This paper presents a method which can be used to study the post-failure behavior of low-rise reinforced concrete (RC) shear wall structures subjected to axial and lateral loads. The method is based on a nonlinear plane stress finite element modeling. In the analysis cracked reinforced concretes are located as orthotropic materials on the basis of a smeared, rotating crack model. The geometrical non-linearity is taken into account by using Green's strain formulation. To trace the non-linear equilibrium path beyond the limit point, an iterative incremental displacement method is established by combining the new element formulation and Newton-Raphson method. Numerical examples are provided to show the effectiveness and efficiency of the method. Numerical results for pre-failure analysis obtained by using present method are compared with those obtained either numerically or experimentally and available in the literature. The comparisons show that the present study can provide not only a satisfactory pre-failure analysis but also a higher convergent rate in the non-linear iterations. New results are presented to show the post-failure behavior of the RC shear walls.