What is the Family Court Clinic?

The Family Court Clinic (FCC) was created to address one of the most pressing needs and challenges to our court system: unrepresented family law litigants.

FCC students provide legal information, forms, and guidance to unrepresented litigants under the supervision of experienced clinical faculty. FCC students further advance their legal education by providing full representation in select family law actions. Through their direct service to the community, students learn effective lawyering skills while developing an understanding of the social and economic contexts in which the litigants' problems occur and the possibilities and limitations of the legal system.

This program has garnered support from Dane County and Wisconsin Supreme Court judges, as well as local community groups.


Information for Students

FCC Educational Mission

FCC's educational mission is to expose students to the range of challenges facing unrepresented family law litigants, to train students in lawyering skills including legal research and analysis, drafting, negotiation, litigation, and mediation, and to engage students in critical inquiry into the role of the law and lawyers in redressing economic injustice and inequality.

FCC students work under a clinical law professor's close supervision as they gain experience client interviewing, counseling, drafting legal documents, and advocating in court. Students develop a practical understanding of Wisconsin's family court process and critically evaluate the various responses of the justice system to the needs of unrepresented litigants.

What do FCC Students do?

FCC students:

  • Represent clients in selected cases that are referred to FCC from outside service providers.
  • Assist self-represented family law litigants by providing the information and forms litigants need to complete their case, and by helping litigants to understand court rules and procedures.
  • Observe and later participate in court hearings and mediations.
  • Develop written materials for guiding litigants through the family court process.
  • Work collaboratively with other FCC students and with students from other EJI clinics.

In addition to weekly hours spent assisting unrepresented litigants at during service appointments and on casework for their individual clients, FCC students participate in a weekly seminar. The seminar includes materials on:

  • The substantive topics students will encounter in their work.
  • Skills development, including interviewing, negotiating, counseling, litigating, and writing.
  • Issues pertinent to substantive topics, such as ADR, use of interpreters in the courts, the role of a guardian ad litem, and abuse issues in family law disputes.
  • Issues related to pro se representation and innovative methods for providing legal services.

The weekly seminars provide an opportunity for students to brief each other on their case work and to brainstorm new approaches to case related issues and projects.

There will be two FCC course options available for the 2023-24 academic year.

Clinic Family Court Clinic FCC Order Modification Clinic
Credit Options Fall (6 credits) and Spring (variable credits)

Spring Only 6 Credits

A separate, additional, 1 credit enrollment in a directed research project may be permitted to fulfill upper level writing requirement


The Family Court Clinic (FCC) assists low-income family law litigants with a variety of issues, including:

  • Divorce and Separation;
  • Custody and Placement;
  • Maintenance;
  • Paternity;
  • Guardianship;
  • Child Support
  • Special Immigrant Juvenile Status
The FCC works closely with many community service agencies.

The Order Modification Clinic will focus on enforcement and modifications of existing family court orders, including support, placement, and custody. Priority will be given to modifying support orders where individuals face loss of liberty, barriers to employment, or risk of financial instability and loss of housing. There will also be a focus on system change and racial justice.

After completion of one or more FCC Clinics students may apply to continue work over the summer. Students interested in learning more about FCC should contact Jennifer Binkley at jbinkley@wisc.edu


Information for the Public

The Family Court Clinic (FCC) is a University of Wisconsin Law School program. Law students (supervised by a clinical law professor) work with you free of charge. FCC provides full representation in select cases and provides assistance to unrepresented people who have simple family law matters in Wisconsin. Full representation is not provided to people who contact us directly for assistance. Rather, full representation is only provided in a few cases that are referred to us by other agencies. The following information describes the limited assistance which we provide to those who meet with us. 

Our goal is to assist people who cannot afford attorneys. Although we will not represent you, we hope that with our help, your case will be simpler, completed faster and be less stressful for you. We also hope that you will be more satisfied with the process and the results when your case is complete

Domestic Violence Resources

If you are experiencing domestic violence, please see our Domestic Violence Resources webpage for resources that may be able to provide additional services.

The Economic Justice Institute also has an additional clinic dedicated to providing direct legal services to victims/survivors of intimite partner and/or domestic violence. You can visit the the Restraining Order and Survivor Advocacy (ROSA) Clinic and contact them directly at 608-263-9574.

Who is eligible for our services?

FCC is a voluntary program available to low-income individuals who want help with a paternity action, restraining order, divorce, or a post-divorce/paternity matter, such as custody, placement or child support. We will work with either or both parties.

FCC students are only able to assist with cases that are filed in the State of Wisconsin.

What kind of assistance will the FCC provide?

We will:

  • Provide the information and forms you need to complete your case;
  • Review the forms for accuracy and completeness;
  • Help you organize your information;
  • Help you understand court rules and procedures, and;
  • Provide the information you need to make it through every step of your case.

We will not:

  • We will not give legal advice;
  • We will not advocate for you or your spouse in or out of court;
  • We will not be your lawyers

Because we do not provide legal advice or legal advocacy, there is no attorney-client privilege and the information you give to the student is not confidential. 

What can FCC help with?

What FCC can help with:

  • Divorce and legal separation;
  • Child custody and placement;
  • Child support;
  • Maintenance;
  • Paternity;
  • Guardianship of minors;
  • Contempt and enforcement actions.

What FCC cannot help with:

  • Termination of parental rights (TPRs);
  • CHIPS proceedings (Child Protective Services);
  • Adoption;
  • Pre-nuptial agreements;
  • Bankruptcy;
  • Guardianship of adults;
  • Other non-family law issues

How do I get help from the FCC?

The Family Court Clinic is currently open and providing remote assistance. Please call us at (608) 262-2301 and leave your name, phone number, the legal issue you are facing and let us know if it is safe for us to leave a message. You may also contact the State Bar Legal Hotline at 1-800-362-9082 or by going to wi.freelegalanswers.org. 

You may contact the FCC at any time at 608-262-2301. If you prefer that we reach out to you instead, you may do so by hitting the "Make an appointment" button below.

You may also schedule an appointment with an FCC student through Madison College by calling 608-243-4200.

En Español

La Clínica del Tribunal de Familia (FCC) es un programa de la Facultad de Derecho de la Universidad de Wisconsin. Los estudiantes de derecho (supervisados ​​por un profesor de derecho clínico) trabajan con usted de forma gratuita. FCC ofrece representación completa en casos selectos y ofrece asistencia a personas sin representación que tienen asuntos simples de derecho familiar en Wisconsin. No damos representación completa a las personas que se comunican con nosotros directamente para obtener ayuda. Más bien, la representación completa solo se ofrece en algunos casos que nos remiten otras agencias. La siguiente información describe la asistencia limitada que ofrecemos a quienes se reúnen con nosotros.

Nuestro objetivo es ayudar a las personas que no pueden pagar un abogado. Aunque no lo representaremos, esperamos que con nuestra ayuda, su caso sea más simple, se complete más rápido y sea menos estresante para usted. También esperamos que esté más satisfecho con el proceso y los resultados cuando su caso esté completo.

Recursos de Violencia Doméstica

Si está experimentando violencia doméstica, consulte nuestra página web de Recursos de Violencia Doméstica para obtener recursos que pueden ofrecer servicios adicionales.

El Instituto de Justicia Económica también tiene una clínica adicional dedicada a ofrecer servicios legales directos a víctimas/sobrevivientes de violencia doméstica y/o de pareja. Puede visitar la Clínica de Órdenes de Restricción y Defensa de Sobrevivientes (ROSA) y contactarlos directamente al 608-263-9574.

Quién cumple con los requisitos para recibir ayuda de FCC?

FCC es un programa voluntario disponible para personas de bajos ingresos que desean ayuda con una acción de paternidad, una orden de restricción, un divorcio o un asunto posterior al divorcio/paternidad, como la custodia, la colocación o la manutención de los hijos. Trabajaremos con una o ambas partes.

Los estudiantes de FCC sólo pueden ayudar con los casos que se presentan en el estado de Wisconsin y, por lo general, no podemos dar asistencia por teléfono en otros lugares.

Qué tipo asistencia provee el programa de FCC? 

Lo que hacemos:

  • Compartir la información y los formularios que necesita para completar su caso
  • Revisar los formularios para ver si están completos y exactos
  • Ayudarle a organizar su información
  • Ayudarle a entender las reglas y procedimientos de la corte
  • Compartir la información que necesita para completar cada paso de su caso

Nosotros no:

  • No le daremos asesoramiento legal
  • No abogamos por usted o su cónyuge dentro o fuera de la corte
  • No seremos sus abogados

Debido a que no ofrecemos asesoramiento legal ni defensa legal, no existe un privilegio abogado-cliente y la información que le comente al estudiante no es confidencial.

En qué puede ayudar FCC:

  1. Divorcio y separación legal;
  2. Custodia y colocación de los hijos;
  3. Manutención de los hijos;
  4. Mantenimiento;
  5. Paternidad;
  6. Tutela de menores;
  7. Acciones de desacato y ejecución.

Con lo que FCC no puede ayudar:

  1. Terminación de la patria potestad (TPR);
  2. Procedimientos CHIPS (Servicios de Protección Infantil);
  3. Adopción;
  4. Acuerdos prenupciales;
  5. Bancarrota;
  6. Tutela de adultos;
  7. Otras cuestiones no relacionadas con el derecho de familia

Cómo conseguir ayuda de FCC?

La Clínica del Tribunal de Familia está actualmente abierta y ofrece asistencia asistencia remota.  Por favor llamar 608-262-2301 y deje su nombre, número de teléfono, el problema legal que enfrenta e infórmenos si es seguro que dejemos un mensaje. También puede comunicarse con la Línea Directa Legal del Colegio de Abogados del Estado al 1-800-362-9082 o visite wi.freelegalanswers.org

Puede comunicarse con la FCC en cualquier momento al 608-262-2301. Si prefiere que nos comuniquemos con usted, puede hacerlo presionando el botón "Hacer una cita" a continuación.

También puede programar una cita con un estudiante de FCC a través de Madison College llamando al 608-243-4200.



Family Legal Advocacy & Supports Clinic

About the Family Legal Advocacy & Supports Clinic

The Family Legal Advocacy and Supports Clinic (“FLASC”) uses a multi-disciplinary approach to assist families who are at risk of becoming involved in the child welfare system. FLASC is a partnership between the Department of Children and Families, the law school, and the UW School of Social Work. County social workers refer individuals who would benefit from preventative legal advocacy. Law students then work collaboratively with social work students to provide varying levels of assistance, including providing legal information, forms, and guidance to unrepresented litigants on family law issues; direct representation in family law cases; and referrals for non-family law issues.

FLASC is under the broader Family Court Clinic. Law students will focus their advocacy on family law issues, such as divorce, paternity, child support, maintenance, custody and placement, and juvenile guardianships. Students will also have opportunities to develop legal advocacy skills while gaining a working knowledge of family law in Wisconsin.

Information for Students

FLASC students will:

  • Represent clients in selected cases that are referred to FLASC from county social workers
  • Assist self-represented family law litigants by providing information and forms and by helping litigants understand court rules and procedures
  • Participate in court hearings and mediation
  • Work collaboratively with social work students, who will be providing social supports for clients

FLASC also involves a classroom component which covers:

  • Substantive family law
  • General litigation skills
  • Issues relevant to substantive topics and our diverse clientele

Students interested in FLASC should contact Cary Bloodworth at bloodworth@wisc.edu.

Information for the Public

Because of FLASC’s funding sources, it cannot accept referrals from the general community. Referrals can only come from a county social worker. If you need assistance with a family law issue, please contact the Family Court Clinic. If you need assistance with a non-family law issue, please visit the informational page on the Economic Justice Institute, which has clinics serving a variety of civil legal need (link to law.wisc.edu/eji/). 

Lock Icon