Hon. Elizabeth M. Rochford was appointed as Associate Judge of the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit, Lake County (Waukegan) in December 27, 2012, and currently sits in Probate Court.  In response to the Illinois Supreme Court mandate to provide Access to Justice, a family law courtroom dedicated to Self Represented Litigants (SRLs) was established in Lake County in November, 2018.  Judge Rochford was involved in the development, and was the first judge to sit in the (SRL) courtroom.  She remains deeply committed to issues related to providing access to justice, and serves on several related AOIC committees. 

Prior to her judicial appointment, Judge Rochford served as Assistant State’s Attorney (1986-1989); solo practitioner, trusts and estates, and real estate (1989-2012); Commissioner of the Court of Claims (1990-2012); Administrative Law Hearing Officer for municipalities including Lincolnwood, Skokie, Morton Grove and Glenview (2005-2012). 

Judge Rochford earned her B.A. in English from Loyola University of Chicago and her J.D. from Loyola University School of Law, Chicago. 

ISBA activities include Board of Governors (2013-2019) and Secretary 2019; member of numerous ISBA committees and section councils, including Women and the Law, Bench and Bar, and Mental Health; she also served on the Task Force on Lawyers Feeding Illinois, and was Chair of the LFI kick-off at the 2012 Mid-Year Meeting.  She is currently serving on the Trusts and Estates Committee.

Lake County Bar Association leadership positions include:  President (2010-2011); chair, Community Outreach Committee; chair Trusts and Estates Committee (2005-2008); and chair, Real Estate Committee (2005-2007).

She served as the President of the Illinois Judges Foundation (IJF) from 2015-2016 and continued to serve on the IJF board until 2020. 

She serves on the Illinois Judges Association (IJA) Board of Directors since 2015, and is currently Secretary.  Judge Rochford is a co-editor of the IJA’s publication, “The Gavel” and serves as co-chair of the “Paging It Forward” literacy initiative. She is the 2021 Chair of the IJA initiative “Building Confidence in the Legal System” an educational series for judges, attorneys, and other stakeholders, with focus on racial and other inequities in the legal system.  

Recent Appointments: Illinois Supreme Court and AOIC’s Access to Justice Advisory Committee 2020 to current; Illinois Judicial Conference Public Relations Task Force 2021; and ISBA Trusts and Estates Committee.

Volunteer activities: Waukegan to College speech coach; United Way reading program; IJA Literacy Initiative; LCBA’s Lawyers in the Classroom; Holy Family Soup Kitchen; LCBA Guardianship Help Desk; Volunteer Mediator; Loan Modification Assistance Program; Habitat for Humanity, Volunteer Estate Planners; The People’s Law School; Lawyers in the Classroom; 100 Club Board of Directors; Leader Council, Mercy Home for Boys and Girls; and Spirit of 67 Board of Directors.  She also served as an Adjunct Professor of English for the City Colleges of Chicago. 

Awards: ISBA Woman of Influence Award (2020); Illinois Judges Association Presidential Service Award (2020);  The Lake County Bar Association “Access to Justice Award” (2019); Lake County Women’s Coalition “Woman of Vision Award” (2019); 19th Judicial Circuit Liberty Bell Award, on behalf of the LCBA Guardianship Help Desk (2012); Outstanding Diversity Leader Award, Diversity Scholarship Foundation (2011); Lake County Bar Association Leadership Service Award (2011); and NHS Extra Mile Award, Neighborhood Housing Services (2010).