UniCourt Employee Spotlight with Sona Hamilton, National Account Executive
For law firms, the business of law is about more than just providing high-quality legal services. It’s about telling stories, building trust, and providing thought leadership to clients through more effectively leveraging legal technology and legal data.
We’re thrilled to share our next interview in our ongoing UniCourt Employee Spotlight series with UniCourt’s National Account Executive, Sona Hamilton.
Sona has a wealth of experience at the intersection of law and finance, and has worked with law firms for over a decade on ensuring they have access to the right data, analytics, and intelligence to better serve their clients and grow their business. Sona has an impressive background, having worked as a Customer Success Manager and Sales Director at Lex Machina, Corporate Legal Client Manager and Research Consultant at LexisNexis, Strategic Partnerships Director at ROSS Intelligence, National Account Manager at Intelligize, as well as an Investment Advisor at Keenan and Associates, a Financial Consultant at AXA Advisors, and a Fiscal & Policy Analyst at the California Legislative Analysts Office.
We’re thrilled to have Sona as a core, insightful member of the UniCourt team, and hope you enjoy learning from her perspective!
UniCourt: Tell us your story. What is your background, and what led you to what you are doing now?
Sona Hamilton: My path to working in the legal industry was circuitous. I grew up in Kentucky. Soon after leaving for college, I discovered that I love traveling. After graduating, I taught English in Japan for a few years through the Japanese Exchange and Teaching Program (which was very fun). That led me to get a Masters in Public Policy. Next, I went to work for the California State Legislature as a fiscal and policy analyst in K-12 and higher education (not as much fun). But after three years, I realized government was not for me. Primarily because no one was making policy decisions based on research, data or for the benefit of the public good so I started exploring other careers.
A good friend encouraged me to think about sales. I loved finance in in graduate school so I started off as a registered representative helping school district employees with retirement planning. Once I became a mom, work/life alignment became a high priority. A friend of a friend worked at LexisNexis loved it and referred me. I started as a research consultant in 2008 and I’ve been working in the legal industry ever since.
UC: What’s an interesting fact about yourself?
SH: I speak Japanese (although I’m pretty rusty these days). Learning Japanese was challenging but I was fascinated from Day 1 of Japanese class. I thought I would never truly learn the language unless I lived there so my junior year in college I studied at Sophia University in Tokyo and lived with an amazing Japanese family.
The summer between my first and second year of graduate school, I had a summer internship with the U.S. Department of State at the American Embassy in Tokyo. My supervisor asked me to write and give a speech about the International Space Station in Japanese to the Japanese Science and Technology Agency. That was a little nerve wracking, however, I made it through the speech. Ever since, when I get nervous about public speaking, I remind myself that it’s not a problem, as long as I can speak in English.
UC: What do you like most about working at UniCourt?
SH: I’ve been at UniCourt for 16 months now. What I like most about working here are the people and the culture. Josh, our CEO, is a person of integrity and he and the rest of our leadership team lead by example.The people at UniCourt are thoughtful, bright, kind, and collaborative. Our team is truly diverse.
Also, I’ve been in sales for almost 20 years. Usually, I have been the only woman or one of a few women on the team. At UniCourt, for the first time in my career, I’m part of all female sales team. That is special!
UC: What do you see as the most fascinating use of UniCourt’s data?
SH: Using legal data for business development. Whether they realize it or not, attorneys and firms are selling themselves to their clients. Knowing their clients, their competitors and industry trends are vital. Legal data and analytics help our clients tell stories, build trust, and provide thought leadership.
UC: How do you see UniCourt’s Enterprise APIs impacting law firms in the future?
SH: APIs give law firms control of information and the ability to integrate data in a way that’s meaningful to them. Prior to joining UniCourt, I repeatedly heard from firms and legal departments that they are frustrated with SaaS solutions and want direct access to litigation data using APIs to more easily integrate data into their existing applications and internal data on clients and matters for a variety of use cases. Now with UniCourt, they can.
UC: As someone who has worked at legal research and legal analytics companies, such as LexisNexis, Lex Machina, and Ross Intelligence, what do you think differentiates UniCourt the most as a Legal Data as a Service provider?
SH: There are a couple of things that come to mind. One is that UniCourt has a clear vision. Our mission is to make court data more accessible and useful. We are singularly focused on providing clean, structured, normalized data sets for state and federal courts through APIs for a variety of use cases and doing that extremely well.
Another is that UniCourt has a well developed, working solution with a diverse customer base. Leadership is also not beholden to investors and UniCourt is not going anywhere. We listen and are responsive to our customers and their feedback informs what we build.
UniCourt Isn’t Going Anywhere
As Sona Hamilton put it so well, UniCourt has a clear vision for the future to make court data more organized, accessible, and useful for everyone, and we’re not going anywhere. We loved listening to Sona’s perspective on all things UniCourt and how law firms are leveraging legal data for business development and better client engagement.
Want to learn more about UniCourt’s awesome team and our vision for the future?
Take a look at our other UniCourt Employee Spotlights:
- Sarah Park, Business Development Representative
- Simone Spencer, VP of Marketing
- Marisa Huber, National Account Executive
Don’t miss the next UniCourt Employee Spotlight, where we talk with UniCourt’s Account Manager, Jasmine Jonell.