by Nicole Munoz Huschka
Anjie Vichayanonda is a name you will hear more and more for the foreseeable future as she breaks glass ceilings and leaves her footprint on the legal community. Chances are, you’ve already heard of the company she founded and built from the ground up, Leg Up Legal.
Anjie graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree from The University of Texas at Dallas in 2008. She eventually developed an interest in going to law school; however, she didn’t know any lawyers. Determined to meet attorneys and learn more about the profession to see if law would be the right path, she cold-called over fifty lawyers in the Dallas/Fort Worth area to conduct informational interviews with them. Though she only received responses from three lawyers, one of those lawyers became an invaluable mentor.
In 2013, she obtained a Juris Doctor degree and an Intellectual Property certificate from The University of New Hampshire School of Law. After law school, Anjie practiced trademark and copyright law at Kelly IP, LLP, in Washington, D.C., and then she returned to Texas in 2017 to join the Dallas office of Haynes and Boone, LLP. Throughout her school and private practice experiences, Anjie realized that there is a dire need in our profession—not just locally, but nationwide—to provide meaningful access to mentorship and guidance before law school. So, she briefly left the practice of law to build and develop a mentoring program to connect prospective law students to lawyers and teach them how to build professional relationships.
After participating in a startup accelerator, Anjie launched her company, Leg Up Legal, and debuted the online mentoring program, cloud-based platform, and mobile app in January 2020. Leg Up Legal’s mentoring program focuses on increasing diversity in the legal profession by providing meaningful mentorship to underrepresented minorities and low-income students.
In 2020, while the world wrestled with Covid-19, Leg Up Legal had a ground-breaking year, including partnering with three universities, a law firm, and over fifty individual attorney mentors to provide over 180 mentoring hours to over 40 students. Leg Up Legal also launched and organized a free two-week Virtual Legal Career Boot Camp for incoming 1Ls and rising 2Ls in 2020, which had over ninety attorney speakers, moderators and panelists, sixty-five substantive sessions, and 700 law student registrants! Leg Up Legal also provides tons of free programming and content for prospective law students, current law students, and young lawyers, including two free weekly Zoom meetups, a bi-weekly virtual happy hour, a podcast, a blog, and two LinkedIn post series featuring lawyers to network with and practical tips and advice. It should come as no surprise that Anjie has already been featured in D Magazine and Above the Law for her impressive entrepreneurial success and community impact with Leg Up Legal.
Anjie’s passion for mentoring has led to her becoming an invaluable member of DAYL! She is a co-chair for the DAYL Lawyers Promoting Diversity committee and the Law Students Assistance Committee. Anjie was instrumental in coordinating and organizing the DAYL Law Student Summer Program, which was quickly launched in 2020 as an emergency measure to help provide meaningful summer opportunities to law students who lost job opportunities due to the pandemic.
Anjie has now returned to the private practice of law and performs contract trademark work while she runs Leg Up Legal full-time. When she is not spending her hours thinking about mentoring and trademarks, you can find her hanging out at the dog park with her two corgis, Toast and Jelly Bean.