Gretchen Viney

Director of Lawyering Skills Program; Distinguished Clinical Professor of Law

Viney, Gretchen

Room 5228, Law School


University of Wyoming, B.A. with Highest Honors, 1974
University of Wisconsin Law School, J.D. with Honors, 1978


Gretchen Viney, distinguished clinical professor, is director of the Lawyering Skills Program (formerly General Practice). She oversees and shares responsibility for the Lawyering Skills Course, a second-semester 8-credit course that introduces students to law practice. Outside the LSC, Professor Viney also teaches Client Interviewing & Counseling, Real Estate Transactions, and Guardian ad Litem Practice.

Since arriving at the law school in 1997, through 2017, Professor Viney practiced law on a part-time basis in Baraboo where she was a partner with her husband in the firm of Viney & Viney. She is recognized for her work and expertise as a guardian ad litem for children, elders, and the disabled. Her private practice also historically included mediation, family law, terminations of parental rights and adoptions, and other general civil areas. Professor Viney's publications include a book, Guardianship and Protective Placement for the Elderly in Wisconsin (now in its fourth edition, co-authored with Maren Beermann '08); "Children as Witnesses in Family Court," Wisconsin Journal of Family Law, Vol. 26, No. 3; "The Impact of Act 130 on Family Court Guardian ad Litem Practice," Wisconsin Journal of Family Law, Vol. 25, No. 2; "Guardianship: Chapter 880" in Guardian ad Litem Handbook; "Guardianship and Protective Placement" in Advising Older Clients and Their Families. She is a frequent lecturer at continuing legal education seminars on the topic of guardian ad litem practice.

Professor Viney is a former secretary of the State Bar of Wisconsin.  She has been an active member of the Bar since admission to practice in 1978, having served on numerous boards, committees, and divisions. She is currently a member of the Communications Committee. She is also past-President of the Sauk County Bar Association.

Professor Viney is a member of the UW Athletic Board.  She is a long-time season ticket holder in Badger football, men's hockey, and women's hockey.

Gretchen and her husband Joseph Viney (J.D., University of Wisconsin, 1977) have two adult children.   She is active in the First Congregational United Church of Christ of Baraboo.

Scholarship & Publications

Law Repository


  • Gretchen Viney wrote "101: GAL Appointments: Am I Eligible?" to assist Wisconsin lawyers in determining if they qualify to accept guardian ad litem appointments, after the state Supreme Court changed the eligibility rules. The article appears in the September 2020 edition of Wisconsin Lawyer.

  • Gretchen Viney presented a Continuing Legal Education webinar for public defenders and private defense lawyers, in which she explained the role of the guardian ad litem in children's court (Chapter 48) cases.

  • Gretchen Viney wrote "Solutions: What Happens When an Adult Can't Pay for a Guardian?" for the April 2020 edition of Wisconsin Lawyer.

  • The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled in favor of Gretchen Viney's petition to allow for double CLE credits for guest speakers in law school classes. The Court also extended the double-credit rule to all teachers in law schools.

  • Gretchen Viney's article, "Note-taking: How to Memorialize Client Meetings," was published in the July/August 2019 issue of Wisconsin Lawyer.

  • Gretchen Viney presented "The Guardian ad Litem in Adult Guardianships Involving Elder Abuse," a training sponsored by the Fond du Lac County Bar Association in May.

  • Gretchen Viney's article, "Time Management 101: Let's Get Real," was published in Wisconsin Lawyer in April.

  • Gretchen Viney was the program chair for the Wisconsin State Bar day-long workshop, 2011 Adult Guardian ad Litem Training. She also presented the workshop's foundational segment: Adult GAL Basics.

  • Gretchen Viney presented "Role of the Family Court Guardian ad Litem: Managing Expectations and Avoiding Surprises" to judges and commissioners attending the Judicial Education Family Law Workshop in Elkhart Lake, April 2011.

  • Gretchen Viney was a contributing author to the "Law Practice Toolkit: The Wisconsin Lawyer's Guide to a Better Law Practice," published by Wisconsin Lawyers Mutual Insurance Co. Viney covered "unbundled legal services" and "dealing with pro se individuals."

  • Gretchen Viney was been appointed to a three-year term to the State Bar of Wisconsin's Communication's Committee, from July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2013. The Communications Committee serves as the editorial board for the Wisconsin Lawyer magazine and oversees other State Bar print and electronic communications. 

  • Gretchen Viney appeared as a panelist on a 2010 WisconsinEye production of "Legally Speaking: Reforming Juvenile Guardianship Law."

  • Gretchen Viney recently presented a statewide CLE webcast workshop "Guardian ad Litem 101: Role of the Guardian ad Litem in ch. 767 Proceedings" sponsored by the Wisconsin State Bar.

  • Gretchen Viney presented the workshop “Enriching Your Course with a Case File” at the annual summer conference of the Institute for Law Teaching and Learning in Spokane, Washington, June 23-24, 2009.

  • Gretchen Viney spoke on  “Surveys and Easements” at the State Bar of Wisconsin CLE Workshop “Basic Residential Real Estate Transactions” February 25, 2009. The workshop is part of the State Bar’s "Build Your Practice" series, designed for newer lawyers or lawyers who want to expand into a new area of practice. The presentation covered how to read and understand land surveys and how to correct problems disclosed by those surveys.   

Teaching Areas

  • Client Interviewing & Counseling
  • Real Estate Law
  • Skills Training

Recently Taught Courses

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