Faculty & Staff




Associate Professor of Law


JD, William S. Richardson School of Law
BA, U.C Berkeley


Kamaile Turčan (née Nichols) joined the William S. Richardson School of Law in 2023 as an Associate Professor of Law and teaches courses on Civil Procedure and Administrative Law. She is an alumna of Richardson, where she served as co-Editor-in-Chief of the University of Hawai‘i Law Review and earned an Environmental Law Certificate.  

Prior to joining the faculty at Richardson, Professor Turčan was a partner at Jones Day in Washington DC, where she maintained an appellate advocacy and complex civil litigation practice. In this capacity, she litigated in state and federal courts on behalf of clients ranging from individual civil rights litigants to Fortune 500 companies engaged in high stakes commercial disputes. She has also served in government at both the state and federal levels. Professor Turčan was an attorney in the Office of General Counsel, National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), where she provided legal advice to agency clients on the application of federal statutes to the management of fishery resources and protected species within the Western and Central Pacific Region. At the state level, she was the second law fellow hired under the Environmental Law Program’s fellowship program to the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR). She previously clerked for Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor of the Supreme Court of the United States; Judge Richard Clifton of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit; and Judge David Ezra of the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawai‘i.

Professor Turčan’s scholarly research interests fall at the intersection of administrative law, environmental law, land use policy, federalism, and the courts, with a focus on fundamental questions of governance and decision making. Earlier works investigate the authority state governments, county governments, territorial governments, or the community have to act in the presence or absence of federal regulation in diverse arenas such as airspace control, fishing regulations, species protection, and food security. 


  • Kamaile A.N. Turčan, “Major Questions” About Preemption, 69 Vill. L. Rev. (forthcoming Dec. 2024)
  • Kamaile A.N. Turčan, U.S. Property Law: A Revised View, 45 Wm. & Mary Envtl. L & Pol’y Rev. 319 (2021)
  • Kamaile A.N. Turčan, Fisheries Management in American Samoa and the Expanding Application of Parens Patriae Standing to Challenge Federal Administrative Action, 33 Notre Dame J.L. Ethics & Pub. Pol’y 1 (2019) 
  • Kamaile A. Nichols & Richard J. Wallsgrove, Chief Justice Moon’s Criminal Past, 33 U. Haw. L. Rev. 755 (2011) 
  • Calvert G. Chipchase, Christian K. Adams & Kamaile A. Nichols, A State-by-State Survey of Public Use Standards, in Eminent Domain: A Handbook of Condemnation Law 153 (William Scheiderich et al. eds., 2011)
  • Kamaile A. Nichols, Turtles and Tourism: Where the Endangered Species Act Ends and Community Activism Begins, 25 UCLA J. Envtl. L. & Pol’y 411 (2007)
  • Kimberly K. Asano & Kamaile A. Nichols, Note, Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, Inc. v. City & County of Honolulu: Demonstrating the Need to Abandon the Field Preemption Doctrine, 29 U. Haw. L. Rev. 501 (2007)
portrait photo


Phone: (808) 956-6403





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