Leadership Academy Selection Criteria & Costs

Selection Criteria

  • Commitment to using what you learn to build powerful legal, advocacy, and community-based networks that can effectively include and support individuals and communities who are most impacted by poverty and other systemic oppression
  • Commitment to participating in the entire Academy, including attending all four retreats and participating in approximately 3-4 hours per month of 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.
  • Willingness to participate in cohort learning and dialogue focused on challenging issues, including systems that perpetuate poverty and racism and ways to navigate personal and secondary trauma
  • Willingness to serve as a mentor, resource and or/trainer for future Fellows
  • Enthusiasm for and commitment to making yourself a more effective community leader

Goals for Cohort Composition

JustLead works to create a cohort of Fellows that reflects the diversity of the many communities that intersect with the justice systems in Washington. 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, geographical location, communities served in your work, and size of organization. Note: The Leadership Academy is NOT about positional authority, but rather is about a person’s deep commitment to actively engage in powerful leadership behaviors, regardless of their role(s).

A typical Leadership Academy cohort includes:

  • Fellows from organizations addressing a wide range of equity and justice issues, such as civil legal aid organizations, pro bono programs, law schools, criminal justice and juvenile justice agencies, legal advocacy organizations, and local, state, and federal public sector offices
  • Fellows from community-based organizations whose work, communities, or constituents intersect with the civil, criminal, and/or juvenile justice system or child welfare system (at least 1/4 to 1/3 of each cohort)
  • Fellows who identify as people of color (at least 1/3 of each cohort)
  • Fellows from throughout Washington, including rural and urban communities


The full cost of the Leadership Academy is $1,200 per participant, which includes food, travel, and lodging for participants who need it. Contributions from organizations and individuals help underwrite direct travel & retreat costs and ensure the long-term sustainability of the Leadership Academy. However, the Leadership Academy is subsidized by a team of funding partners, and participants are selected without regard to their ability to pay. In no instance will ability to contribute be a factor in accepting applicants.

Because significant Continuing Legal Education (CLE) and other continuing education credits are available for participants (approximately 25 credit hours, including 5 or more Ethics hours), Fellows are strongly encouraged to seek contributions from their organizations’  professional development budgets.

Questions & Assistance

If you need assistance to complete your application or have any questions or problems regarding your application, please contact Jennifer Werdell at jenniferw@justleadwa.org or (206) 914-9406.