Melissa Murray

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Melissa Murray, Assistant Professor
U.C. Berkeley School of Law


Melissa Murray joined the faculty as an assistant professor in fall 2006 and she teaches family law and criminal law. Her research focuses on the roles that criminal law and family law play in articulating the legal parameters of intimate life. Murray is a graduate of the University of Virginia, where she was a Jefferson Scholar, and Yale Law School, where she was notes development editor of the Yale Law Journal. While in law school, she earned special recognition as an NAACP-LDF/Shearman & Sterling Scholar and was a semifinalist of Morris Tyler Moot Court.

Following law school, Murray clerked for Sonia Sotomayor, then of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, and Stefan Underhill of the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut.

Her recent publications include, "The Networked Family: Reframing the Legal Understanding of Caregiving and Caregivers" in the Virginia Law Review (2008), "Equal Rites and Equal Rights" in the California Law Review (2008), "Strange Bedfellows: Criminal Law, Family Law, and the Legal Regulation of Intimate Life" in the Iowa Law Review (2009), "Disestablishing the Family" in the Yale Law Journal (with A. Ristroph) (2010), and "Marriage Rights and Parental Rights: Parents, the State and Proposition 8" in the Stanford Journal of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (2010). In 2010, Murray was awarded the Association of American Law School’s Derrick A. Bell Award, which is given to a junior faculty member who has made an extraordinary contribution to legal education, the legal system, or social justice. In 2011, her paper, Marriage as Punishment, was selected as a winner of the Association of American Law School’s Scholarly Papers Competition and New Voices in Gender Studies Competition.