About Ketki “Kay” Steffen

Ketki “Kay” Steffen is an award-winning community leader with a career-long commitment to addressing domestic violence and protecting communities from violent crime. She has important judicial experience, having previously been appointed to the bench by the Illinois Supreme Court. Steffen has been given positive evaluations by every bar association which has reviewed her credentials to serve as our community’s Judge.

The Chicago Bar Association noted “Judge Steffen is diligent and highly regarded for her knowledge of the law, judicial ability, and integrity.” The Chicago Council of Lawyers stated, “she enjoys a reputation as a trusted and experienced criminal law litigator.” The Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA), in giving Steffen its rare Highly Qualified rating, highlighted that, “she is considered knowledgeable in a variety of areas of law and is highly regarded by attorneys who have appeared before her.” Steffen currently serves as an Arbitrator for the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission. Prior to that, she was a Cook County Circuit Court Judge pursuant to her Supreme Court appointment on November 12, 2015. She sat in the 3rd Municipal District, Rolling Meadows until December, 2016. She also served as a Cook County Judge, hearing cases in the Domestic Violence Courtrooms in Chicago and Rolling Meadows, from 2010-2012

Before becoming a Judge, Steffen served as an Assistant State's Attorney at the Rolling Meadows Courthouse for eighteen years. As a prosecutor, she specialized in prosecuting violent crimes and helping keep communities safe. She was recognized for her outstanding work addressing domestic violence and is the proud recipient of the 'Partners in Peace Award' and the 'Building Bridges Award'. She was also instrumental in the proposal and passage of the 'Cynthia Bischof GPS Legislation' that allowed judges to place tracking bracelets on repeat offenders.

As a prosecutor, Steffen was an authority on International Extraditions and specialized in bringing to justice the most violent offenders who try to escape our justice system and hide in foreign countries after committing their crimes. Her outstanding work in this challenging field resulted in bringing to justice several murderers and child molesters. These violent criminals who fled the U.S. were subsequently prosecuted and sentenced to long terms of imprisonment. Her philosophy as a prosecutor was that “no one is above the law.” She knows that the safety and security of any community is vital to its well-being.

Steffen attributes her success in life to hard work and sacrifice. She started her career working at McDonalds while attending Maine East High School in Park Ridge. She subsequently attended college at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign and went on to The John Marshall Law School on a Dean's Scholarship.

Ketki and her husband Robert Steffen have been happily married for twenty-two years. They are the proud parents of three beautiful children, Nicole (19), Alyssa (17), and Tristan (12) and live in the Barrington area.