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Dyekman Law Professor; Director, Family and Child Legal Advocacy Clinic
B.S., University of Wyoming (1989)
J.D., University of Wyoming (1993)
Phone: (307) 766-3666
Office: 42 UW Office Annex
Office Hours: By appointment
Dona Playton is a Professor and Director of the Family and Child Legal Advocacy Clinic at the University of Wyoming College of Law. She also serves as Municipal Court Judge in Laramie, Wyoming. Playton was previously the Director of the Honoring Families Initiative at the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System (IAALS) at the University of Denver, engaging in research, advocacy, and national collaboration efforts to promote improved access to the legal system for families experiencing divorce, separation, and child custody issues. Prior to joining IAALS in January 2017, Playton was a Senior Lecturer at the University of Wyoming College of Law.
She is the founder and Faculty Director of the Family and Child Legal Advocacy Clinic, a legal clinic operated by law students she established at the University of Wyoming College of Law in 2002. She has contributed extensively to local and state policy on issues ranging from domestic violence, family law, juvenile law, and access to justice issues.
Playton worked closely with others to develop standards for Guardians ad litem and guidelines for attorneys representing parents in child welfare cases. She is the author of a domestic violence bench book, a legal handbook for women, and several articles and papers on issues relevant to families and our legal system.
She is a member of the American Bar Association, American Bar Foundation, the Wyoming State Bar, Wyoming Trial Lawyers, and the Colorado Bar Association. She is an original member of the Wyoming Access to Justice Commission, a former member of the Children’s Justice Project, a trained mediator, and a Certified Child Welfare Law Specialist as approved by the American Bar Association and the National Association of Counsel for Children.
Playton is one of only two lawyers who have received the Wyoming Bar Association's two highest professional achievement awards. In 2016, she was the recipient of the Gerald R. Mason Professionalism Award, awarded to an attorney who serves as an example to others by having the highest of professional standards. In 2020, she received the John M. Burman Extraordinary Service Award, by demonstrating a history of extraordinary service to Wyoming lawyers, the Wyoming State Bar, the University of Wyoming College of Law, the Wyoming judiciary, the citizens of Wyoming, and the international community.
She teaches Family Law, Domestic Violence and the Law, Children and the Law, and the Family and Child Legal Advocacy Clinic. She has also taught Civil Pretrial Litigation.