Influential Women of Legal Tech for International Women’s Day

MDR Lab Blog
March 5, 2021

As today is International Women’s Day we thought, what better way to spend it than celebrating women dominating the legal tech space through either their impact on legal technology or their mentorship to those new to the industry.

“Legal tech is at a pivotal moment” and it would not be possible without women!

Here are some influential women who are thriving in and changing the legal tech space

Elani Buchan – Venture Programme Manager at MDR LAB

Elani is a leader in building high-growth start-ups through streamlined operations. After earning her MA from King’s College London and serving more than 2 years as a Peace Corps Coordinator in Bulgaria, Elani spent almost a decade helping emerging tech companies across marketplaces, fintech, and B2B SaaS develop, optimize and scale their operations, marketing and people processes. Most recently, Elani was granted entry into the elite Included VC fellowship, beating out 99.98% of applicants, giving her insider access to Europe’s top VCs and their portfolio companies. Raised in NYC by multicultural parents, Elani is fluent in English, Spanish and Bulgarian and continues to volunteer with The Resolution Project, mentoring global social entrepreneurs.

Kristen Sonday – Co-Founder & COO of Paladin

Kristen is the co-founder and COO of Paladin, responsible for operations management and business development in helping mobilise the United States’s 1.3 million attorneys to increase access to justice through the power of pro bono. Kristen has been named an ABA Woman in Legal Tech to watch, FastCase50 honouree, and ABA Journal Legal Rebel.

Kristin Hodgins – Director of Legal Operations at Government of British Columbia

Kristin leads organisational strategy, transformation and service design projects in the legal & justice sectors. She helps organizations and legal departments think about problems holistically and how they can more effectively and creatively leverage internal people, knowledge, data and technology to deliver more efficient, responsive and innovative services.

Jae Um – Founder & Executive Director of Six Parsecs

Jae is a strategy executive, insights analyst & business designer for fast-changing legal markets, with 10+ years of industry experience. Leveraging diverse skills across design-driven research, visual analytics, strategy development, and creative storytelling to generate insights. Jae is a contributing author to Legal Evolution, American Lawyer, and other publications covering the legal industry and an advises companies such as LexFusion, LegalMation and Reynen Court Inc.

Jules Miller – Partner at Mindset Ventures

Jules is an investor, 3-time entrepreneur, corporate executive and ‘intrapreneur.’ She is Partner and US Lead for Mindset Ventures, investing in seed – Series B enterprise tech start-ups. Jules co-founded and led two legal tech companies: Evolve Law (acquired by Breaking Media/Above the Law), a digital media and events company for legal innovators, and Hire an Esquire, a venture-backed tech start-up providing attorneys on-demand to law firms and in-house legal teams.

Shruti Ajitsaria – Head of Fuse at Allen & Overy

Shruti is Counsel and Head of Fuse at international leading law firm Allen & Overy LLP with 20 years of experience. Shruti heads up Fuse, which is the firm’s legal technology and legal innovation’s space. Fuse is a tech innovation space in the London offices where tech companies, Allen & Overy lawyers, and clients can come together to develop and test tech-enabled solutions to business challenges.

Julie Sobowale – Director of Communications at Law Society of Saskatchewan

Julie is a communications specialist interested in legal technology, business development and leadership. With knowledge and experience in legal innovation, alternative legal careers and marketing. Julie has over 20 years experience in writing for organisiations such as the American and Canadian Bar Associations.

Jasmine Gavigan – Founder & CEO of VrtuLaw

Jasmine has a decade of experience automating processes in law firms such as Baker McKenzie as well as e-commerce, where she has worked as a “Guru” at Shopify. Jasmine recently founded legal tech start-up Vrtulaw and wants to help law firms re-imagine how their lawyers and legal staff operate and to take on the billable hour.

Leah Molatseli – Co-Founder & CEO of Lenoma Legal

Leah is the co-founder and CEO of Lenoma Legal, a virtual legal tech start-up that provides accessible and affordable legal services for small businesses across 8 provinces in South Africa. She has 10 years of legal industry experience and is a Legal Technology and Innovation Specialist.

Leah is notable writer and writes extensively on topical legal technology and innovation thought provoking piece. Most recently Leah published a book titled #legaltech start-ups & innovation: changing traditional business law firm models one innovation at a time in 2020.

Basha Rubin – Co-Founder & CEO – Priori Legal

Basha is the CEO and Co-Founder of Priori. She speaks and writes extensively about how technology is changing and will change the market for legal services. Her writing has been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, Inc, Women 2.0 and Under30CEO. Basha holds a J.D. from Yale Law School and a B.A. from Yale College and is a member of the New York Bar. She also sits on the boards of A Blade of Grass and the Rubin Museum of Art and is a World Economic Forum Global Shaper.

Danae Shell – Co-Founder & CEO – Valla

Danae is the Co-founder and CEO of Valla, a legal tech company that brings data-driven insights to the legal market. Danae’s background is in technology and she is a programmer-turned-marketer who has worked in a number of start-ups and scale-ups, including FreeAgent and Care Sourcer.

Kate Ho – Co-Founder & CTO – Valla

Kate is the co-founder and CTO of Valla. She is an enthusiastic, quick-learning UX designer turned Product Manager with a big interest in data platforms who is passionate about finding creative and innovative ways for ordinary people to engage with technology.

Jennifer Swallow – Director of LawtechUK

Jennifer is the Director of the LawTech Delivery Panel, a government-backed initiative to transform the legal sector through tech. She is a lawyer, business leader, consultant and coach, with extensive experience helping high growth tech companies, including leadership roles at Yahoo! and TransferWise. Jennifer can be found in the GC Legal 500 PowerList, 2019 Most Influential Women in Payments, and Chambers Global 100 most influential General Counsels.

Catherine Bamford – Founder and CEO of BamLegal

Catherine is the Founder and CEO of BamLegal and is a Legal Engineer, Legal Contract Automation and Workflow Design Specialist, Lawyer, Legal Tech Start Up Advisor, Investor and Project Manager. She is Inspiring and leading positive change in the legal sector. Focusing on people, process and technology.

Alice Stephenson – Founder & CEO of Stephenson Law

Alice is the founder and CEO of Stephenson Law. She is also a tech lawyer driving inclusion and innovation in law and promoting individuality with fellow lawyers.  Alice is  responsible for the overall strategic direction and success of Stephenson Law and her legal expertise lies in working with early-stage, fast-growth technology companies, acting as an external general counsel and Board advisor. Her goal is to inspire young women to challenge the perceived barriers to success and see that anything is possible.

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