Welcome Maya, Paladin’s Director of Product!

We are thrilled to welcome Maya Bielinski, our newest Paladino, to the team. Maya joins us as Paladin’s Director of Product and brings a wealth of experience in law, product and data, hailing most recently from fellow legaltech company ROSS Intelligence. Residing in Toronto, Ontario, she is Paladin’s second Canadian (can you guess who the other canuck is?).

We asked Maya a few questions to get to know her a little better!

Maya, we’re thrilled to have you on board! Tell us about your background.

I am delighted to join the team!

I’ve always been interested in how technology — broadly understood — undergirds, promotes, limits access to, and produces knowledge and culture. That interest has led me to working in a pretty large range of roles and contexts (including in an art museum, an archive, a library, an intellectual property litigation boutique, and a legal research company!).

I am a lawyer by training, with a background in digital humanities. Most recently, I’ve worked as a ‘product person’ — researching, making strategic decisions about, and coordinating the development of technology products.

What drew you to Paladin?

The diverse and driven team led by two incredible founders, the focus on promoting access to justice, and the stage and size of the company. This is an organization I believe in, and one where I think my skills and experience can make a difference.

Why is access to justice important to you?

Access to justice is a basic principle of the rule of law. Without access to justice, people can’t exercise their rights or hold authorities accountable. It’s fundamental.

What do you see as the biggest opportunity for Paladin’s products and technology?

As Paladin makes the pro bono ecosystem more efficient, more lawyers will do pro bono work. That has direct positive effects on folks who can’t otherwise access justice. That’s fantastic.

But I think it’s possible that a second-order effect will be even more profound. Some research suggests that doing pro bono work — confronting the bias directed at and hardships experienced by pro bono clients — alters a lawyer’s political views about substantive justice. As more lawyers do pro bono work because of Paladin’s product, this second-order effect has the potential to become a groundswell of political will to substantively change the justice system and alleviate causes of the access to justice gap. Rather than merely legitimizing an illegitimate system of justice, Paladin’s pro bono technology can be transformative.

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

Album: Yo-Yo Ma’s Six Evolutions — Bach: Cello Suites. I took up the cello last year, and it just transports me!
Book: Don Quixote (another paladin with an impossible dream!)
Movie: Drop Dead Gorgeous

What are you most looking forward to in your new role?

The collaboration. I can’t wait to speak with folks who use the platform to better understand their needs and challenges, and then to work with our team to build our product to help meet those needs and overcome those challenges.

By the way — reader: if you use Paladin (or even if you don’t, but you’re in the pro bono delivery space) and you’d like to provide feedback or participate in design research, send me an email at maya@joinpaladin.com or fill in this form, and I’ll be in touch!

Which GIF best represents how you feel about building justice tech?

Excited Dolly shimmy!

Thank you, Maya! We’re thrilled to have you on the Paladin team, and cannot wait to build amazing products together.

Welcome Maya Bielinski, Paladin’s Director of Product! was originally published in Paladin on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.