PJI Programs
PJI Programs
PJI Programs

Peace and Justice Institute

LEAP - Legal Education Action Project

“In a hurried world where we sometimes forget to look beyond people’s words and actions and discover the 'why' behind what people say and do, LEAP helped me become a better attorney and in essence a better person, by delving into those 'whys' to understand what is really happening when people say the things they say and do the things they do.”
~ Wendy Mara
Attorney and LEAP participant

Our Mission

LEAP is committed to helping our participants learn effective ways to peacefully navigate conflict in thoughtful, transformative ways.

Who we serve

LEAP serves legal professionals and those professionals working in legal-related processes such as collaborative divorce and mediation.


As problem-solvers, lawyers are tasked with working through disputes in a system that is inherently adversarial. Quite often the nature of this system elicits behaviors that are not in alignment with the decency, dignity, courtesy, and professionalism The Florida Bar encourages of its members. In this challenging legal landscape, lawyers and paralegals need to learn tools that support the Bar's aspirational goals for conduct.

As helpers, legal professionals and those professionals working in legal-related processes are faced with situations that demand an ever-broadening scope of skills in order to facilitate civilized processes and successful outcomes. Increasing levels of dispute in society and within the professional community require conflict navigation expertise not only to support better experiences for clients, but also to support greater wellness and balance for the professional.

Quotes from participants

“I was inspired to action after attending The Principles of How We Treat Each Other. The instructors were clearly committed to helping advance civility and kindness to each other as well as ourselves -- true architects of change!”   
~ Brenda London, Attorney and Law Professor

“I enjoyed the seminar I attended very much as it forced me to put my busy life on pause and meaningfully reflect on topics of the utmost importance.  One exercise in particular had a deep impact. We revisited why we went to law school in the first place and the type of professional we wanted to be. Sometimes we lose our focus and this seminar helped me put everything in the proper perspective.” 
~ Wendy Toscano, Valencia College Paralegal Studies Chair/Professor and Attorney

"There just aren't many opportunities for [lawyers] to learn how to be better people. To have people participate and feel is much more meaningful than concepts"
~ Jill Kelso, Attorney


Navigating Fundamental Attribution Error, October 19, 2018

Navigating Confirmation Bias, November 9, 2018




PJI Journal Cover



    Goals of the Institute are to:
    1. Create and teach a Peace and Justice Studies curriculum
    2. Sponsor and collaborate on peace and justice events
    3. Foster a connection with Valencia's A.S. programs in peace studies and conflict transformation
    4. Offer community outreach in peace and justice
    5. Engage in realizing Valencia's core competencies