Hannah, we’re thrilled to have you on board!

Tell us about your background.

I hold a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a master’s degree in Counseling. Professionally, I’ve dedicated over 8 years to a career in sales. It’s been a diverse journey, having worked in various fields, such as real estate, insurance, and education. While these industries may seem different on the surface, they all share a common thread, the focus on relationship building and helping people. In real estate, I connected clients with their dream homes; in insurance, I provided peace of mind for families; and in education, I empowered students to make informed choices. Now, I’m excited to leverage this relationship-centric background as I embark on a new adventure with Paladin, where I’m confident I can create a meaningful impact.

What drew you to Paladin?

Paladin’s mission deeply resonates with me. The idea of using technology to make justice more accessible is not just commendable; it’s incredibly inspiring. I want to be a part of a team that’s pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in the legal field. The energy and the collective intelligence here at Paladin drew me in. The chance to work with such a diverse and passionate team, in a space where innovation meets justice, excites me. I see this as an opportunity to make a real difference and also learn from some of the best in the industry.

Why is access to justice important to you?

Access to justice is important to me because it’s at the core of creating a fair and equitable society. I believe that everyone, regardless of their background or circumstances, should have equal access to the legal system. Without it, individuals and communities can be left powerless and vulnerable. I’ve always been passionate about ensuring that vulnerable and underserved populations have the resources they need to protect their rights and interests. The legal profession has the unique power to bring about positive change and level the playing field. Being a part of that change, of making justice more accessible, is a deeply meaningful mission for me.

Desert island: one album, one book, one movie.

  • Album: Rocketman: Music From The Motion Picture By Elton John & Taron Egerton
  • Book: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” by Mark Manson
  • Movie: Knives Out

Which GIF best represents how you feel about building justice?

Kristen Sonday Pic Headshot

Kristen Sonday

Kristen is the Co-Founder and CEO at Paladin. As a first generation-college Princeton graduate, Kristen first witnessed how complicated our judicial system is to navigate while at the U.S. Department of Justice conducting international criminal work in Mexico and Central America. As one of the few Latinos on the team, she saw the immense value of having an advocate with you throughout the legal process, which inspired her to want to build something to increase access for those in diverse communities. After DOJ, she joined the Founding Team of YC-backed Grouper, where she learned how to build a startup from the ground up. In addition to Paladin, Kristen Co-Chairs the Legal Services Corporation’s Emerging Leaders Council and is a partner at LongJump, investing in overlooked founders in the Chicago area.

More from Kristen