Note: Judgepedia will be read-only from 9pm CST on February 25-March 5 while Judgepedia is merged into Ballotpedia.
Starting on March 5, all Judgepedia content will be contained on For status updates, visit

John Z. Lee

From Judgepedia
Jump to: navigation, search
John Z. Lee
Placeholder image.png
Do you have a photo that could go here? Submit it for this profile by emailing us!
Current Court Information:
Northern District of Illinois
Title:   Judge
Appointed by:   Barack Obama
Active:   5/7/2012 - Present
Preceded by:   David Coar
Personal History
Undergraduate:   Harvard, B.A., 1989
Law School:   Harvard Law, J.D., 1992

John Z. Lee is a federal judge for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. He was nominated to the court by President Barack Obama in 2011. Prior to joining the court, Lee was a partner at the firm Freeborn & Peters LLP.[1]

Early life and education

Lee earned B.A. in 1989 from Harvard University and his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1992.[2]

Professional career

After graduation, Lee served a trial attorney for the Environmental and Natural Resources Division of the United States Department of Justice. He went on to work for Mayer Brown LLP from 1994 to 1996 and at Grippo & Elden LLC from 1996 to 1999. He became a partner in the firm Freeborn & Peters LLP in Chicago in 1999.[2]

Judicial career

Federal judgeship nomination

Nomination Tracker
 Candidate:John Z. Lee
 Court:Northern District of Illinois
 Progress:Confirmed 179 days after nomination.
ApprovedAABA Rating:Substantial Majority Qualified, Minority Not Qualified

Lee was nominated to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois by President Obama on November 10, 2011. Obama commented on the nominations, stating, "These individuals have demonstrated the talent, expertise, and fair-mindedness Americans expect and deserve from their judicial system. I am grateful for their willingness to serve and confident that they will apply the law with the utmost impartiality and integrity."[2] He succeeded Judge David Coar on the court.[1]

Lee was rated Substantial Majority Qualified, Minority Not Qualified by the American Bar Association. He had a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on January 26, 2012 and you can find his Committee Questionnaire available here and his Questions for the Record available here.[3]

On May 7, 2012, the United States Senate confirmed John Z. Lee to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois with a voice vote.[4]

See also

External links


Federal judicial offices
Preceded by:
David Coar
Northern District of Illinois
Succeeded by:

IllinoisIllinois Supreme CourtIllinois Appellate CourtIllinois Circuit CourtUnited States District Court for the Central District of IllinoisUnited States District Court for the Northern District of IllinoisUnited States District Court for the Southern District of IllinoisUnited States Court of Appeals for the Seventh CircuitIllinois countiesIllinois judicial newsIllinois judicial electionsJudicial selection in IllinoisIllinoisTemplatewithoutBankruptcy.jpg