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The Opportunity for Diverse Legaltech Founders to Make Their Mark

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 63 minutes
Recorded Date: February 04, 2021
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  • The path forward
  • Why diversity in LegalTech is important?
  • Is Venture Capital the right path for your business?
  • What do investors consider in LegalTech?
  • Showing leadership in supporting diversity in legal/LegalTech?
  • Challenges and advise 
  • More way to support
  • Q & A
Runtime: 1 hour, 3 minutes
Recorded: February 4, 2021


Recent history has shown that minorities and female-led companies have had difficulty in acquiring the necessary capital to succeed in the ever-growing legal technology market. As a direct result, not only do founders lose out on their dreams and ambitions, but, equally as important, the overall legal community is potentially deprived of more, perhaps better, innovations that could have otherwise improved the delivery & access of legal services.

In this sobering session, our panel of experts will take a closer look at how the investment and legal communities could collaboratively more effectively in raising awareness on this issue and effecting real change.

This program was recorded as part of ALM's Legalweek 2021 Virtual Conference on February 4th, 2021.

Provided By

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Bryan Parker

Legal Innovators

As CEO, Bryan runs the day-to-day operations of Legal Innovators. He understands the challenges of running corporate law practices and law firms. Not only is he trained in the law, he is also a leader in business. Bryan served as the CEO and COO of venture- and private equity-backed businesses including DaVita and Affinity Media, and also has a background in investment banking.

One of his passions is helping clients find innovative solutions to their hiring, pricing, diversity and inclusion challenges in an efficient and cost-effective manner. He can relate to the pressure today’s businesses face to reduce costs, while preserving quality. Bryan leads our team with this dual focus in mind.

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Kristen Sonday

Co-Founder & COO

Kristen Sonday is the co-founder and COO of Paladin. She is a Fellow for Stanford’s Latino Entrepreneur Leaders Program and a Google for Entrepreneurs Code2040 Entrepreneur-in-Residence at 1871, with the goal of promoting and supporting black and Latinx entrepreneurs.

Passionate about increasing access to justice, Kristen works with Fortune 500 companies, law firms, law schools, and bar associations to staff, manage, and track pro bono work and visualize the organization’s impact.

Before starting Paladin, Kristen worked on international criminal matters for the U.S. Department of Justice and served on the founding team of Grouper, a New York City-based tech start-up. Kristen is a rising star in the legal community. In 2017, she was named one of the ABA’s Women in Legal Tech to Watch, an ABA Journal “Legal Rebel”, and a FastCase50 honoree.

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Alex Nwaka

Touchdown Ventures

Alex is a Principal at Touchdown Ventures, a firm that helps corporations run professional venture capital programs. He focuses on enterprise software disrupting the future of professional services, including Legal Tech and intelligent enterprise solutions.

Alex holds a BS in Economics from the Wharton School and an MBA from Columbia Business School.

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Wendy Butler Curtis

Chief Innovation Officer
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP

Named the "Most Innovative Lawyer of the Year" by Financial Times in 2018, Wendy is celebrated by clients for her “fresh thinking, legal nuance and practical understanding of the courts.” FT editors noted that “rarely have our panel of judges so quickly homed in on a top candidate for innovative individual.” As Orrick’s Chief Innovation Officer, Wendy leads Orrick’s efforts to operationalize innovation through novel products, streamlined processes, technology and client consulting on tailored solutions. These efforts have contributed to Orrick being named the Most Innovative Law Firm in North America by the Financial Times from 2016-2018 and runner-up in 2019. In 2018, The American Lawyer also honored Orrick with its first-ever Legal Services Innovation Award.

Wendy leads an innovation team of lawyers, technologists, developers, project managers and business professionals. FT notes that Wendy “understands the diversity of roles that make a team great” and has “introduced many new technologies and delivery models that have transformed the way the firm operates and works with clients.” She is also recognized by Chambers as a leading individual, nationally, in the area of eDiscovery. Wendy is the chair of Orrick’s eDiscovery and Information Governance Group. She has been engaged by Fortune 100 companies and major financial institutions to create and deploy eDiscovery and records management programs. Wendy has substantial experience in pharmaceutical, product liability and class action litigation. Her litigation experience includes multiple trials, supervision of regional and local counsel, management of complex discovery and meet-and-confer negotiations.

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