For the neglected, abused and misunderstood, Kelsey Burazin offers a safe haven and an open-minded outlook.
As a guardian ad litem in the Children’s Court division of the Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee, Burazin works hard to find stability, permanency and love for the estimated 300 children she represents a year in cases involving guardianship, children in need of protective services and the termination of parental rights.
Burazin joined the Legal Aid Society team in 2015 and does whatever she can to help both children and families cope with hard times.
“I try not to bring preconceived notions about our people and our families and where they’re coming from and what they’re capable of. I try to give every family a clean slate because ultimately it helps the children,” she said.
Although Burazin said it can be difficult to find a balance among the many differing perspectives that can come with a case, she always strives to keep children’s best interests at heart.
“In this business it is easy to rely on everything social workers or prosecutors say as fact, but Kelsey does a really good job of making sure she does her own investigation. … She isn’t afraid to take a position different from, at times, everyone else in the case,” said Attorney Tanner Kilander, who has sometimes been an adversary of Burazin’s.
“Being flexible and open-minded really goes a long way,” Burazin said.
For animals that are in need, Burazin spends much of her free time promoting, organizing and raising money through volunteer work for the Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Commission. Mallory Davis, a staff lawyer who went to school with Burazin and now works with her, said she’s continuously pursuing her main interests, whether that’s by distributing flyers for an event or helping misunderstood animals, like pit bulls.
Burazin said she hopes to draw on some of her volunteer work by working on new legislation or working on a committee to improve laws that better serve children and the Milwaukee area.
“She’s using her law degree in the same way she approaches the rest of her life, which is always helping others,” Davis said. “She’s the most positive person I know, and she’s always looking to help.”