Women in Law 2023



N icole Auerbach has made her mark as an innovator in the legal industry -- twice. Nicole began her career and practiced for 15 years at an AmLaw 100 firm in Chicago where she was a partner in the litigation department. In 2008, she co-founded Valorem Law Group, which became nationally known for pioneering the alternative fee arrangement movement. In 2016, Valorem was named as one of the “Top Firms at Using AFAs” by BTI Consulting. In 2018, Nicole co- founded and now leads ElevateNext, a law firm integrated within the global legal service provider, Elevate. This unique combination blends high-quality legal expertise with people, process, and technology to significantly lower legal spend and substantially increase efficiency without compromising outcomes. Nicole represents clients in federal and state courts and in arbitrations across the country and is considered a trendsetter when it comes to innovation. She was an early adopter of the use of lawyers + generative AI to exponentially increase productivity and substantially lower the cost of litigation. Nicole sits on the Executive Leadership Team of Elevate and serves as its Deputy General Counsel. ElevateNext was named one of the Best Law Firms in commercial litigation in 2021, 2022 and 2023 by U.S. News & World Reports and Best Lawyers. The highlight of Nicole’s career was helping a client get exonerated and released from prison where he had spent 21 years for a crime he

did not commit. In 2017, Nicole obtained one of the top 11 verdicts in Illinois after a six-week federal civil rights jury trial for the same case. The verdict was upheld on appeal. In 2022, Nicole was named one of the “Top 50 Women Lawyers in Illinois” by Super Lawyers. In 2019 she was named a “Notable Gen X Leader in Law” by Crain’s Chicago Business and one of the “Most Influential Women Attorneys in Chicago” by Crain’s Publishing in 2017. Nicole was named one of the “40 Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch” by Law Bulletin Publishing in 2005. In 2008, Nicole co-founded the Coalition of Women Initiatives in Law, which now has chapters in Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C. The Coalition’s mission is to foster the development, advancement and retention of women at all stages of their careers. Its membership and programming reaches thousands of women per year. Nicole currently sits on the Coalition’s National Board. Nicole is a certified arbitrator on the roster of the American Arbitration Association. She is also a Fellow of the College of Law Practice Management and the American Bar Foundation. She is an advisory board member of The Institute of Inclusion in the Legal Profession and of Novus Law. Nicole regularly speaks and writes about issues regarding innovation in the legal industry, a concept she works hard to ensure is not considered an oxymoron.



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