Audrey Rubin

Adjunct Professor


Audrey Rubin is a recognized leader in operational, financial, and cultural excellence in the workplace. She is a highly regarded adviser to corporate law departments and law firms on profitability, technology and AI, leadership and team development, diversity, equity and inclusion, and process improvement. A successful Chief Operating Officer of law departments and firms, General Counsel, Professor of Law, Vice President of Human Resources, Board Member, and law firm Partner, Rubin understands all facets of today’s business world. 

 Most recently, she was Vice President and C.O.O. of the Global Law and Compliance Department of Aon Corporation.  In that role, she was responsible for all budget, talent, strategic planning, technology, DE&I, and other business matters. She is Adjunct Professor at the University of Illinois College of Law, teaching “Law as a Changing Business”.

Aon’s law department earned the ACC Value Challenge Award for achievements under her direction. It was also recognized by the Process Excellence Network for law and business process improvement, and received awards from other organizations including Thomson Reuters, Chicago Bar Foundation, National Immigrant Justice Center, and Legal Aid Society. Among her many articles and presentations, she was the focus of a cover story in Inside Counsel: “Comrades in Ops,” and featured in Crain’s Chicago Business: “How Lawyers are like Office Supplies.”  

Rubin was General Counsel and Vice President of Legal and Human Resources for three global companies: Orbitz, Grant Thornton, and Apollo Travel Services. She was C.O.O. of two prominent law firms, and Corporate Secretary and Board Member of several international companies.

Rubin is Faculty at the Legal Lean Sigma Institute. She is also an appointee to the Chicago Bar Association Task Force on Sustainable Practice of Law and Innovation. Rubin chaired the Illinois Task Force on Gender Bias in the Courts, and was appointed to the American Bar Association’s Presidential Task Force on Women in the Profession. She is currently a Director of Metropolitan Family Services. Rubin is also a highly regarded writer and speaker on DE&I, business development, the legal industry, and elevating the value of law firms and law departments. Among other honors, she received the Early Adopter Award from Illinois Legal Aid Online, and the prestigious “Women of Achievement” award from the Anti-Defamation League. 

Rubin received her J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law and her B.A. cum laude from Yale University.


JD Northwestern University School of Law
BA Yale University


Law Practice Management


To Bring Big Law Into the Future, Professionalize Legal Ops,” Bloomberg Law, June 2018

“How to Cut Legal Department Spending,”  Inside Counsel, May 2012

“American Legal Trends,” Republic of China Ministry of Justice, University of Illinois, 2012

“Demonstrating the Value of Legal Departments,”  Women’s Coalition, July 2012

“Ten Technology Commandments for Opening a New Office,” Legal Tech., March 2011

“Lawyers and Project Management,”, July 2010

“The Trend:  Open a New Law Firm,” Attorneys in, June 2010

“Alternative Billing Ideas,” Legal Management, March/April 2010

“Timing Key to Alternative Billing.”, January 2010

“Are We Just Too Set in our Ways?”, November 2009

“Taking on the Billable Hour,”, October 2009

“Stop the Flood!  Attracting and Retaining Talent in this Recession,” Law Office Management & Administration Report, October 2009

“Holiday Card Games; The Complex Politics of Winter Greetings,” Law Firm Inc., December 2004

“Litigation Support:  Fear Factor,” Law Technology News, June 2004

“When More is More; A Strong Health Plan Can Generate Big Rewards,” Law Firm, Inc., Winter 2003/2004

“Insurance – Unexpected Benefit!  Spending Top Dollar on Your Medical Plan Can Help You Attract – and Retain – Top Staff,” Law Firm Inc., Winter 2003/2004

“Report, Illinois Task Force on Gender Bias in the Courts,” Illinois Bar Association, Chicago Bar Association, Women’s Bar Association of Illinois, 1990

“Legal Tips for Women Entrepreneurs,” Chicago Sun-Times and Today’s Chicago Woman, 1987-1988

“An Analysis for Reconciling the Antitrust Laws with the Right to Petition:  Noerr-Pennington in Light of Cantor v. Detroit Edison,” Emory Law Journal, 1978


“RainDance: Rapid Fire Client Panel: State of Law Department Operations 2018: Innovation, Data and Collaboration” Conference, 2018

“RainDance: Rapid Fire Client Panel and Anatomy of a Legal WorkOut – Using PI and PM for the Win-Win” Conference, 2017

“National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL): Using Alternative Billing Models to Support Women in Law Firms”, 2017

“Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) Value Champion: Applying Value Strategies in M&A, Restructuring, and Other Big Transformations” Conference, 2016

“Chicago Bar Association Leadership Circle:  Profitability Reimagined” Conference, 2016

“Using Lean Sigma to Create Competitive Advantages” Legal Marketing Association 2016 P3, 2016

“Rainmakers:  Born or Bred?” Ark, 2016

“Disruption in the Delivery of Legal Services:  COO Perspective – “Disruption in the Delivery of Legal Services” Conference, 2016

“Alternative Billing & the Request for Proposal:  Using RFPs for Law Firm Services…from both the law firm and the law department perspectives,” Apex, 2015

“Valued Client Interactions:  A ‘rapid fire’ Q&A revolving around what’s working and what’s clearly not working with respect to client satisfaction, growth and retention,” Ark Group, 2015

“Innovative Pricing Techniques:  Moving Away from the Billable Hour,” Chicago Bar Association, 2015

“Aligning Fee Arrangements to Value:  The Elusive Search for Common Ground Between Law Firms and Clients,” LMA P3, 2015

“In-House to Power-House Professional Development Series,” Coalition of Women’s Initiatives in Law, 2015

“Finances 202:  Alternative Fee Arrangement Playbook,” Coalition of Women’s Initiatives in Law, 2014

“Controlling Litigation Costs,” American Conference Institute, 2013

Co-Author of “To Bring Big Law Into the Future, Professionalize Legal Ops” –, June 22, 2018

“Value-Based Fee Arrangements,” ARK 4th Annual Forum, 2012

“Managing Outside Counsel Spend,” Corporate Legal Advisory Series, 2012

“What Clients Expect from Outside Counsel,” Coalition for Women’s Initiatives Law, 2012

“Trends of U.S. Legal Markets.”  University of Illinois China Program, Chinese Ministry of Justice, 2011

“Business Skills, Lawyering Skills, Softskills:  Lawyers Need Them,” Professional Development Institute, 2011

“Alternative Fees – What Works, What Doesn’t,” Masterminds – Senior In-House Marketer’s Summit, Legal Marketing Association, 2011

“Conflicts System Complexities,” Apex MCLE Online, 2011

“Savvy Law Practice Management in the Changing Workplace,” Chicago Bar Association/Kent College of Law, 2010

“ACC Value Challenge Skills Master Class,” Association of Corporate Counsel, 2010

“Alternative Billing Arrangements:  Practical Ways to Reduce Legal Costs Without Compromising Business Objectives,” Navigant Legal Roundtable, 2010

“Alternative Billing:  What Is It, Who Should Use It, When and How Is It Valuable and Profitable?”  Apex Seminars, 2010

“Start Your Own Law Firm,” Podcast, 2010

“Creating Your Own Accounting Firm,” Execsense Webinars, 2010

“Creating Your Own Law Firm,” Execsense Webinars, 2010

“Tips, Tricks & Strategies for Collecting Payments From Your Clients,” Execsense Webinars, 2009, 2010

“Develop Your Business with Bills and Collections!”  Lawyers-Connecting, Chicago, 2009

“Mind Your Own Business!  What Law Firms Want from Associates,” ABA, New Orleans, 2009

“The Business of Law,” Law Practice Management and Technology Conference, Chicago, 2007

“Role of the Firm Executive in Partner Compensation System,” The Law Firm Partner Compensation Forum, New York, 2006

“Improving Your Firm’s Bottom Line,” Law Firm Finance & Profitability Institute, New York, 2006

“Attracting and Retaining Lateral Hires,” ALM Small Firm Business Forum, Los Angeles, 2006

“The Business of Law,” Breaking Barriers/Building Bridges, Chicago, 2006

“Improving Your Numbers – Implementing Change,” Chief Financial Officer’s Forum, New York, 2005

“The Evolution of a Marketing Budget,” LMA Annual Conference, Phoenix, 2005

“Using surveys and Other Benchmarks to Drive Change,” ALA Annual Law Firm Financial Management Conference, Chicago, 2004

“Maximizing Your Firm’s Economic Performance,” Law Firm Leadership Summit, Chicago, 2004

“From Associate to Partner – Developing Tomorrow’s Firm Leaders Today,” Law Firm Associate Management Forum, Washington, DC, 2004