Justice Elizabeth Rochford

Supreme Court Justice, Second District

Elizabeth M. Rochford earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Loyola University of Chicago and her Juris Doctor degree from Loyola University School of Law in Chicago. She served as Assistant State’s Attorney (1986-1989), as a solo practitioner, trusts and estates, and real estate (1989-2012), as Commissioner of the Court of Claims (1990- 2012), and Administrative Law Hearing Officer for municipalities including Lincolnwood, Skokie, Morton Grove, and Glenview (2005-2012).

Justice Rochford was appointed as Associate Judge of the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit, Lake County (Waukegan) in December 2012, and was assigned to hear criminal matters, family law matters and in probate presiding over decedent’s estates and guardianships of minors and disabled adults. In response to the Supreme Court’s mandate on Access to Justice, Judge Rochford took the lead on developing and initially presiding over a courtroom dedicated to Self-Represented Litigants (SRLs) in family law. Justice Rochford was elected to the Illinois Supreme Court from the Second Judicial District in 2022.

Her Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) activities include serving on the Board of Governors (2013-2019), a member of numerous ISBA committees and section councils, including Women and the Law, Bench and Bar, Trusts and Estates, and Mental Health, and 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. Her Lake County Bar Association leadership positions include President (2010-2011), chair of the Community Outreach Committee, chair of the Trusts and Estates Committee (2005- 2008), and chair of the Real Estate Committee (2005-2007). She also served as the President of the Illinois Judges Foundation from 2015-2016 and is currently the Third Vice President of the Illinois Judges Association.

Justice Rochford is a former co-editor of, and regular contributor to, the IJA’s publication, “The Gavel” and serves as co-chair of the “Paging It Forward” literacy initiative. Her volunteer activities include: the United Way reading program, the IJF Literacy Initiative, the LCBA Guardianship Help Desk, Volunteer Mediator, the 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 for Mercy Home for Boys and Girls, and the Spirit of 67 Board of Directors. She also served as an Adjunct Professor of English for the City Colleges of Chicago.

Justice Rochford’s honors include the Joyce Fitzgerald Award from A Safe Place (2022), the Democratic Women of Lake County RBG Award (2021), the ISBA Woman of Influence Award (2020), the IJA Presidential Service Award (2020), the Lake County Bar Association “Access to Justice Award” (2019), the Lake County Women’s Coalition “Woman of Vision Award” (2019), the 19th Judicial Circuit Liberty Bell Award, on behalf of the LCBA Guardianship Help Desk (2012), the Outstanding Diversity Leader Award, Diversity Scholarship Foundation (2011), the Lake County Bar Association Leadership Service Award (2011), and the Extra Mile Award, NHS (2010).