • James F. Johnson
  • Javier Ortiz
  • Miles F. Russell
  • Dana M. Savage
  • Rachel Seals
  • Aileen S. Tsao

Read the 2020 WLI Fellows profiles to learn more.

Board Members

Ronald R. Ward, WLI Founder
Hon. Mary Yu, Co-Chairs
James Williams, Co-Chairs


  • Dean Annette E. Clark, Ex-Officio member
  • Dean Jacob H. Rooksby, Ex-Officio member
  • Toni Rembe Dean Mario L. Barnes, Ex-Officio member
  • Jeffrey A. Beaver
  • Hon. Bobbe Bridge (Ret.)
  • Nicholas Brown
  • Jillian M. Cutler
  • Chief Justice Mary Fairhurst
  • Justice Steven González
  • Nancy L. Isserlis
  • Zabrina Jenkins
  • Jean Kang
  • Victor Lara
  • Karen Lee
  • Hon. Lorraine Lee
  • Chief Judge Ricardo S. Martinez
  • Diane M. Meyers
  • Hon. Raquel Montoya-Lewis
  • Kevin O’Rourke
  • Frederick (Fred) B. Rivera
  • Craig A. Sims
  • Kellye Y. Testy
  • Stephan M. Thomas

Read the board members’ full bios.