Leslie Locke's research interests include leadership for social justice and equity, schooling experiences of students from marginalized groups, equity-oriented education policy, and qualitative methodologies. She is currently examining early college programs (partnerships between institutions of higher education and K12 schools) as social justice policy interventions in education. Locke has published in a variety of academic journals including the Journal of Cases in Educational Leadership, the International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, Whiteness and Education, and Educational Studies, as well as three books related to her research interests.
Leslie Locke consistently presents her research at national professional organizations including the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA), the American Educational Research Association (AERA), and the Critical Race Studies in Education Association (CRSEA). Locke has served in a variety of leadership roles within UCEA, AERA, and CRSEA. She is a 2020-21 Fulbright Scholar.