Lamins are nuclear intermediate filament proteins that are conserved in all multicellular animals. Proteins that resemble lamins are also found in unicellular organisms and in plants. Lamins form a proteinaceous meshwork that outlines the nucleoplasmic side of the inner nuclear membrane, while a small fraction of lamin molecules is also present in the nucleoplasm. They provide structural support for the nucleus and help regulate many other nuclear activities. Much of our knowledge on the function of nuclear lamins and their associated proteins comes from studies in invertebrate organisms and specifically in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. The simpler lamin system and the powerful genetic tools offered by these model organisms greatly promote such studies. Here we provide an overview of recent advances in the biology of invertebrate nuclear lamins, with special emphasis on their assembly, cellular functions and as models for studying the molecular basis underlying the pathology of human heritable diseases caused by mutations in lamins A/C.