Nancy Lemon


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 has been teaching the Domestic Violence Seminar at Berkeley Law—the first law school class of its kind—since 1988, and also directs the Domestic Violence Field Placement. With her students she has authored many amicus briefs. She co-taught Girls, Women, and the Criminal Justice System in 2011.

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 has represented numerous survivors of domestic violence in obtaining restraining orders and advocated for them with the civil and criminal justice systems. She has worked as an expert witness in hundreds of civil, criminal, and asylum cases, and has 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. Through co-counseling with approximately 200 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.

To listen to a one-hour podcast of an interview with Professor Lemon about her work, go to


B.A., UC Santa Cruz (1975)
J.D., UC Berkeley School of Law (1980)