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Kathryn Ciesla

Founding Partner

Read about what Kathryn does when she's working.

Reach out

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Read about what Kathryn is happiest doing when she's not working.

Professional Experience

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 2021, Kathryn was elected as Village President for the Village of Northbrook after serving three terms as an elected Trustee.  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 traveling, up-cycling and doing anything involving art.  She currently lives in Northbrook with her two daughters and rescue dogs, Violet.


  • Northwestern University, Evanston, 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 

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois

  • 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

Bar Admissions
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Spending Time with Family
Taking Pictures
Vintage furniture and other staff at ent
Treasure Hunting & Upcycling
Underwater funny photo of golden labrado
Laughing at the Silly Side of Life

When Kathryn isn't lawyering, she's   ...
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Child Representative

Guardian ad Litem

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Child Representative

Guardian ad Litem

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