Leadership Academy Selection Criteria & Costs

Selection Criteria

  • Commitment to using what you learn to build powerful legal, advocacy, community-based, and multi-disciplinary networks that are guided by individuals and communities who are most impacted by poverty, racism, and other forms of systemic oppression
  • Willingness to participate in cohort learning and dialogue focused on challenging issues, including systemic racism and navigating personal and secondary trauma
  • Willingness to serve as a mentor, resource and or/trainer for future Fellows
  • Enthusiasm for making yourself a more effective and courageous community leader
  • Commitment to participating in the entire Academy, including attending all four retreats and participating in in between-retreat learning. You should not apply if you are seeking to make significant changes to your life or career that are likely to interfere with full participation.

Goals for Cohort Composition

Academy cohorts reflect the diversity of the many communities that intersect with the justice systems. We define diversity broadly to include, but not be limited to, age, years of experience, disability, ethnicity, social class, sexual orientation, indigenous background, national origin, race, religion, veteran status, gender identity, geographic location, communities served in your work, and size of organization. Note: The Leadership Academy is NOT about positional authority, but instead about a deep commitment to engage in powerful leadership behaviors, regardless of role.

JustLead engages those who already hold influence within the law and justice systems in transformational change work while also building power and capacity within communities and programs that are often inequitably resourced. Cohorts intentionally include Fellows from law and justice and community-based organizations, and typically at least half of our Fellows identify as people of color. About 1/3 work within civil legal aid; 1/3 with other justice system partners (including criminal & juvenile justice, law schools, and pro bono programs); and 1/3 with community-based organizations and other partners. At least 40% of Fellows work outside of King County. Individuals who have personally navigated the justice system and/or who have lived experience within communities most harmed by structural oppression are encouraged to apply.


The Leadership Academy is subsidized by a team of funding partners, and participants are selected without regard to their ability to pay. However, contributions from organizations and individuals help underwrite costs and ensure the long-term sustainability of the Academy. Because significant Continuing Legal Education (CLE) and other continuing education credits are available for participants (approximately 20 credit hours, including 5 or more Ethics hours), Fellows are strongly encouraged to seek contributions from their organizations’ professional development budgets.

However, in no instance will ability to contribute be a factor in accepting applicants.

Suggested Contributions Per Fellow Based on Organizational Budget:

We ask organizations with larger budgets, especially organizations that are historically white-led, to consider the solidarity budget amount to help demonstrate a financial commitment to supporting BIPOC colleagues that will be participating in the Leadership Academy as well as ensuring that other BIPOC leaders in community-based organizations and groups are also able to participate. This solidarity rate helps to ensure that we can address the needs of this cohort.


Organizational BudgetRequested Contribution
Solidarity Rate$2,500
Nonprofits $1,000,000+;

Public Sector; Private Sector

Nonprofits $500,000 – $999,999$1,000
Nonprofits under $250,000$500
Non-sponsored participants and individuals from community-led organizationsNo cost

Questions & Assistance

If you need assistance to complete your application or have any questions or problems regarding your application, please contact  info@justleadwa.org.