Kristen Sonday

The founder helping others with pro bono work

Age: 30

Title: Co-founder and COO

Company: Paladin


Bio: Kristen Sonday is the co-founder and chief operating officer of Paladin, which helps legal teams run more efficient pro bono programs while increasing access to justice. In her role, she works with Fortune 500 companies, law firms, law schools and bar associations to staff, manage and track pro bono work and to visualize the organization’s impact.


Prior to Paladin, Sonday worked on international criminal matters in Mexico and Central America for the U.S. Department of Justice and served on the founding team of a New York-based tech start-up. As a result of her work closing the justice gap, she was named a 2017 American Bar Association (ABA) Woman of Legal Tech to Watch, an ABA Journal Legal Rebel, and a Fastcase50 honoree. Paladin was also part of the recent Techstars Chicago cohort, and participated in the joint accelerator program from the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and 1871.


Last year, Sonday served as Google for Entrepreneurs’ Code2040 Entrepreneur-in-Residence at 1871, representing and promoting black and Latinx founders. Her work included events and programming to connect entrepreneurs of color across Chicago’s tech ecosystem and culminated in a Latinx Startup Weekend to foster early entrepreneurship. In her free time, Sonday volunteers as an advisor to young founders through the Princeton Entrepreneurship Council.