Kathryn Ciesla has a broad depth of experience in child advocacy, family law, litigation, corporate law, licensing, estate planning and administration. Her clients include children, parents, business executives, entrepreneurs and companies from a variety of industries. Kathryn’s clients have common goals – to protect their interests, assets and families.
Kathryn’s career began at a general practice firm in Evanston, where she was thrown into the trenches, focusing her work on litigation, divorce, custody, and other family related matters. She then moved to the largest law firm in the nation concentrating her practice exclusively on matrimonial law. Kathryn handled cases for clients with multi-million-dollar holdings. Work on these cases required sophisticated financial expertise in matters of business valuation, personal tax consequences, discovery of assets, property settlement, support and trust and estate planning, as well as a deep knowledge base in business operations. Kathryn then took her aptitude for business operations and finance, and served as General Counsel and Chief Operating Officer for a regionally accredited college with campuses in Chicago and the surrounding metropolitan area. Kathryn managed finance, information technology and human resources operations for an organization with revenues exceeding $20 million annually. In 2007, Kathryn returned to private practice, again representing families and children.
Kathryn often writes and speaks on issues involving families and children.
Passion to Protect Children
Close to Kathryn’s heart is child advocacy and in 2012, she was approved by the Chief Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois to represent children in contested divorces as a Guardian ad Litem and Child Representative. In 2014, Kathryn earned the same distinction in Lake County, Illinois. To date, Kathryn has represented more than 300 children before courts in Cook and Lake Counties, and at present is active in more than 40 cases in which her clients are children. In 2012, Ms. Ciesla earned a Certificate in Divorce Mediation Skills Training from the School of Continuing Studies of Northwestern University. Kathryn is often retained by private clients and appointed as a mediator by Judges in Cook County. She also serves many families as a judicially appointed Parenting Coordinator.
Passion for Community Service
In April 2009, Kathryn was elected to her first term as a Trustee for the Village of Northbrook. She is currently serving her third term. She is Chair of the Administration/Finance and Ad Hoc Labor Relations Committees. In the fall of 2016, Kathryn was appointed to serve on the Legislative Committee of the Northwest Municipal Conference, which is an organization representing 44 municipalities and 1.3 million citizens in the north and northwest suburbs of Chicago.
In Her Personal Life
She enjoys bike riding, gardening and up-cycling and currently lives in Northbrook with her partner, two daughters and three rescue dogs, Thunder, Tinker and Violet.
Northwestern University, Evantson, Illinois - School of Continuing Studies, Divorce Mediation Skills Training
University of Illinois, Champaign Urbana, Illinois - Institute of Government and Public Affairs, Leadership Academy
Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Program on Negotiation for Senior Executives
The John Marshall Law School, Chicago, Illinois, Juris Doctor
The College of Saint Benedict, St. Joseph, Minnesota, Bachelor of Arts
Unites States District Court - Northern District of Illinois
United States Court of Appeals - 7th Circuit
United States Tax Court
United States Supreme Court
Associations, Awards & Recognitions