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Kris Knaplund head shot

Kristine S. Knaplund

Professor of Law
Caruso School of Law


Professor Kristine S. Knaplund began her career in law teaching in 1983 at UCLA Law School, where she was honored with the law school's Rutter Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1991, the University-wide Harriet and Charles Luckman Distinguished Lecturer Award in 1995, and the 1997 graduating class' Professor of the Year Award. She joined the faculty of Pepperdine University Caruso School of Law in 2002, and teaches Property, Wills and Trusts, Advanced Wills and Trusts, and the Bioethics Seminar. In 2006 she received the 1L Professor of the Year Award, and in 2008 she received the University's Howard White Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Professor Knaplund is an Academic Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, and served as Editor of the ACTEC Law Journal for two years until March 2016. She has served on the board of trustees of the Law School Admission Council, and also been active for many years on the LSAC Minority Affairs Committee and the LSAC Test Development and Research Committee. Before moving to Los Angeles, she practiced law with Queens Legal Services in New York City and with a private law firm in New York and Washington, D.C., primarily in the area of plaintiffs' Title VII employment discrimination. She has also served as a full-time volunteer attorney with the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund in New York. She is a member of the New York bar, and also a member of the Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Section of the California bar.

Her latest publication is a chapter in The Tools and Techniques of Estate Planning for Modern Families, 2nd ed. Leimberg Library, edited by Kim Kamin, Wendy Goffe and Stephen Leimberg (National Underwriting Co. 2016), Planning for Adoption and Non-Marital Children. Her recent articles are "Becoming Charitable: Predicting and Encouraging Charitable Bequests in Wills", 77 University of Pittsburgh Law Review 1 (Fall 2015); "Baby Without A Country: Determining Citizenship For Assisted Reproduction Children Born Overseas", 91 Denver University Law Review, 335 (2014; "Children of Assisted Reproduction", 45 Michigan Journal of Law Reform 899 (Summer 2012); "The New Uniform Probate Code's Surprising Gender Inequities", 18 Duke Journal of Gender Law and Policy 334 (Spring 2011) and "Synthetic Cells, Synthetic Life, and Inheritance", 45 Valparaiso Law Review 1361 (Summer 2011); "Charity for the Death Tax?: The Impact of Legislation on Charitable Requests", 45 Gonzaga Law Review 713 (2010); "The Right of Privacy and America's Aging Population", 86 Denver University Law Review 439 (2009); "Legal Issues of Maternity and Inheritance for the Biotech Child of the 21st Century", 43 ABA Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Journal 393 (Winter 2008), "The Evolution of Women's Rights in Inheritance", 19 Hastings Women's Law Journal 3 (Winter 2008), "Grandparents Raising Grandchildren and the Implications for Inheritance", 48 Arizona Law Review 1 (Spring 2006), "Equal Protection, Postmortem Conception and Intestacy", 53 Kansas Law Review 627 (April 2005), and "Postmortem Conception and A Father's Last Will", 46 Arizona Law Review 91 (Spring 2004).


  • J.D., University of California, Davis, 1977
  • B.A., Oberlin College, 1974



Book Chapters



  • Property

  • Wills and Trusts