Skip to main content

Guardian Ad Litem Training

Presented by the ISBA Bench & Bar Section, ISBA Child Law Section, and ISBA Family Law Section

11.25 hours MCLE credit, including 5.0 hours Professional Responsibility MCLE credit  in the following categories:
  • 4.0 hours Professionalism, Civility, or Legal Ethics 
  • 1.0 hour Mental Health & Substance Abuse 

Original Program Date: Wednesday, February 17, 2021

MCLE Accreditation Extension Period: ­­­­­­­May 23, 2023 - May 22, 2025 (You must certify completion and save your certificate before this date to get MCLE credit)

This three-part program is designed to help those attorneys who represent children. Under Illinois Supreme Court Rule 906(c), an attorney should receive ten hours of education every two years in child developments; roles of guardians ad litem and child representatives; ethics in child custody cases; relevant substantive state, federal, and case law in custody and visitation matters; and family dynamics, including substance abuse, domestic abuse, and mental health issues. Topics for this seminar include:
  • How to become a guardian ad litem and what the work entails;
  • What is expected from the guardian ad litem;
  • The challenges facing the next generation of advocates;
  • How to handle your client’s issues;
  • How implicit bias impacts the way legal matters are handled;
  • How (and what) the Juvenile Court Act of 1987 protects children;
  • The recent case law updates that may impact your next case;
  • Guardian ad litem appointments;
  • Removing children from, to, and within Illinois;
  • Structuring parent and grandparent time;
  • The hot topic issues facing the judiciary, attorneys, and litigates;
  • How to prepare your child client for litigation;
  • Understanding the differences between a guardian ad litem, child representative, and attorney for the child;
  • The ethical dilemmas facing guardian ad litems and child representatives; and
  • Much more.
The training may qualify the attendee to be placed on their local Circuit’s guardian ad litem list and/or qualify as continuing guardian ad litem education required by the attendee’s local rules, but attendees should verify with their Circuit to ensure this training will meet the Circuit’s rules.

Program Coordinator:
Hon. Michael J. Chmiel, Twenty-Second Judicial Circuit, Woodstock

Program Moderator:
Sandra M. Blake, Kane County Public Defender's Office, Oak Park

Child Advocacy
Discover what requirements exist for those representing children in litigation, which requirements are mandated, and why this training is so important.
Anna P. Krolikowska, Anna P. Krolikowska, P.C., Northbrook

The Important Role of an Attorney in the Life of a Child*
This segment discusses the Illinois Supreme Court’s expectations for those representing children in Illinois’ court system.
Hon. Anne M. Burke, Illinois Supreme Court, Chicago

Emerging Issues for Attorneys*
Gain a better understanding of the challenges facing the next generation of advocates, as well as what law schools are doing to help.
Prof. Camille M. Davidson, Southern Illinois University School of Law, Carbondale

The Expanding Challenges for Attorneys: Mental Health and Substance Abuse in the Pandemic
Learn how to help a depressed colleague in need, the repercussions of substance abuse, and how to bridge the gap that the pandemic’s social distancing has created.
Dr. Alexandria A. Tsang, Director, Kane County Diagnostic Center, St. Charles

Implicit Bias*
This comprehensive overview explores the various forms of implicit bias and how it affects how we handle legal matters.
Trina Smith, Cook County Public Defender’s Office, Chicago

Juvenile Acts
The first session of this three-part program closes with an in-depth look at what the Juvenile Court Act of 1987 covers, how children are protected, how juveniles are prosecuted, and how attorneys can help.
Hon. Christopher M. Harmon, Twenty-Second Judicial Circuit, Woodstock

Case Law Update
Don’t miss this case law update that explores what’s new in the family law and child law arena – and how these changes may affect your next case.
Prof. Jeff Atkinson, Illinois Judicial Conference, Wilmette

Guardian ad Litem Exposure
To what extent are guardians ad litem (and perhaps others appointed by the Court) immune from tort liability? This session discusses this issue by examining the recent decision of the Illinois Supreme Court in the case of Nichols v Fahrenkamp, 219 IL 123990 .
Hon. Donald D. Bernardi (ret.), Bloomington

The Removal of Children
Learn the ins-and-outs of child removal with this informative presentation, including who can be moved from, to, and within Illinois and what the requirements of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act.
Gunnar J. Gitlin, The Gitlin Law Firm, P.C., Woodstock

Structuring and Scheduling Parenting Time
This segment discusses who should have parenting time, what that parenting time consists of, and exactly how grandparents fit in to the structure.
L. Steven Rakowski
, LSR Family Law Group, Northbrook

View from the Bench
This presentation discusses the hot topics and issues facing the judiciary, attorneys, and litigants in domestic relations courtrooms.
Hon. Robert J. Anderson (ret.), Wheaton
Hon. Anna M. Benjamin, Sixth Judicial Circuit, Urbana
Hon. Debra B. Walker, Cook County Circuit Court, Chicago

Interviewing Children of High Conflict Parents*
The final session of this three-part program begins with a look at how to prepare for interviewing children of high-conflict parents, what to watch for in parents and in children, and what to do in response.
Joseph Canevello
, Connections Counseling & Consulting Services, Inc., Crystal Lake

The Compete Roles of the GAL, Child Representative, and Attorney
This segment explores the duty of the guardian ad litem or child representative to investigate what is in a child’s best interest. The discussion includes what should (and should not) be included in pleadings and court files, as well as what rights exist for the protection of mental health during custodial proceedings.
Sean N. McCumber
, Sullivan Taylor & Gumina, Napverville

Ethics in Child Custody and Allocations of Parental Responsibilities Cases*
This presentation examines the ethical issues you need to consider when representing children.
Umberto S. Davi, Davi & Associates P.C., Western Springs

Other Professionals: Non-Lawyers Who Deal with Children*
The program closes with a comprehensive look at the non-legal professionals who work with children. Topics include: who is available to do what; when they should be involved; and what evaluations can (or should) be conducted.
Dr. Robert B. Shapiro
, Robert B. Shapiro & Associates, Bloomingdale

Pricing Information
  • Please Note: You must attend the entire program in order to earn MCLE credit for this seminar.
  • ISBA sponsoring section members get a $10 registration discount (which is automatically calculated in your cart when you log in to register).
  • Fees:
    • ISBA Member Price of $337.50 is displayed below when you login and program is eligible for Free CLE member benefit
    • Non-Member Price $562.50
    • New Attorney Member (within the first five years of practice) - $25
    • Law Students - Free