Kathryn E. Zenoff was born in Chicago. She graduated cum laude from Stanford University and received her J.D. degree from Columbia University Law School. She practiced law in the private sector in New York City and Chicago and served as an Assistant State’s Attorney in Cook and Winnebago counties. Judge Zenoff was appointed to the position of Associate Judge in the 17th Circuit in 1995 and Circuit Judge by the Supreme Court in 1998. She subsequently won election and has been retained in 2004, 2010 and 2016. She has served as Presiding Judge of the Criminal Division and the Mental Health (Therapeutic Intervention Program) Court. In 2003, she was elected Chief Judge and served until her assignment to the Appellate Court in May, 2007. Justice Zenoff served as Presiding Justice of the Second District from August, 2008 to December, 2010.
Justice Zenoff has chaired the Special Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Justice and Mental Health Planning since 2010. Other service includes the Illinois Mental Health Task Force, the National Judicial Task Force to Examine State Courts’ Response to Mental Illinois and co-chair of the National Judges and Psychiatrists Leadership Initiative for Criminal Justice and Mental Health. She and her late husband have two grown children who are lawyers.