Categories: Family Law Children’s Law Estate Planning/Elder Law

Instructor(s) Viney, Gretchen

Lawyering Skills: Guardian ad Litem Practice in Wisconsin. A guardian ad litem in Wisconsin is an attorney appointed by the court to represent the best interests of an individual in court proceedings. Guardians ad litem typically are involved on behalf of children in protective services proceedings or in custody and placement disputes, and on behalf of adults in guardianship and protective placement proceedings. This is a practice-oriented skills class in which students learn the skills and techniques necessary for competent service as guardians ad litem in Wisconsin. The course provides a brief overview of the role of the guardian ad litem in the Wisconsin court system and the requirements for serving as a guardian ad litem, but the emphasis is on preparing students for hands-on guardian ad litem practice. The course meets the requirements of Wisconsin Supreme Court Rule 35 (Eligibility for Appointment as Guardian ad Litem for a Minor) and Wisconsin Supreme Court Rule 36 (Eligibility for Appointment as Guardian ad Litem for an Adult). Students who successfully complete the course will be eligible, upon admission to the Bar, to accept court appointments as guardians ad litem for children and adults in Wisconsin.

Learning Outcomes – After finishing this course, students will:
1. Understand how to qualify and to be appointed as a guardian ad litem in cases involving adults and children.
2. Have a basic understanding of the role and responsibilities of the guardian ad litem in the most common types of cases involving guardians ad litem, including (but not necessarily limited to): custody and placement disputes (ch. 767); guardianship and protective placement (ch. 54 and ch. 55); and children in need of protection and services (ch. 48).
3. Be able to find and access resources relating to guardian ad litem work.
4. Recognize common ethical and practice dilemmas for the guardian ad litem and be equipped to deal with them.
5. Have a file containing three written documents that will assist in starting practice as a guardian ad litem.

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