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The Puget Sound Area Minority Clerkship Program (PSAMCP) began in 1991 largely in response to various national surveys showing a deficiency in the level of minority involvement as associates or partners in major Seattle law firms.  PSAMCP was founded by representatives from interested law firms, the Loren Miller and Hispanic Bar Associations, the University of Washington Law School, and Seattle University School of Law. 


Since its inception, the program has provided summer opportunities for more than 225 diverse Washington law students.  In the mid-2000s, as a number of participating large law firms decided to develop their own programs, other firms and corporations took their place.


In 2015, PSAMCP made changes to its structure to ensure its continued longevity and to expand its reach in the Washington legal community.  The PSAMCP Committee established a non-profit corporation and Legal Employers Advancing Diversity in Washington (LEAD-WA) was born.  

Becoming a LEAD Employer

LEAD-WA is open to Washington State law firms and companies.  It is an easy way to hire a diverse first-year law student as a summer fellow.  As a LEAD-er, the employer gets the benefit of a streamlined application and interview process. For employers who have never hosted law students, this program provides mentorship for new supervisors and offers guidance on how to maximize the experience for the employer and the student.  By joining the LEAD-WA community, employers commit to advancing diversity within their own ranks and in Washington's larger legal community.

For more information on becoming a LEAD-er, contact Emily Yoshiwara

Becoming a LEAD Fellow

Applications for the summer 2024 Fellowship Program are now OPEN.  Applications must be submitted through your law school's online application system by NOON on January 12, 2024.


LEAD-WA is open to first-year law students at Washington's three law schools: Seattle University School of Law, University of Washington Law School, and Gonzaga University School of Law.


This highly competitive program offers a paid summer fellowship with one of the participating employers.  Students have the opportunity to work alongside practicing attorneys in a law firm or corporate in-house counsel environment. 


Fellowship applications are accepted through early January.  Students must apply through their law school's online career services system.


Fostering Inclusion & Diversity



LEAD-WA fosters inclusion and diversity in the practice of law by offering opportunities to diverse first year law students from Washington law schools to work in a variety of law firm and corporate law environments in the State of Washington.

We are a small firm, and every year through LEAD-WA we gain access to a large pool of talented summer associate candidates.  LEAD-WA helps us execute on our commitment to furthering diversity, equity, and inclusion in a tangible and practical way." 

Susannah C. Carr

Gordon Tilden Thomas & Cordell LLP

Becoming a LEAD Employer

“Fellowships with LEAD-WA employers are lifting off points for the rest of your legal career. Fellows have the opportunity to apply often abstract concepts learned during their first year, build lasting relationships, and explore the private sphere. In addition to providing substantive work and hands-on projects, I was offered invaluable mentorship and a welcoming environment to ask questions about law school and beyond.”

Emma Daniels

Former LEAD-WA Fellow

Becoming a LEAD Fellow

“My experience as a LEAD fellow helped me establish connections and relationships early on in my legal career. I was able to learn about a number of employers and practice areas that I would not have been exposed to through the traditional OCI route. Through LEAD, I was able to take a chance on an entirely new practice area that I had never before considered – and I still practice in that area today. I also been lucky enough to be on the employer side and gotten to meet and work with some awesome law students from around the state. As an employer, prioritizing space for multiple perspectives, identities and experiences helped to create an enriched and diverse office environment – a great experience for both fellows and employers!”

Emily Yoshiwara

Former LEAD-WA Fellow

Becoming a LEAD Fellow

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