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 law tech sphere. From tech founders 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 foster BIPOC, LGBTQ and those with disabilities in the legal tech gap.

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 construe my work as constantly assessing how our engineering can be most impactful within the pro bono ecosystem( and access to justice system more broadly ), and then conducting initiatives to execute on those goals. I love that we’re addressing such complex problems and appreciate how quickly we’re always moving to adapt and flake our impact.

What pull you 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 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 macrocosm taught me that with the liberty squad, I could build and implement an impactful tech solution at scale. That was really exciting to me.

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

As a first gen college Latina( my papa didn’t even finish high school ), mentorship has conveyed everything. From looking maidens succeed who was like me to having other instructors buoy, vouch for me, or make an introduction, I would not be here were it not for their advocacy.

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

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

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

I actively volunteer for campaigns that I care about; mostly related to ATJ and patronage diverse benefactors. For illustration, I Co-Chair the Legal Business Corporation’s Emerging Leaders Council, which has moved me exceedingly 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, performed 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 boss, arrangements, and communities can increase diversity and substantiate diverse professionals, specifically in the law tech macrocosm?

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, pay, buy from, raise awareness of, and listen to diverse professionals to start.

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