While a guardian ad litem does not need to be an attorney, there is a class of guardians ad litem who must be an attorney. These guardians are called “lawyer guardians ad litem” or lawyer GALs.
The Juvenile Code (MCLA 712A.1 et seq.) requires the court to appoint a lawyer GAL for every minor child subject to a juvenile court proceeding. A lawyer GAL is different from a generic GAL in several ways. First, the lawyer GAL represents the child and does not owe a duty to the court other than to be ethical. Second, any communication between the child and the lawyer GAL is privileged because of the attorney/client relationship. Finally, a lawyer GAL cannot be cross-examined. A court can appoint a GAL or a lawyer GAL over the objections of a party.