One of the American Bar Association’s core values is a commitment to diversity, which the Law Practice Division aims to reinforce in the legal tech sector. From tech founders and CEOs to small business owners, women are making a big impact on legal tech in every field.
In keeping with the spirit of progress, the Legal Technology Resource Center is proud to present its “Women of Legal Tech.” Our goal is to celebrate the women currently in the legal tech space, and to encourage more women to join the ranks.
“Women of Legal Tech” began in 2015 with an initial list created by Law Technology Today contributor and practice management advisor, Heidi Alexander. The LTRC Board selected 15 new women to join the ranks in 2019 and will continue to highlight more talented women each year.
This year’s honorees will be recognized at the Women of Legal Tech Luncheon at Chicago-Kent College of Law on February 27, 2019 as part of the second annual Women of Legal Tech Summit.
Katia Alcantar is a Co-Founder of Text A Lawyer, Inc., B2C mobile apps that generate free client leads for lawyers while providing an affordable starting place for people with legal questions.
Before moving her family to Portland, Oregon to c0-found Text A Lawyer, Katia lived in Houston, Texas practicing casualty defense and commercial litigation at The Fuentes Firm, P.C. Prior to that, she clerked for Justice Marc W. Brown at the 14th Court of Appeals of the State of Texas.
In her spare time, Katia enjoys playing the cello, cycling, and writing. She is published in The Transportation Lawyer, IDEA: The Intellectual Property Law Review, and Thomson Reuters Intellectual Property Law Review.
Kimberly is an avid traveler, lover of technology, legal industry disruptor, speaker, and an attorney who runs K Bennett Law LLC, a boutique, virtual trademark and business strategy law practice offering on-demand and subscription legal services. Her practice focuses on helping industry disruptors and social impact entrepreneurs protect their brands and grow profitable and sustainable businesses. She has integrated the latest technologies into her practice with a focus on designing legal services that provide fast, flexible and frictionless solutions for her clients.
In addition to her law firm, Kim is passionate about moving the legal industry forward and teaching lawyers how to apply business principles to create innovative and modern law practices. You can find Kim hosting her monthly live show, teaching lawyers how to add subscription services to their practice, via The Modern Legal Collective, and leading workshops and presentations on adding alternative revenue streams, creating products from your knowledge, implementing subscription revenue models, and navigating legal ethics for modern law firms.
Kim received her Juris Doctor degree from Villanova University School of Law in Villanova, Pennsylvania and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with a minor in Spanish and pre-medicine concentration from Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia.
Kim currently runs her virtual law practice from Atlanta, GA. You can follow Kim (@kbennettlaw) across social media.
Kunoor is VP of Legal Services at Elevate. In this role, she leads teams that design and implement solutions for litigation, contracts, M&A, compliance and IP. These solutions combine people, process, and technology in innovative ways, empowering customers to modernize operations. Her vision has always been to create a platform that provides the most effective and efficient options to obtain, manage and perform legal services. In working to achieve that vision, Kunoor has been instrumental in the legal industry’s transformation, from the early days of legal process outsourcing (LPO) to helping build one of the leading law companies, Elevate. Through this work, Kunoor and her team meet the unique needs of complex customers by providing the right resources for efficient service delivery, specialized domain expertise and process efficiencies and visibility into the comprehensive details of services being delivered.
Prior to Elevate, Kunoor was the Founder, President and CEO of LawScribe, Inc., a pioneer legal process outsourcing company formed in 2004 to provide litigation, contracts and intellectual property support services to law firms and corporations. LawScribe was acquired by UnitedLex in 2010, where Kunoor continued as Senior Vice President of Global Legal Services, working closely with AmLaw100 and Global 1000 clients to identify and implement legal solutions. Kunoor is a recognized authority in the area of legal process outsourcing–she speaks internationally on the topic of legal services and her articles have been widely published in the legal press. Prior to LawScribe, Kunoor practiced as an attorney at Nossaman and at Fulbright & Jaworski in Los Angeles. Kunoor is a licensed California attorney.
Felicity Conrad is the Co-founder & CEO of Paladin, a pro bono platform whose mission is to make pro bono seamless for lawyers, and ultimately increase access to justice. Before founding Paladin, Felicity was a litigator in the New York office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. An alumnus of NYU Law, McGill University and Sciences Po Paris, she previously worked at the United Nations on International Criminal Court issues, and has worked in international law around the world. Felicity was the recipient of the 2019 NYU Law Pro Bono Award, was named a 2017 ABA Legal Rebel and FastCase 50 legal innovation honoree, and Paladin has been named one of NYC’s 2019 Startups to Watch.
Co-Founder and Experience Designer at Bold Duck Studio, a business design studio that specializes in legal service innovation and strategy, Kim Craig is a Business of Law Professional with extensive experience building competitive advantage and brand differentiation in BigLaw. As a seasoned veteran while at Seyfarth Shaw, she designed and developed the legal industry’s most mature and largest client engagement team consisting of client-facing legal project managers, lean experts, technologists and data analysts to exponentially increase the value of legal services to clients. She is an experienced leader for corporate law department process improvement initiatives to increase value to the business, KPI development and alignment with outside counsel.
Kim has also worked extensively with legal aid organizations embedding lean approaches into their culture with a focus on leveraging people, process, and technology to increase their ability to serve more clients. She is passionate about the future generation of lawyers and has taught classes at several law schools. In 2017, she created the first Legal Project Management and Legal Process Improvement Course at Chicago Kent in which qualifying students obtained their Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt Certification.
During Kim’s tenure at Seyfarth, the firm was formally recognized by clients and competitors alike and received several awards for the work her team did in driving innovation within the industry. Kim is a Certified Project Management Professional, Lean Six Sigma Black Belt through Dartmouth’s Thayer School of Engineering, Certified Scrum Master and an avid student and practitioner of Design Thinking.
Kathryn DeBord is Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner’s Global Chief Innovation Officer and co-leader of Cantilever, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner’s legal operations consulting group. In her role, Ms. DeBord leads the firm’s Innovation Team, which is an international cross-disciplinary team dedicated to legal service delivery innovation. As part of the firm’s commitment to adopting and driving technology-enabled practices where appropriate, Ms. DeBord also oversees lawyers, technologists, and related professionals who participate in technology trials and prototypes relevant to their practice areas. Ms. DeBord also serves as an advisor to the firm’s various initiatives to train its associates in legal innovation, including in the firm’s internationally recognized Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner Business Academy. As part of her efforts to drive innovation in new lawyer education and training, Ms. DeBord sits on the Silicon Flatirons Tech Law Accelerator Program Advisory Board, the Institute for the Future of Law Practice Advisory Board, and the Evolve the Law Advisory Council, and she sits on the editorial board of The Journal of Robotics, Artificial Intelligence & Law.
As co-leader of Cantilever, Ms. DeBord works with law departments to help them work better with their internal business clients as well as outside counsel and vendors. Cantilever works with law departments to leverage tools, proprietary technology, and best practices focused on the needs of law departments, which were developed over the last two decades inside Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner. Common areas of consulting and technology implementation include contract management, matter management, legal spend analysis and convergence, and portfolio litigation management.
Prior to her current role, Ms. DeBord was a partner in the firm’s Commercial Litigation Group and a trial attorney specializing in complex contract, patent, and IP licensing matters, as well as consumer class action defense. She also served on the firm’s Commercial Litigation Innovation Committee.
In addition to running her boutique criminal defense law practice in Atlanta, Georgia, Erin Gerstenzang is dedicated to helping other attorneys succeed in their practices. She is a regular speaker at CLE events across the country and helps lawyers understand legal ethics in a technology-enabled world. She also lectures on design-thinking for law firms, automation, and paperless systems, and using social media to build a legal brand.
Erin runs the EHG Law Firm Collective where she leads a collaborative mentorship-focused women’s group focused on developing legal, technology and business skills that will accelerate solo law firm growth and success.
Erin also co-organizes the Atlanta Legal Tech Meet Up Group in Atlanta and is on the board of directors of the Georgia Association for Women Lawyers, and runs their Leadership Academy. She is an active mentor local solo attorneys who are getting their practice off the ground and chairs the Judicial Recommendation Committee of the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys and is on their long-range planning committee. She serves on the Women in Law committee of the Atlanta Women’s Foundation and she was named on the Fastcase 50 list of honorees in 2018.
Debbie Hoffman is Founder & CEO of Symmetry Blockchain Advisors, Inc. where she works with clients in their endeavors related to education, strategy, compliance and development of blockchain solutions. With her experience in financial services, law and technology innovation, Debbie brings a unique perspective in working with Symmetry’s clients. Debbie is also the founder of Orlando-based Blockchain Technology and Business Meetup, serves as the education Chair for the MBA MISMO Blockchain Community of Practice, is the Associate Editor of Blockchain Media Magazine and is an advisor to a variety of tech start-ups.
Debbie was previously the Chief Legal Officer at a financial services company where, in addition to overseeing all legal and compliance matters, she was an integral part of the executive team in the strategy and implementation of client solutions. She spent a decade of her career as a real estate finance attorney at the law firm of Thacher Proffitt & Wood in New York. Debbie has also been a professor at the Florida A&M University College of Law and the University of Central Florida.
Debbie was selected as a 2018, 2016 and 2014 Woman of Influence by Housingwire Magazine and was awarded a 2015 Stevie® Award, Woman of the Year and a 2014 Stevie® Award, Female Executive. She was named as a 2018 NAWRB Roaring Thirty Winner in the category of “The Visonary.” In 2017, Debbie was awarded as a Top General Counsel by the First Chair Awards, received an Honorable Mention as a Leading Lady in the MReport’s Women in Housing issue and was named as a 2017 “Hot 100” in Mortgage Professional America. She is a frequent author in industry periodicals, a speaker at conferences and events, as well as a guest lecturer at universities of higher education.
Catherine Krow founded Digitory Legal to help law firms and in-house legal departments respond to an evolving legal market and to solve cost-management challenges in ways that promote trust and collaboration. Before forming Digitory Legal, Catherine practiced law at top-tier firms for 17 years, most recently as a Partner at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe. Catherine has represented companies and individuals in a wide variety of complex litigation matters, including: class actions, commercial disputes, employment litigation, internal investigations, patent cases, product liability trials, trade secret matters, securities litigation, and white collar criminal cases.
Erin Levine is a Certified Family Law Specialist, owner of Levine Family Law Group and Founder of Hello Divorce, a “modern breakup service” that offers a fresh, streamlined, affordable and less institutional (read: more humane) way to separate. Hello Divorce empowers users to navigate the complicated divorce process themselves by offering an online platform that provides instant access to curated resources, form generating software, easy-to-follow strategic instruction and access to on-demand, flat-fee legal help. What Erin does best is combine technology, heart and smart design to create client-centric legal services that allow consumers to gracefully transition out of relationship and evolve into that next version of themselves. In the year following the launch of Hello Divorce, Erin received the Grand Prize at the Duke Law & Tech Accelerator “Demo Day” and has been published on various media platforms including, Mind Body Green, Entrepreneur, Lawyerist, Brit + Co, San Jose Mercury News, Law Sites and Conscious Company.
Laura O’Bryan has been practicing law and working in a variety of legal careers since she was barred in 2002. Her interest in integrating technology with practicing law was nourished during her 12-year tenure at Thomson Reuters, Westlaw as an Account Manager and Sales Rep.
After moving around the country with Westlaw then taking time to travel abroad and volunteer for a 3-month fellowship with Polaris, an anti-human trafficking NGO in Washington D.C., Laura returned to Arkansas in 2016. She founded her own domestic violence centric family law firm; but after meeting Brooke Moore, she never looked back! Laura joined Brooke Moore at MyVirtual.Lawyer, a limited scope representation, entirely virtual law firm at the end of 2017. Laura and Brooke co-founded a complimentary LLC in 2018 called MVL Licensing that will spread the MVL model of practice to partner firms in other states.
Laura is passionate about finding ways to improve the client experience and better attorney lives. Technology is that magic key. The more that attorneys explore, embrace and invent technological resources to make us more efficient, productive and profitable, the better our profession will be.
In her spare time, Laura loves to travel (check out her laptop to see where being a virtual attorney has allowed her to work all across the US and the world), read, drink and chat with friends and occasionally play tennis.
Hari M. Osofsky
Hari M. Osofsky is Dean of Penn State Law and the Penn State School of International Affairs and Distinguished Professor of Law, Professor of International Affairs, and Professor of Geography. As dean, she is deeply committed to collaboratively building legal and international affairs education for a changing society, and is leading initiatives in mentoring, technology, and interdisciplinary and international partnerships. She also has been very involved nationally in supporting more women and people of color to consider law school and university leadership.
Dean Osofsky’s over 50 publications focus on improving governance and addressing injustice in energy and climate change regulation. Her scholarship includes books with Cambridge University Press on climate change litigation, textbooks on both energy and climate change law, and articles in leading law and geography journals. Dean Osofsky’s Emory Law Journal article, Energy Partisanship, was awarded the 2018 Morrison Prize, which recognizes the most impactful sustainability-related legal academic article published in North America during the previous year. Dean Osofsky has collaborated extensively with business, government, and nonprofit leaders to make bipartisan progress on these issues through her leadership roles and teaching.
Her professional leadership roles have included, among others, serving as President of the Association for Law, Property, and Society; chair of the American Association of Law School’s Section on Property; and a member of the Executive Council of the American Society of International Law and the International Law Association’s Committee on the Legal Principles of Climate Change. She also is a member of the Board of Governors of the Society of American Law Teachers and the editorial board of Climate Law. Her leadership and mentorship work was recognized by the Association for Law, Property, and Society’s 2016 Distinguished Service Award and the University of Minnesota 2015 Sara Evans Faculty Woman Scholar/Leader Award.
Dean Osofsky received a Ph.D. in geography from the University of Oregon and a J.D. from Yale Law School. Prior to joining the Pennsylvania State University, Dean Osofsky served on the faculties of University of Minnesota Law School, Washington and Lee University School of Law, the University of Oregon School of Law, and Whittier Law School.
Tanina Rostain’s current teaching and research interests focus on the proliferation of legal technologies in law practice, in particular, in the access to justice and open government spheres. In 2012, Tanina created a course in which student teams collaborate with non-profit legal service providers to build apps that increase access to the legal system. The course culminates in the Georgetown Iron Tech Lawyer Competition, a widely followed event during which students from the class present their apps to a panel of legal technologists and subject matter experts. More recently, she co-founded the Access to Justice Initiative at Georgetown Law and launched the Justice Lab, a research center dedicated to investigating the justice gap and the various modalities emerging to bridge it. The ABA Journal has identified Rostain as one of “Ten Women to Watch Out for in Legal Technology” and included her among its 2015 “Legal Rebels.”
Tanina’s earlier academic work explored the ethical challenges that arise in corporate and tax practice and focused on the influences of organizational context on professional misconduct. In 2014, she published Confidence Games: Lawyers, Accountants, and the Tax Shelter Industry (MIT Press). Co-authored with Professor Mitt Regan, Confidence Games examines the role of major accounting firms and corporate firms in the rise of the tax shelter industry at the turn of the 21st Century.
Joy Heath Rush
Joy Heath Rush is Chief Executive Officer of The International Legal Technology Association (ILTA), an organization that serves the needs of more than 24,000 international legal technology professionals in their support of the practice of law. As Chief Executive Officer, Joy oversees ILTA’s operations, a global network of volunteer leaders, and a professional staff of more than 30 employees.
Joy has spent virtually her entire career supporting lawyers and technologists in the practice of law, and she has deep familiarity with the complexities our member firms and organizations face in today’s vastly shifting and dynamically changing marketplace. She has worked at global law firm Sidley Austin LLP as well as Litera Microsystems in executive roles. She has a long history of leadership in peer networking groups associated with legal technology. Joy is a past President of the Board of ILTA, and served two additional terms as a volunteer Board member representing the multifaceted perspectives of a woman leader in legal technology. Joy enjoys and has had the opportunity to speak and write on a wide array of technology and leadership topics, including with the ILTA Women Who Lead initiative. Other speaking opportunities have included legal technology, CIO and leadership roundtables and talent management topics at a variety of legal events, including ILTACON, ABA Tech Show, Legal Tech NY, Legal Tech West Coast, ABA Law Practice Management, DRI, ALA, NALP, and ARMA, among others. Joy is also associated with the CPEI at Pritzker School of Law at Northwestern University.
Joy’s professional philosophy is to do everything in her power to serve her constituents with intelligence, dedication, passion, and unmatched expertise, while providing a positive, fun and motivational environment for staff. She additionally loves racing, she is a Wizard of Oz fanatic, and loves to belt a tune.
Natalie works as Counter Tax Lawyers’ Technology Lead & CounterMeasure Co-Creator. CounterMeasure is a SaaS litigation analysis tool that combines legal judgment and expertise with analytics and automation to amplify case analysis, strategies, and predictions. www.countermeasure.legal
In Natalie’s former life, she was an excellent tax litigator. Now, she leads CounterMeasure’s product design, and she created our probabilistic scenario modelling system. In addition to her legal education and credentials, Natalie is a University of Toronto Lean Six Sigma graduate, a Society of Decision Professionals member, and a Project Management Institute member too.
Natalie is dedicated to finding ways to improve the legal profession and change how lawyers and clients make strategic litigation decisions. She spends her spare time learning a bunch of really geeky things and co-hosting the Building NewLaw podcast. www.buildingnewlaw.ca