Emily Dudak Leiter, formerly known as Emily Dudak Taylor, is an enthusiastic representative of our clients’ interests. She brings persistence and an ability to think creatively to her work on behalf of children and families. She has a special interest in protecting underdogs, applying her labor for the benefit of LGBT families and immigrant children. She was the lead attorney in a 2014 appeal in Wisconsin about applying the marital presumption of parentage to married same-sex couples post-marriage equality, and she is retained frequently by counties and the State to serve as immigration counsel for children in foster care.
Areas of Practice
- Adoption (international and domestic)
- Assisted reproductive technology (including surrogacy, domestic and international)
- LGBT family formation (including parentage, adoption, guardianship, contracts, and estate planning)
- Life and estate planning
- Yoga law
Emily earned her law degree cum laude from Tulane University Law School in 2005. She earned her B.A. summa cum laude from Arizona State University in 2000, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. During law school, Emily externed for Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson of the Wisconsin Supreme Court and the Honorable Judge Sarah S. Vance of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana in New Orleans.
In May 2018, Emily finished her term as Vice President of the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys (AAAA). She has been a fellow in AAAA since 2011. In 2015, she co-authored the AAAA Position Paper submitted to the Hague Conference on Public International Law proposing a treaty framework to regulate international surrogacy arrangements. Through AAAA, she also authored a piece of national legislation regarding citizenship of children adopted abroad, which passed in 2013.
Emily also serves on the Board of the Children and the Law Section of the Wisconsin State Bar, an elected position, where she applies her experience with immigrant children and LGBT families to proposed state legislation as Co-Chair of the Legislative Committee.
Emily is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), the National LGBT Bar Association, and the LGBT Family Law Institute. The Institute is a joint venture of the National Center for Lesbian Rights and the National LGBT Bar Association, which invites experienced LGBT attorneys from across the country to meet annually to share their collective wisdom and to discuss cutting-edge legal solutions for LGBT families. She recently co-authored the family formation and protection chapter of the Wisconsin State Bar book entitled “Sexual Orientation and the Law.” She is also the author of updates to the State Bar book entitled “Voluntary Termination of Parental Rights and Adoption.”
Emily donates her time to the community by providing pro bono and reduced fee representation to undocumented children in their immigration matters throughout Wisconsin and the world, as well as to LGBT families fighting to implement marriage equality in Wisconsin. Emily was awarded membership in the Wisconsin Pro Bono Honor Society in 2016, having provided at least 50 hours of qualifying pro bono (free) legal services to people of limited means.
Emily enjoys spending time with her husband, Paul and their silly Boxer, Buddha Bear. She enjoys yoga, ballet, riding her bike, and reading science fiction and graphic novels. She is currently seeking her 200-hour yoga teacher certification.