The Catholic University of America

Lisa Vollendorf Martin

Lisa Martin serves as co-director with Catherine Klein of the Families and the Law Clinic, where she supervises students representing people who have experienced domestic violence in emergency protection order, family law, and immigration cases, and undertaking community education projects and policy work. 

Her areas of expertise and scholarly interests include domestic violence, domestic and international family law, immigration, international human rights, and clinical legal theory.

Prior to joining the faculty, she taught International Rights of Woman as an adjunct professor at George Washington University Law School; managed the Teen Dating Violence Program at Women Empowered Against Violence (WEAVE), representing teenagers experiencing dating violence and working to reform laws and policies to increase protections for teens; practiced in the litigation section at Arent Fox PLLC; and served as a volunteer supervisor and student attorney in the International Women’s Human Rights Clinic at Georgetown University Law Center.
She is a member of the District’s Domestic Violence Fatality Review Board, the faculty chair of the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Program’s annual Child Custody training, a former co-chair of the D.C. Bar Family Law Section Steering Committee and the International Law Section Immigration and Human Rights Subcommittee, and has served on the American Association of Law Schools Poverty Law Section Executive Committee. She has been active in developing pro bono services for D.C. residents who have limited access to legal representation, and serves on committees and working groups addressing domestic violence and domestic relations issues.   

View Professor Martin's CV.          

Research and Writing

Selected Publications 

What’s Love Got to Do with It: Securing Access to Justice for Teens, 61 CATH. U. L. REV. 457 (2012) excerpted in Nancy K.D. Lemon, Domestic Violence Law (West, 4th ed. forthcoming 2013).

Teaching Social Justice Lawyering: Systematically Including Community Legal Education in Law School Clinics, 18 CLINICAL L. REV. 401 (2012)(with Margaret Martin Barry, A. Rachel Camp, Margaret E. Johnson, and Catherine F. Klein).

Securing Civil Protection Orders for Teens When Laws Ignore Teens, 45 CLEARINGHOUSE REV. 464 (2012).

Domestic Relations in THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA PRACTICE MANUAL, (District of Columbia Bar Association 16th-21st eds. 2007-2012)(with several co-authors).

Empowerment, Innovation, and Service: Law School Programs Provide Access to Justice and Instill a Commitment to Serve, FAM. CT. REV. 672 (Amy G. Applegate ed., October 2010)(with Steven Berenson, Dale Margolin, and Karen Pearlman).

Domestic Violence in Ghana: The Open Secret, 7 GEO. J. GENDER & L. 531-97 (2006)(with Nancy Cantalupo, Kay Pak & Sue Shin).

Using Fact-Finding to Combat Violence Against Women in Ghana, Uganda, and the United States: Lessons Learned as a Clinic Student, Clinic Supervisor, and Practitioner, 7 GEO. J. GENDER & L. 349-56 (2006).

In Her Words ...

"I have the greatest job. I have the privilege each semester of observing law students transform themselves into lawyers as we work side by side to provide excellent services to our clients and fight for social justice in our community."

– Lisa Vollendorf Martin



Office: 147 Law School
The Catholic University of America
3600 John McCormack Rd., NE
Washington, D.C. 20064

Phone: 202-319-6296



  • The Families and the Law Clinic


cum laude, Georgetown University Law Center 

magna cum laude, College of William and Mary


Areas of Expertise

  • Clinical Legal Theory
  • Domestic Violence Law
  • Family Law
  • Immigration Law


  • Adjunct Professor, George Washington University Law School
  • Managed the Teen Dating Violence Program at Women Empowered Against Violence (WEAVE)
  • Member, DC's Domestic Violence Fatality Review Board