Leigh Goodmark

Marjorie Cook Professor of Law and
Co-Director, Clinical Law Program


(410) 706-3549


(410) 706-6644

Photo of Leigh Goodmark


  • JD, 1994, Stanford Law School, with distinction
    BA1991, Yale University, , with highest honors

Leigh Goodmark joined the Maryland Carey Law faculty in 2014. She co-directs the Clinical Law Program and directs the Gender Violence Clinic, which she founded. Professor Goodmark also teaches Family Law, Social Justice and the Law, and gender-related courses.

Professor Goodmark is an internationally recognized authority on gender-based violence. Her legal work, scholarship, and commentary focus on aspects of gender-based violence including race, intersectionality, criminalization, and incarceration. She is the author of Imperfect Victims: Criminalized Survivors and the Promise of Abolition Feminism (2023), Decriminalizing Domestic Violence: A Balanced Policy Approach to Intimate Partner Violence (2018), and A Troubled Marriage: Domestic Violence and the Legal System. She is the co-editor of The Criminalization of Violence Against Women: Comparative Perspectives (2023) and Comparative Perspectives on Gender Violence: Lessons from Efforts Worldwide (2015). Her work has appeared in popular outlets like The New York Times, Inquest, and the Baltimore Sun, as well as journals and law reviews including Violence Against Women, the Harvard Journal of Law and Gender, the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, the Florida State University Law Review, and the Yale Journal of Law and Feminism. Professor Goodmark has an adjunct appointment at the Monash Gender and Family Violence Prevention Centre in Melbourne Australia.

Prior to joining the Maryland Carey Law faculty, Professor Goodmark was director of clinical education and co-director of the Center on Applied Feminism at the University of Baltimore School of Law. Professor Goodmark also directed the Children and Domestic Violence Project at the American Bar Association’s Center on Children and the Law and was a Skadden Fellow and staff attorney at Bread for the City in Washington, D.C. Professor Goodmark clerked for the Honorable Robert G. Doumar of the United States District Court, Eastern District of Virginia, and is a graduate of Yale University and Stanford Law School.


Imperfect Victims: Criminalized Survivors and the Promise of Abolition Feminism (forthcoming 2023). Read Full Text.

Decriminalizing Domestic Violence: A Balanced Policy Approach to Intimate Partner Violence (2018). Read Full Text.

Editor, Comparative Perspectives on Gender Violence: Lessons from Efforts Worldwide (2015) (with Rashmi Goel). Read Full Text.

A Troubled Marriage: Domestic Violence and the Legal System (2012). Read Full Text.

Bringing the Greenbook to Life: A Resource Guide for Communities (2008) (with Ann Rosewater). Read Full Text.

Reasonable Efforts Checklist for Dependency Cases Involving Domestic Violence (2008). Read Full Text.

Steps Toward Safety: Improving Systemic and Community Responses for Families Experienceing Domestic Violence (2007) (with Ann Rosewater). Read Full Text.

Promoting Community Child Protection: A Legislative Agenda (2002). Read Full Text.

Keeping Kids Out of the System: Creative Legal Practice as a Community Child Protection Strategy (2001). Read Full Text.

Book Chapters

The Anti-Rape and Battered Women's Movements of the 1970s and 80s, in The Oxford Handbook of Feminism and Law in the United States (Deborah L. Brake et al. eds., 2021).

Legal System Reform, in Transgender Intimate Partner Violence: A Comprehensive Introduction (Adam M. Messinger & Xavier L. Guadalupe-Diaz eds., 2020).

Responsive Alternatives to the Criminal System in Cases of Intimate Partner Violence, in Restorative and Responsive Human Services (Gale Burford, John Braithwaite, and Valerie Braithwaite eds., 2019).

Politics, Safety, and Officer-Involved Intimate Partner Violence, in The Politicization of Safety: Critical Perspectives on Domestic Violence Responses 227 (Jane K. Stoever ed., 2019).

The Unintended Consequences of Domestic Violence Criminalization: Reassessing a Governance Feminist Success Story, in Governance Feminism: Notes from the Field 124 (Janet Halley et al. eds., 2019).

Innovative Criminal Justice Responses to Intimate Partner Violence, in Sourcebook on Violence Against Women (Claire M. Renzetti et al. eds., 3d ed. 2018).

Law and Justice as a Tertiary Prevention Strategy, in Preventing Intimate Partner Violence: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (Claire M. Renzetti et al. eds., 2017).


Assessing the Impact of the Violence Against Women Act, 5 Annual Review of Criminology 115 (2022).

Intimate Partner Violence Training and Readiness to Respond Among Students, Staff, and Faculty in Three Institutions in the United States, Journal of Interpersonal Violence (2022) (with others). DOI: 10.1177/08862605221099948

Gender-Based Violence, Law Reform, and the Criminalization of Survivors of Violence, 10 International Journal of Crime, Justice and Social Democracy 13 (2021). Read Full Text.

Beyond the Victim-Offender Binary: Legal and Anti-Violence Intervention Considerations with Women Who Have Used Force in the U.S. and Australia, Affilia, December 2021 (with others). Read Full Text.

Surveillance and Entanglement: How Mandatory Sex Offender Registration Impacts Criminalised Survivors of Human Trafficking, Anti-Trafficking Review, no. 14 (2020), at 124 (with Kate Mogulescu).

Domestic Violence Mandatory Arrest Policies and Arrests for Same-Sex and Opposite-Sex Intimate Partner Violence After Legalization of Same-Sex Marriage in the United States, 33 Criminal Justice Studies 231 (2020) (with Alesha Durfee).

Reimagining VAWA: Why Criminalization Is a Failed Policy and What a Non-Carceral VAWA Could Look Like, Violence Against Women (2020). Read Full Text.

"You Do Not Think of Me as a Human Being": Race and Gender Inequities Intersect to Discourage Police Reporting of Violence Against Women, 96 Journal of Urban Health 772 (2019) (with others).

Gender, Protection Orders, and Intimate Partner Violence in Later Life: A Study of Protective Order Filings in Arizona, Journal of Interpersonal Violence (2019) (with Alesha Durfee).

The Impact of Prosecutorial Misconduct, Overreach, and Misuse of Discretion on Gender Violence Victims, 123 Dick. L. Rev. 627 (2019). Read Full Text.

Restorative Justice as Feminist Practice, 1 International Journal of Restorative Justice 372 (2018).

Should Domestic Violence Be Decriminalized?, 40 Harvard Journal of Law & Gender 53 (2017). Read Full Text.

Freddie Gray, Law Enforcement, and Intimate Partner Violence, 16 University of Maryland Law Journal of Race, Religion, Gender & Class 173 (2016). Read Full Text.

Hands Up at Home: Militarized Masculinity and Police Officers Who Commit Intimate Partner Abuse, 2015 Brigham Young University Law Review 1183. Read Full Text.

"Law and Justice Are not Always the Same": Creating Community-Based Justice Forums for People Subjected to Intimate Partner Abuse, 42 Florida State University Law Review 707 (2015). Read Full Text.

CONVERGEing Around the Study of Gender Violence: The Gender Violence Clinic at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law, 5 U. Miami Race & Social Justice Law Review 661 (2015). Read Full Text.

Stalled at 20: VAWA, the Criminal Justice System, and the Possibilities of Restorative Justice, CUNY Law Review, Dec. 16, 2014. Read Full Text.

Transgender People, Intimate Partner Abuse, and the Legal System, 48 Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Review 51 (2013). Read Full Text.

Clinical Cognitive Dissonance: The Values and Goals of Domestic Violence Clinics, the Legal System, and the Students Caught in the Middle, 20 Journal of Law & Policy 301 (2012). Read Full Text.

Mothers, Domestic Violence, and Child Protection: An American Legal Perspective, 16 Violence Against Women 524 (2010). Read Full Text.

An Experiment in Participation, 16 The Law Teacher 12 (2009). Read Full Text.

Autonomy Feminism: An Anti-Essentialist Critique of Mandatory Interventions in Domestic Violence Cases, 37 Florida State University Law Review 1 (2009). Read Full Text.

Reframing Domestic Violence Law and Policy: An Anti-Essentialist Proposal, 31 Washington University Journal of Law & Policy 39 (2009). Read Full Text.

When Is a Battered Woman not a Battered Woman? When She Fights Back, 20 Yale Journal of Law & Feminism 75 (2008). Read Full Text.

Going Underground: The Ethics of Advising a Battered Woman Fleeing an Abusive Relationship, 75 UMKC Law Review 999 (2007). Read Full Text.

The Punishment of Dixie Shanahan: Is There Justice for Battered Women Who Kill?, 55 University of Kansas Law Review 269 (2007). Read Full Text.

Telling Stories, Saving Lives: The Battered Mothers' Testimony Project, Women's Narratives, and Court Reform, 37 Arizona State Law Journal 709 (2005). Read Full Text.

Achieving Batterer Accountability in the Child Protection System, 93 Kentucky Law Journal 613 (2004-2005). Read Full Text.

Law Is the Answer? Do We Know that for Sure?: Questioning the Efficacy of Legal Interventions for Battered Women, 23 Saint Louis University Public Law Review 7 (2004). Read Full Text.

Deconstructing Teresa O'Brien: A Role Play for Domestic Violence, 23 Saint Louis University Public Law Review 253 (2004) (with Catherine F. Klein). Read Full Text.

Parenting in the Face of Prejudice: The Need for Representation for Parents with Mental Illness, 36 Clearinghouse Review 295 (2002). Read Full Text.

Alternative Dispute Resolution and the Potential for Gender Bias, 39 Judges' Journal 21 (2000). Read Full Text.

Alternative Dispute Resolution and the Potential for Gender Bias, Judges' Journal, Spring 2000, at 21.

From Property to Personhood: What the Legal System Should Do for Children in Family Violence Cases, 102 West Virginia Law Review 237 (1999). Read Full Text.

Can Poverty Lawyers Play Well With Others? Including Legal Services in Integrated, School-Based Service Delivery Programs, 4 Georgetown Journal on Fighting Poverty 243 (1997). Read Full Text.