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Diversity Spotlight Series: Kristen Sonday, Co-Founder and COO of Paladin

One of the American Bar Association’s core values is a commitment to diversity , which the Law Practice Division aims to reinforce in the legal tech area. From tech benefactors and CEOs to small business owners, diverse legal professionals are making a big impact on law and technology in every field. In keeping with the spirit of progress, the Legal Technology Resource Center( LTRC) is proud to present its “Diversity Spotlight Series.” Our goal is to celebrate, promote and help BIPOC, LGBTQ and those with disabilities in the legal tech room.

Kristen Sonday

Kristen Sonday, Co-Founder and COO of Paladin

How would you describe your job and what do you love most about it?

As a startup co-founder, I assure my work as persistently estimating how our engineering can be most impactful within the pro bono ecosystem( and access to justice system more broadly ), and then guiding initiatives to execute on those goals. I affection that we’re addressing such complex problems and appreciate how quickly we’re always moving to adapt and proportion our impact.

What drew “youre going to” and how did you arrive at your current role?

My background is with the U.S. Justice Department doing international criminal work in Mexico and The countries of central america, and then serving as a founding team are part of a YCombinator-backed tech startup. Through my work with underrepresented societies at DOJ, I knew I wanted to do something related to increasing access to justice, and the tech life educated me that with the privilege unit, I could build and implement an impactful tech solution at magnitude. That was really exciting to me.

How has mentorship played a part in your personal and professional growth?

As a first gen college Latina( my daddy didn’t even finish high school ), mentorship has implied everything. From attending dames superseded who was like me to having other mentors approval, vouch for me, or make an introduction, I would not be here were it not for their advocacy.

What has been the most valuable section of advice pay close attention to you, and the least useful?

The best admonition I’ve received is to find your competitive advantage-what induces you unique-and doubled down on it. My Latinidad allows me to relate to our pro bono patients in a way that others in the field can’t, and my professional background likewise allows me to relate well to our consumers. That compounding is potent to me and something that sets Paladin apart. Least helpful opinion? I try to ignore those!

Is there something that you do in your personal life and community( outside of the part and use) that you think lends in some manner to your professional success?

I actively voluntary for makes that I care about; mostly related to ATJ and reinforcing diverse benefactors. For lesson, I Co-Chair the Legal Services Corporation’s Emerging Leaders Council, which has started me uncommonly more attune to what legal services organizations “re working on” and the challenges they face, which I can then incorporate at Paladin. I too instructor for the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s incubator program, provided as an EIR for Code2 040, and mentor for the Princeton Entrepreneurship Council, which provides great insights into how others’ are thinking about their own startups. All of that in turn gives me new ways to think about how and what we’re building at Paladin.

How do you think supervisors, formations, and communities can increase diversity and supporter diverse professionals, specifically in the law tech world-wide?

Frankly, we know what we need to do , now we just need to go do it. For the people in the back: hire, invest in, promote, spend, buy from, raise awareness of, and listen to diverse professionals to start.

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