Nancy Lemon, a leading authority on domestic violence for more than 35 years, pioneered its study in law schools and is the author of Domestic Violence Law, the premiere textbook on the subject (West Group, 5th Ed. 2018). Lemon taught the Domestic Violence Seminar at Berkeley Law—the first law school class of its kind—from 1988 through 2021, and also directed the Domestic Violence Field Placement from 1990 through spring 2022. With her students she authored many amicus briefs. She co-taught Girls, Women, and the Criminal Justice System in 2011. She retired from teaching in December 2022. Both her courses are now being taught by Mallika Kaur, an experienced lecturer and attorney who graduated from Berkeley Law and has worked in the field of domestic violence for many years.
Lemon received a B.A. in Women’s Studies in 1975 from UCSC, a major she co-founded, and a J.D. from Berkeley Law in 1980. Since 1980, she has specialized in domestic violence law as an advocate and practicing attorney, working both with victims of domestic abuse and police and public agencies charged with responding to domestic crime.
Working at various non-profit agencies in the Bay Area, Ms. Lemon represented numerous survivors of domestic violence in obtaining restraining orders and advocated for them with the civil and criminal justice systems. She worked as an expert witness in hundreds of civil, criminal, and asylum cases, and testified in over 80 cases.
As a member of the Ca. Coalition Against Domestic Violence, now the Ca. Partnership to End Domestic Violence, she has worked on numerous pieces of legislation in the California legislature since 1983. She has published dozens of books and articles. She wrote domestic violence curricula for judges and court employees, and a benchbook for California criminal court judges. She has trained hundreds of people on domestic violence dynamics and laws.
Lemon also administers the Jim Fahey Safe Homes Fund for Women Fellowship, which provides scholarships for graduate students at UC Berkeley with demonstrated financial need and a strong aptitude in relevant subjects as well as a deep commitment to combating domestic violence against women. The first annual awards were made in Spring 2011.
In 2012, Ms. Lemon co-founded the Family Violence Appellate Project, a non-profit agency, and serves as its Legal Director. This is the only statewide agency in the US focusing on appealing family law cases involving domestic violence and child abuse. FVAP serves clients in both California and Washington state. Through co-counseling with hundreds of pro bono attorneys, FVAP appeals and defends custody and restraining order decisions and other cases involving domestic violence. It also petitions for publication of key appellate cases, trains attorneys, advocates, and judges, and produces the next generation of attorneys through supervising law student interns and recent graduates.
She has received numerous awards from the Ca. Partnership to End Domestic Violence, the Sunshine Lady Foundation, Ca. Women Lawyers, the ABA Commission on Domestic Violence, the American Society of Criminology, the Ca. Women’s Law Center, and other entities. In 2022, she received the Women Advancing the Law Professor of the Year Award from Women of Berkeley Law.
To listen to a one-hour podcast of an interview with Professor Lemon about her work, go to changeagentpodcast.com.
Here is a short interview of Nancy Lemon published in the American Bar Association Journal by Mallika Kaur, who is now teaching Lemon’s Domestic Violence Law classes: How to negotiate trauma during a lifetime of advocacy for domestic violence survivors.
B.A., UC Santa Cruz (1975)
J.D., UC Berkeley School of Law (1980)
Nancy K.D. Lemon is not teaching any Law courses in Fall 2023.
Courses During Other Semesters
|Semester||Course Num||Course Title||Teaching Evaluations||Spring 2022||283Q sec. 001||Domestic Violence Field Placement Classroom Component: Ethics in Practice||View Teaching Evaluation||295.6J sec. 001||Domestic Violence Field Placement||View Teaching Evaluation|
The Berkeley Law alum calls the honor “major recognition that what I’ve been doing exemplifies the values of UC Berkeley.”
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
Nancy Lemon says there needs to be less punishment and more rehabilitation for victims of domestic violence who are charged with crimes against their abusers
Law student leads city of Berkeley’s effort to close the wage gender gap.
Four Berkeley Law scholars analyze how the court decided key cases dealing with abortion, immigration, affirmative action and gun rights.