Ruth Hill Bro (Chicago) has focused her legal career on advising businesses on privacy and information management strategy, cybersecurity, global compliance, the electronic workplace, and e-business. She has been featured as a speaker on these issues over 160 times and has over 90 published works on these topics. These works include the first (2013) and second (2018) editions of The ABA Cybersecurity Handbook: A Resource for Attorneys, Law Firms, and Business Professionals, which won the 2018 ACLEA Best Publication Award (contributing author, ABA; ambar.org/cybersecurity); Data Breach and Encryption Handbook (two chapters, 2011, ABA); The E-Business Legal Arsenal: Practitioner Agreements and Checklists (Editor, 2004, ABA); Internet in the Workplace: Managing Organizational Access (designed and taught one-day course throughout the U.S. and co-authored book, 1997, Software Publishers Association); Online Law (five chapters, 1996, Addison-Wesley); and her column CPO Corner: Interviews with Leading Chief Privacy Officers (2005-present, published in The SciTech Lawyer magazine).
Ruth is a longstanding leader in the American Bar Association (ABA), where she co-chairs the ABA Cybersecurity Legal Task Force (ambar.org/cyber), serves on the ABA E-Mail Stakeholder Committee, and is a leader in the ABA Section of Science & Technology Law (SciTech). In SciTech, she is a Senior Advisor for the Privacy, Security, and Emerging Technology Division, a member of the Planning Committee (2015-2019) for the ABA’s first four Internet of Things (IoT) National Institutes, and the Section’s Liaison to the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession. She also served as SciTech’s 2008-2009 Section Chair, Membership and Diversity Committee Chair (2009-2016), and E-Privacy Law Committee Founder and Chair (2000-2005). Ruth likewise served two three-year terms (2009-2015) on the ABA Standing Committee on Technology and Information Systems (the second term as Chair), as a liaison to the ABA Standing Committee on Continuing Legal Education (2012-2015), on the ABA Commission on the Future of Legal Services (2014-2016) (a two-year presidential commission to improve access to, and delivery of, legal services in the U.S.), on the ABA Standing Committee on Disaster Response and Preparedness (2016-2017), and on the ABA Board of Governors Communications Task Force (2017).
Ruth has served on many of the top advisory/editorial boards in the privacy, data security, and technology field (including The SciTech Lawyer, DataGuidance (U.S. Panel of Experts), Internet Law & Strategy, The Privacy & Data Protection Legal Reporter (Executive Editor/Chairman of the Board of Editors), and BNA’s Privacy & Security Law Report) in addition to the boards of two arts organizations and the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education. She has been recognized as a leader by numerous organizations, including for four consecutive years in Ethisphere Institute’s annual list of Attorneys Who Matter (data privacy/security). Her views have been noted by the Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, New York Times, Economist Intelligence Unit, ABA Journal, National Law Journal, Corporate Counsel, BNA Privacy & Security Law Report, CyberInsecurity News, FCW/Federal Computer Week, Legaltech News, Bloomberg Radio, and CNBC.
Ruth started her legal career at McBride Baker & Coles (now Holland & Knight) and then spent nearly a decade at Baker & McKenzie, where she was a partner in the Chicago office and founding North American member of the firm’s Global Privacy Steering Committee. Before getting her J.D. from the University of Chicago, Ruth had a successful career in major gifts fundraising at Northwestern University, where she earned her B.A. in English and Political Science. She won first place in New York Law Journal’s fiction contest for her short story, Privilege, and before that second place in Chicago Lawyer’s fiction contest for her short story, Her Father’s Daughter.