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

2018 Fellows

  • Vanessa O. Arno Martinez
  • Phillip A. Chu
  • Cynthia F. Delostrinos
  • Denise Diskin
  • Sarah R. Elerson
  • Jennifer A. Garber
  • Shontrana P. Gates-Wertman
  • Zainab Hussain
  • Cecilia Lopez
  • Seth M. Niesen
  • Alyson L. Palmer
  • María D. Velázquez
Learn more — read the 2018 fellows’ bios.

Board Members

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


  • Dean Annette E. Clark, Ex-Officio member
  • Dean Jane Korn, Ex-Officio member
  • Toni Rembe Interim Dean Anita Krug, Ex-Officio member
  • Jeffrey A. Beaver
  • Hon. Bobbe Bridge (Ret.)
  • Nicholas Brown
  • 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
  • Hon. Susan J. Owens
  • William D. Pickett, WSBA President and ex-officio member
  • Frederick (Fred) B. Rivera
  • Craig A. Sims
  • Kellye Y. Testy

Read the board members’ full bios.