Nicole Nehama Auerbach
- J.D. with honors – DePaul College of Law
- Dean’s Scholarship
- Merit Scholarship, Illinois Women’s Bar Foundation
- Notes & Articles Editor – DePaul Law Review
- B.A., Journalism – University of Wisconsin, Madison
By Nicole Nehama Auerbach
The “edge effect” is the place where two habitats or ecosystems meet. They say that in this space — at the edge — the most unique and diverse species can be found. I am drawn to that edge, and it figured prominently in my decision to launch ElevateNext with Pat Lamb.
We are no strangers to edges – even precipitous ones. In 2008, Pat and I started Valorem Law Group, a law firm designed to take a bite out of the “
Today and Tomorrow: Most traditional lawyers have little understanding of what is happening in the legal industry today. They have a vague understanding that the work law firms handled ten or even five years ago is disappearing quickly, but most assume it is now being handled in-house. They don’t realize that systematically, law companies have not only carved off an incredible amount of work from both law firms and legal
In the U.S., what law companies have not been doing (because regulators have said they cannot) is handling “the restricted practice of law.” That
We formed ElevateNext (the law firm) to sit alongside Elevate Services (the law company) so collectively, we can give customers the single solution they want. ElevateNext handles all of the restricted practice of law, and together with Elevate, everything else as well. We
The Edge: So, our “edge effect” is at this intersection of law firm + law company. We believe this will be the go-to model for the legal ecosystem in the future — an amazingly unique habitat for the benefit of clients. A single place where law departments can get everything they
The typical bio stuff: I’m a litigator and spent the first 15 years of my career as a BigLaw partner in Chicago before starting Valorem Law Group in 2008. At Valorem, we went from being a 4-person
What Pat Lamb Says About Nicole
A few things about Nicole that she didn’t mention, but that I will: Because she is relatively humble (no trial lawyer is entirely humble), Nicole has not mentioned what an outstanding lawyer she is. Heads and shoulders better than me. To use a baseball description, she is “a five-tool player.” Accomplished trial lawyer and skilled advocate. Street smart. Great insights into people, especially how to take advantage of opponents’ vulnerabilities. Fantastic, clear writer. Exceptional strategist. Tenacious investigator. Streamlined and efficient. Walks the walk before she talks the talk. The only area where Nicole is not exceptional is Excel spreadsheets, but she is improving!
Some random facts:
- I was born on my parents’ bed (no, not planned) and delivered by my neighbor – a psychiatrist.
- The best committee I’ve been on is the Happiness Committee. I am Chair and sole member, happily bringing happiness to the whole team.
- My world is an amazingly small one. For example, I once had a case where I realized that the opposing counsel from across the country is really a distant cousin. (We are now friends). Or someone I met (say, on a trip to the Amazon) texts me to say they are on a rooftop in Prague and ran into someone who knows me.
And There’s More…
- One of the “Most Influential Women Attorneys in Chicago” by Crain’s Chicago Business magazine – 2017
- Best Lawyers in America – Commercial Litigation – 2017, 2018, 2019
- Leading Lawyer in Commercial Litigation, Civil Rights/Constitutional Law and Civil Appellate Law – LeadingLawyers.com – 2018
- Top 50 Women Lawyers in Illinois – SuperLawyer Magazine
- “40 Illinois Attorneys Under Forty To Watch” Law Bulletin Publishing Company – 2005
- Certified Arbitrator – American Arbitration Association
- Fellow, College of Law Practice Management
- Fellow – American Bar Foundation
- Founder – Coalition of Women’s Initiatives in Law
- Member – WOMP – Women’s Office Managing Partners Group and Women Owned Law
- Advisory Board – Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession
- Dean’s Advisory Council – DePaul College of Law
- Advisory Board Member, Novus Law
Speaking, Writing & Press Coverage:
- Keynote: “Here.Us.Roar” – Tennessee Lawyer’s Association for Women Empowerment Conference (Nashville, 2018)
- Law Firm Offers Second Opinions for Clients – Illinois State Bar Journal
- Law Industry’s Alternative Fee Pioneers Pivot – Crain’s Chicago Business
- Building A Better Law Firm Takes Tech Collaborators – Nicole Auerbach & Patrick Lamb – ABA Law Journal Magazine
- A Worthy Journey Defies All Maps” – Keynote address – U.S. District Court of Oregon
- ReInvent Law Silicon Valley – “Tick Tock, Why Women Should Bash the Clock!“