Faculty & Staff



Post-Juris Doctor Legal Fellow, Ka Huli Ao Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law


JD, William S. Richardson School of Law, 2019
BA, University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, 2015
BA, University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, 2015


Born and raised in Kalauao, Ewa, O’ahu, Ku’upua is a 2019 graduate of William S. Richardson School of Law, where she earned Environmental and Native Hawaiian Law certificates. Prior to Law School, she received dual Bachelor’s degrees from the University of Hawaiʻi (“UH”) at Hilo in Environmental Studies, and Hawaiian Studies from UH Hilo’s Ka Haka ‘Ula O Ke’elikōlani. During Law School, Ku’upua focused her legal education on social justice issues that affect the lāhui and ‘āina in Hawai’i, writing her second-year seminar paper on the collective memory of Maunakea, and participating in legal trainings across the pae ‘āina. 

Through her involvement with the Hawai’i Innocence Project, Ku’upua worked on issues of systemic injustice and wrongful convictions and attended the annual Innocence Network Conference in Tennessee. During Law School, Ku’upua also worked as a Pre-Law Advisor, externed at the Hawai’i Supreme Court and the Office of the Public Defender, and spent a summer clerking for Senator Mazie Hirono in Washington D.C. As a Post-J.D. Legal Fellow, Ku’upua is working with the State of Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Historic Preservation Division to amend and streamline its administrative rules.

portrait photo