Susan Isacoff is a native of Los Angeles. She attended the University of California at Berkeley and UCLA as an undergraduate and earned her law degree at Loyola Law School. After her admission to the California State Bar, Judge Isacoff worked in a small law firm specializing in criminal law (1971-1975) and then joined the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office. Most of her six years as a Deputy City Attorney were spent in the criminal division, but she also briefly served in the Department of Water and Power. Judge Isacoff was involved in a pioneering domestic violence unit, where she prepared the guidelines for the prosecution of child-abuse cases. In addition, she was the Supervising Attorney of the City Attorney's West Los Angeles branch.
Judge Isacoff was appointed to the bench by then-Governor Jerry Brown in 1981. For her first 16 years, she served in the criminal division. In January 1997, she moved to the civil division and ultimately spent two years as one of four judges in the appellate division of the Superior Court. Her administrative positions during her judicial career included Supervising Judge of the Municipal Court's criminal courthouse, Assistant Presiding Judge of the Municipal Court, Acting Presiding Judge of the Municipal Court, and Supervising Judge of a civil unit in the Superior Court. She served a total of 23 years on the bench, retiring in 2004.
During the past years, Judge Isacoff has been a supporter of the Fulfillment Fund, Center Theatre Group, the Children's Institute Incorporated, Hebrew University, and several cancer research organizations. Recently, she was appointed to the Judicial Nominees Evaluation (JNE) Commission, which is charged with the evaluation of individuals seeking appointments to judicial office or candidates up for election to judicial office. Her term begins February 2008.