Diversity Stakeholder Networking Reception

Learn about the new WID

Join us for a diversity stakeholder networking reception to learn about the new ways in which the Washington Initiative for Diversity is helping legal employers build an inclusive work environment and a diverse workforce.

  • Meet our new Executive Director, Angela Ballasiotes.
  •  Read more

    2016 Legal Executives Diversity Summit



    The Washington Initiative for Diversity is thrilled to announce our Annual Legal Executives Diversity Summit set for Wednesday, May 11, 2016 at 1:30 PM (program), followed by a networking reception at the Seattle Office of Davis Wright Tremaine.

    This year, we will explore the ramifications of I-200 (anti-affirmative action legislation) on law school admissions and develop strategic plans to counter the long-term effects on the legal profession. We will examine the unintended and/or intended consequences of the legislation and how this has impacted the workplace, the clients we serve, and discuss how we can address these impacts within the legal parameters of affirmative action.

    The Summit is a collaboration of the Initiative for Diversity and University of Washington, Seattle University, and Gonzaga University Law Schools.

    Wednesday, May 11, 2016
    @ Davis Wright Tremaine
    1201 Third Avenue, Suite 2200, Seattle

    Registration: 1:00 PM
    Program: 1:30 PM
    Networking Reception: 5:00 PM

    Cost: $150 per person
    ($50 for government and non-profit sectors)
    Ethics CLE credits pending

    Register at Brown Paper Tickets


    Erica Chung, Executive Director
    Washington Initiative for Diversity
    206-720-4996 |director@initiativefordiversitywa.org



    Barbara Madsen, Chief Justice, Washington State Supreme Court and Vice Chair, WA Initiative for Diversity

    Bob Ferguson, Attorney General, Washington Office of the General Counsel

    William D. Hyslop, President, Washington State Bar Association and Partner, Lukins & Annis, P.S


    Suzie Rao, Senior Corporate Counsel, BECU

    James Doane, Corporate Counsel, Costco Wholesale and Board of Governors, Washington State Bar Association

    Kelly W. Clark, Chief Ethics Officer, Senior Vice President of Safety, Environmental & Regulatory Services, Holland America Group


    Robert A. Blackstone, Partner-in-Charge, Seattle Office, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

    Scott Collins, Managing Partner, Helsell Fettman

    Portia Moore, Chair, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

    Robert Stevens, Chief Operating Officer, Bennett Bigelow & Leedom, P.S. and Member, Puget Sound Association of Legal Administrators


    The Judicial Institute Receives WSBA Excellence in Diversity Award

    JudicialInstitute-WSBA Award

    SEATTLE, WA [Sept. 23, 2015] — The Washington State Bar Association (WSBA) presented The Judicial Institute— a collaboration project of the Washington Initiative for Diversity and numerous Minority Bar Associations (MBA), Judges’ Associations and the state’s three law schools—with its 2015 Excellence in Diversity Award. The award is in recognition of the Institute’s work in promoting diversity among the Washington judiciary. WSBA President Anthony Gipe presented the award at the WSBA Annual Awards Dinner on Sept. 17, 2015, at the Sheraton Seattle.
    “We are fortunate to live in a very diverse community,” said King County Superior Court Judge Elizabeth J. Berns. “Having a judiciary that positively reflects the diversity of the community it serves is critical — a pillar to the democratic system of government we endorse…. The Judicial Institute’s unwavering commitment has had a positive impact on our courts and continues to make a difference in how we approach the needs of the community we serve.”

     Read more

    We THANK the Sponsors, the Host Committee, and Planning Committee of the 2015 Legal Executives Summit

    TY JPG FileThe 2015 Legal Executives Diversity Summit was a huge success thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, the support of our Host Committee Members, and the dedication of our Planning Committee members.  Read more

    Register for the 2015 Legal Executives Diversity Summit


    Please join us for our 3rd Annual Summit. We have an exciting program with prominent speakers including:

    Mary Snapp, Microsoft Corporate V.P. and Deputy General Counsel, as our Keynote Speaker
    Bob Ferguson, WA Attorney General, as our Featured Speaker
    Dr. Jerry Kang, Professor of Law and Associate Provost at UCLA, for a special presentation on the science of implicit bias and countermeasure strategies in the legal institutional context
    Chief Justice Barbara Madsen and U.S. District Court Judge Richard Jones

    Attendees will also have an opportunity to connect with peers through small table discussions and a networking break. Read more

    Announcing the 2015 Judicial Institute

    The Judicial Institute is committed to the diversification of Washington’s courts. Our judicial system is strengthened when it reflects the richness and diversity of the communities and populations served throughout the State of Washington.  The bench is enriched, and decision-making is enhanced, by a variety of perspectives, life experiences, and professional paths. Read more

    Come to our Professional Development Forum

    The Washington Initiative for Diversity and the Puget Sound Association of Legal Administrators will soon host a “Professional Development Forum” for diverse attorneys. We will send out an announcement once a new date has been set.

     Read more

    We Thank the Sponsors of the 2014 Legal Executives Summit

    The 2014 Legal Executives Diversity Summit a huge success thanks to the dedication of our supporters and generosity of our sponsors. Read more

    Register today for the 2014 Legal Executives Summit

    Join our Host Committee and other leaders from the legal community at our next Legal Executives Diversity Summit (formerly known as the Managing Partners Summit) hosted by the Washington Initiative for Diversity.

    The 2014 Legal Executives Diversity Summit will focus on meaningful retention strategies that support your diverse staff, as well as strengthening their career development within your organization.

    Event Information

    Wednesday, May 14, 2014
    8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
    Cost: $150 per attendee
    Ethics CLE credits pending

    Davis Wright Tremaine LLP’s Seattle Office
    1201 Third Avenue, Suite 2200
    Seattle, Washington 98101

    Click on this link to register for this event.

    Host Committee in Formation


    Barbara Madsen Chief Justice, Wash. State Supreme Court and Vice Chair, Wash. Initiative for Diversity

    Steven González Justice, Wash. State Supreme Court


    Kelly W. Clark, Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Ethics Officer, Holland America Line

    James Doane, Costco Wholesale Corporation and Chair, WSBA Corporate Counsel Section

    Lucy Lee Helm, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary for Starbucks Corporation

    Karen Jones, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for HR Law, Microsoft

    Bradley Toney, United Online/Classmates Media Corp and President, Wash. Chapter, Association of Corporate Counsel


    Robert A. Blackstone, Partner-in-Charge, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

    Melanie K. Curtice, Managing Partner, Stoel Rives LLP

    Philip Guess, Managing Partner, K&L Gates

    Portia Moore, Partner and Diversity Chair, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

    Kelly Twiss Noonan, Managing Shareholder, Stokes Lawrence

    Application Period for Judicial Institute Open, Closes December 30


    The Judicial Institute is an all-day training event scheduled for February 8, 2014 at Seattle University School of Law. Instructors will include judges, former MBA judicial evaluation committee members, judicial election consultants, and former and present Governor’s Counsels discussing various topics including: the life of a superior/district/municipal court judge, getting yourself ready and preparing your CV, the Governor’s judicial appointment process, and various aspects of judicial elections. In addition, participants (Fellows) will be assigned judicial mentors who will provide feedback and guidance throughout the year.

    About the Institute

    The Judicial Institute is committed to addressing the concerns that an extremely low number of minority lawyers pursue judicial careers through the appointment or election processes and the need for continued diversification of the respective court benches. Our mission is to encourage qualified minority attorneys to seek judicial positions, through a comprehensive education and mentorship program. Our goal is the promotion of court benches which reflects the richness and diversity of the communities and populations served by our judicial system throughout the State of Washington.

    Application Process
    DEADLINE MONDAY, DECEMBER 30, 2013 BY 5:00 pm

    We are searching for diverse candidates who are considering a position on a district or municipal court in 2014. We hope that each participating MBA will recommend and encourage at least two highly qualified and interested candidates to participate and potentially run for office. Interested applicants with at least eight years or more of experience should submit a cover letter, resume and the Judicial Institute Application to Erica Chung, Initiative for Diversity, via e-mail at director@initiativefordiversitywa.org or by mail to PO Box 1985, Seattle, WA 98111-1985. (FYI-There will be a nominal charge for participants.)

    2012 Statistics

    The following is the 2012 Judicial Institute Participant Profile: 25 participants were selected. They represent 11 minority groups from 8 different counties 4 participants became judges. Three superior court judges and one tribal court judge representing three counties-King, Kitsap, and Spokane.

    If you have questions or for further information, please contact: