Division of Legal Services (DLS)
The Division of Legal Services (DLS) provides legal representation and advice to the Governor, Legislature, other state officers, and state agencies. The Division consists of units organized on the substantive areas of law that maximize the advantages of specialization. Each unit is managed by a supervising attorney and is comprised of assistant attorneys general, paralegals, and secretarial staff.
The Civil Litigation Unit handles a wide variety of matters on behalf of the State of Wisconsin, its agencies, the University of Wisconsin System, and individual state employees.
The Criminal Appeals Unit represents the state in all felony appeals before the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, the Wisconsin Supreme Court and the United States Supreme Court.
The Criminal Litigation Unit performs a number of important functions involving criminal related matters including prosecuting selected criminal violations and providing training and advice to state prosecutions and law enforcement.
The Medicaid Fraud Control & Elder Abuse Unit investigates and prosecutes crimes committed against vulnerable adults in nursing homes and other facilities, as well as fraud perpetrated by providers against the Wisconsin Medicaid program.
The Public Protection Unit enforces the laws that protect consumers and our natural resources.
The Special Litigation & Appeals Unit provides legal advice to the State and its agencies and handles litigation in a wide variety of substantive areas, frequently on issues relating to constitutional law and governmental authority.
Wisconsin law does not authorize the Attorney General and employees of the Department of Justice to provide legal advice to private individuals. If you need legal advice or representation you may want to contact a private attorney. The State Bar of Wisconsin Lawyer Referral and Information Service can help you determine if you need a lawyer, and how to proceed if you do.
Frequently Used Resources
Attorney General Joshua L. Kaul appointed Lara Sutherlin to serve as the Administrator for the Division of Legal Services, effective January 2023. Lara has over 20 years of legal experience, 13 of which as an Assistant Attorney General with the Department of Justice in the area of consumer protection. In 2019, Lara was appointed by Governor Evers to be the Administrator of the Division of Trade and Consumer Protection at the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, where she served until 2022. Lara graduated from Northeastern University School of Law in 1999.