Mallika Kaur is a lawyer and writer who focuses on human rights with a specialization in gender and minority issues. Kaur has worked with victim-survivors of gendered violence for two decades, including as an emergency room crisis counselor, expert witness on intimate partner violence and sexual violence, researcher, and attorney. In South Asia, Kaur has worked on a range of issues including farmer suicides, female feticide, and transitional and transformative justice. In the United States, she has worked on issues of post-9/11 violence, policing practices, political asylum, and racial discrimination. She’s practiced family law in California including as counsel at ADZ Law, a San Francisco Bay Area family law and victims’ rights firm.
Kaur writes regularly for online and print media as well as academic publications; her work has been published in Foreign Policy, Washington Post, Ms. Magazine, and California Law Review, among others. She regularly trains lawyers as well as non-lawyers on cultural humility, elimination of bias, and negotiating trauma.
Mallika is a co-founder and Executive Director of Sikh Family Center, the only Sikh organization in North America focused on gender-based violence. Working with local civil society, academic institutions, advocacy organizations, and government agencies, she combines research, advocacy, scholarship, and the law as an approach towards sustainable change. She believes what happens inside a home is intimately connected to what happens inside a community as a whole: since struggles are interconnected, commitment to justice must never be selective.
Kaur is the author of the book Faith, Gender, and Activism in the Punjab Conflict: The Wheat Fields Still Whisper (opens in a new tab) (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019). She is currently co-editing a book on invitation from Edward Elgar Publishing, “How to Account for Trauma and Emotions in Legal Teaching” (forthcoming, 2024).
B.A., University of Chicago
J.D., UC Berkeley School of Law
M.P.P., Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
Mallika Kaur is teaching the following course in Fall 2022:
Courses During Other Semesters
|Semester||Course Num||Course Title||Teaching Evaluations||Spring 2021||287.11 sec. 001||Negotiating Trauma, Emotions & the Practice of Law||View Teaching Evaluation|
Lecturer Mallika Kaur interviews Nancy Lemon, Herma Hill Kay Lecturer, about her extensive experience in a practice area most attorneys agree is emotionally draining and personally trying
Lecturer Mallika Kaur writes, in order for the VAWA to truly positively affect everyone who has experienced gendered violence, it must openly examine the biases faced by minorities and provide support to grassroots initiatives
Lecturer Mallika Kaur highlights the life of Justice Ajit Singh Bains, one of India’s finest jurists and human rights defenders, who recently passed away
Lecturer Mallika Kaur comments that immigration attorneys continue advocating for traumatized clients while juggling challenges of a system that is often re-traumatizing
Column: Farmers Leading Protests in India—and the Young Feminists Camping With Them—Just Scored a Major Win. Will It Last?
Lecturer Mallika Kaur writes, after a year of unprecedented protests, farmers and agrarian laborers in India have won an unprecedented victory and are now poised to change the whole game
Lecturer Mallika Kaur explores how might managers in the legal profession can redefine their leadership styles to listen and plan for primary and secondary trauma responses—in themselves and others – during an interview with Monika Kalra Varma
Column: Stopping Long Enough to Celebrate: Recent Win for Violence Survivor and Asylum-Seeker Holds Critical Lessons
Lecturer Mallika Kaur interviews Blaine Bookey, whose successful case against the DOJ on behalf of a Salvadoran woman who fled domestic violence and was seeking asylum, has brought some hope to survivors of gender-based violence
Lecturer Mallika Kaur explores how attorneys remain committed to work that affords few successes and often few forms of traditional validation, with Melissa Barbee, class of 2021, and public interest lawyer Taeva Shefler
Lecturer Mallika Kaur talks to Judge Edward M. Chen about systemic discriminations and his decades of practice from both sides of the bench
Lecturer Mallika Kaur interviews Clinical Professor Ty Alper, Associate Director of Death Penalty Clinic, about representing clients on death row, being hyper-aware of racial privilege and training next gen lawyers,
Lecturer Mallika Kaur discusses the farmers’ protests in India and the history that’s lead to widespread distrust of the government
Lecturer Mallika Kaur says the fight of the farmers in India is, at the heart of it, a fight against big monopolies owning everything we need to survive with dignity: medication, transportation, education, and food
Op-Ed: In a traditional Lohri song about a folk hero, echoes of Punjab’s ongoing struggle for a fair deal
Lecturer Mallika Kaur writes the rebellion of Dulla Bhatti is a reminder of the region’s long history of agrarian protest – and its fight for justice
Lecturer Mallika Kaur explores the farmers’ protests in India and says women’s participation challenges the narrative that the protest is only about angry men, dangerous and entirely unwilling to listen to reason
Lecturer Mallika Kaur discusses the unprecedented farmers protests in India and the solidarity protests across CA
Lecturer Mallika Kaur, as part of her ongoing series exploring managing trauma and the demands of lawyering, explores the intersection of law and policy and highlights the dire need for leading by example
Lecturer Mallika Kaur, as part of her ongoing series exploring managing trauma and the demands of lawyering, speaks to Berkeley Law alum Taina Gomez, Solano County DPD about self care, the culture that compounds trauma for clients and lawyers of color and what it means to be committed to social justice as a child of immigrants.
Lecturer Mallika Kaur asks what “defund the police” means in terms of response to domestic violence incidents, currently the single largest category of calls received by police?
Lecturer Mallika Kaur, as part of her ongoing series exploring managing trauma and the demands of lawyering, speaks to critical race theorist and feminist legal scholar Angela P. Harris about challenging homogeneity of the profession and academy; the genius and struggle of women scholars; emotional intelligence for strong lawyering; the trap of “diversity” without power-sharing; and the potential of Juneteenth, 2020
Lecturer Mallika Kaur, as part of her ongoing series exploring managing trauma and the demands of lawyering, interviews UC Hastings Professor Naomi Roht-Arriaza