Washington Leadership institute Fellows Share Perspectives as Underrepresented Attorneys

Congratulations to the newest graduates of The Washington Leadership Institute Fellowship Program who recently presented their 2022 community service project, What We Wished We Had Known: Perspectives from Underrepresented Attorneys, at their in-person graduation.

The full class roster is listed below, with UW Law alumni noted by class year:

  • Alizeh Bhojani (J.D. ’17)
  • Micah Bobo
  • Nyssa Chopra (J.D. ‘17)
  • Andre Dayani
  • Andrew Fuller (J.D. ’16)
  • Ashley Gomez
  • Darrah Hinton
  • David Morales
  • Sarah Rieko Pendleton
  • Nico Quintana (J.D. ’18)
  • Jackee Walker

The cohort decided to contribute to Washington’s legal community by leveraging their own personal diverse experiences to develop a guide for new attorneys and incoming law students.

In their forward, the group wrote, “Our goal was to produce something that would be practically useful and provide real and meaningful insights—unvarnished truths—about our own struggles and accomplishments as minority members of the Bar.”

“In developing this guide—in coming together to manifest our goal—we leveraged our diversity and trusted one another with our personal stories and our vulnerabilities,” the group collectively wrote. “We hope that the stories, tips, and lessons contained herein provide useful and relevant information that helps prepare you for entering our profession. But we also hope that this guide serves to remind you that you are not alone, and that the community is around you to be built, improved upon and relied on.”

Attendees smile for a photo at a WLI event.

The graduation, hosted by Perkins Coie LLP, featured a video keynote by the Honorable Richard Jones. WLI board co-chairs James Williams and Washington Supreme Court Justice Mary Yu expressed their pride in the program and the leadership demonstrated by each WLI fellow and class.

Also in attendance was WLI founder Ronald Ward, over 20 WLI alumni, UW Law Dean Tamara Lawson, multiple members from the Washington State Bar Association (WSBA) Board of Governors, Representative Jamila Taylor (J.D. ’16) from the 30th legislative district and Senator Manka Dhingra from the 45th legislative district.

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 2022–2023 WLI application process is now open until Oct, 9, 2022 by 5 p.m.

Download the Application

Questions? Please contact Dawn Bell at (206) 543-0346 or via email at belld3@uw.edu.