Kaiponanea Matsumura

Kaiponanea Matsumura, Professor of Law, William M. Rains Fellow

Professor of Law
William M. Rains Fellow



  • JD, Order of the Coif, UCLA School of Law
  • BS, magna cum laude, Northwestern University


Professor Kaiponanea Matsumura is an expert on the legal regulation of families. His scholarship, which has been published in the Iowa Law Review, Washington University Law Review, UCLA Law Review, William & Mary Law Review, North Carolina Law Review, U.C. Davis Law Review, and Fordham Law Review, among others, consists of two interrelated strands: one explores the promises and limits of private agreements between intimates, and the other focuses on the tailoring of status-based family law rules to nonmarital relationships. He is a co-author of the sixth edition of the popular casebook, Contemporary Family Law.

Matsumura is a co-founder and co-organizer of the Roundtable on Nonmarriage and the Law, which brings together an interdisciplinary group of scholars interested in studying nonmarital relationships. He has also co-chaired the Family Law Scholars and Teachers Conference, and is the co-section editor of the Family Law section of JOTWELL. He is currently serving as co-lead of the CNM Families Initiative for the American Psychological Association Division 44 Committee on Consensual Non-Monogamy.

A passionate classroom teacher and mentor, Matsumura was twice voted Professor of the Year by the graduating class of Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.

Matsumura received his B.S. magna cum laude from Northwestern University and his J.D. from UCLA School of Law, where he graduated Order of the Coif and was Chief Articles Editor of the UCLA Law Review.  After law school, he clerked for the Honorable A. Wallace Tashima on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Pasadena, California, before working as a litigator at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP in its San Francisco office. He was then a Thomas C. Grey Fellow and Lecturer in Law at Stanford Law School, and a tenured Associate Professor of Law at Arizona State University.

Selected Publications

Shorter Works