She had two kids by age 19 – Today, Leah Molatseli is first African woman to be recognised by ABA
South African national Leah Molatseli has become the first African woman to be recognised by the American Bar Association in its list of Women of Legal Tech for her contribution and influence in the legal tech industry.
Founded in 1878, the ABA is committed to advancing the rule of law across the United States and beyond by providing practical resources for legal professionals, law school accreditation and model ethics codes, among others.
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.
Annually, talented women in the legal tech space are recognised for making an impact on legal tech.
A lawyer by profession, published legal tech author and speaker, as well as legal tech and innovation specialist, Molatseli uses technology and innovative means to empower and educate law professionals.
She is currently head of business development at Legal Interact, a South African law firm that provides technology solutions for the legal industry.
Reacting to the development, Molatseli said she never had an inkling of an idea that her career would turn out so amazingly well. She had her babies while in university and t wasn’t easy pursing her dream career.
“Whenever such big moments happen, they continue to give me the oxygen to continue going, because they force me to reflect and look at how far I’ve come.
“I became a mom at the very young age of 19 to my beautiful twin boys in my second year of university while pursuing my law degree. I’d be lying if I said I knew exactly how my career would shape out. I’m nowhere near where I want to be, not by a long shot, but grateful nonetheless,” said Molatseli.
“And so, we keep going, we keep pushing, challenging ourselves to be the best version of ourselves!” added Molatseli, who is also alumna and Council member of the University of the Free State (UFS).
Prof Francis Petersen, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS, congratulated Molatseli on her achievement. “On behalf of the executive committee of the University of the Free State (UFS) and the university community, I would like to extend my warmest congratulations on being recognised by the American Bar Association for your contribution to the legal tech industry.
“Being the first African woman to be honoured in this way makes this accomplishment even more extraordinary. You are a trailblazer in your field in so many ways,” said Prof Petersen.
Prof Petersen said, “The university, and the Faculty of Law in particular, is proud to be associated with you. We also appreciate your continued support to the institution. Your dedication and expertise inspire us all – I will continue to follow your professional journey, because I know there is much more in store”.
Prof Petersen continued to thank Molatseli for contributing to the legal field in an innovative and contemporary manner.
Molatseli is host of and guest speaker for various legal tech talks globally, as well as a guest lecturer at the University of Cape Town, where she develops and teaches legal tech innovation-related courses to the legal industry.
A Mandela Washington fellow, as well as a Notre Dame alumna, she is a member of the Women in Tech South African Chapter, a country member for the Global Legal Tech Consortium, and is one of 2022’s ILTA’s Most Influential Women in Legal Tech honourees.
According to her LinkedIn bio, Leah a co-founded and became CEO of Lenoma Legal, a virtual legal tech startup that provides accessible and affordable legal services for small businesses across 8 provinces in South Africa.
She brings with her 10 years of legal industry experience for the benefit of her clients.
A notable writer, she writes extensively on topical legal technology and innovation thought provoking pieces offering a uniquely fresh perspective on the the topic. She also speaks heavily on this topic having spoken in Ghana, US and South Africa.
She is an experienced speaker who brings with her fresh a perspective and laughter in all her talks. She currently sits as Council Member at the University of the Free State where she provides strategic and youthful insights. She provides strategic and advisory support to the Young African Leaders Initiative for their 10th year anniversary celebrations and insights on the South African Women in Tech Advisory Board.
As a Legal Technology and Innovation Specialist she enjoys the intersection of law and tech and seeing how it can help move the legal industry forward.
2022 LTRC’s Women of Legal Tech
- Leah Molatseli | @leahmolatseli
- April Dawson | @AprilGDawson
- Kristin Tyler | @KristinTyler
- Olga V. Mack | @OlgaVMack
- Dyane O’Leary | @dloleary2
- Julie Pearl | @PearlLawGroup
- Kristin Hodgins | @kristinhodgins
- R. Amani Smathers | @R_Amani
- Carol Schlein | @cschlein
- Jacqueline Schafer | @jackiegschafer
- Marlene Gebauer | @gebauerm
- Debbie Reynolds | @DebbieDataDiva
- Natalie Anne Knowlton | @natalalleycat
- Nicole Morris | @nicolenmorris3
- Nicola Shaver | @Nicola_Shaver
- Tonya Evans | @IPProfEvans
- Caroline Hill | @chillmedia
Molatseli also wrote and published a book titled Legal tech start-ups & innovation in 2020. See more at: (https://juta.co.za/catalogue/legaltech-startups-and-innovation_28319).
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