Law Office of Mei Nakamoto
Hawaii Divorce And Family Law Attorneys

Kainani Collins Alvarez

Kainani Collins Alvarez

Honolulu, Hawaii

Kainani graduated from the Creighton University School of Law in 2009 with a concentration in litigation. While at Creighton Law, Kainani was the recipient of the Francis M. Ryan Diversity Scholarship and the Public Interest Law Forum grant. During law school, Kainani worked in a variety of public interest roles as a legal intern at the Creighton University Milton R. Abrahams Legal Clinic, the Douglas County (Nebraska) Office of the Public Defender, the Hawai'i Innocence Project, and the Honolulu Office of the Public Defender. She was a member of the Creighton Law Public Interest Law Forum and also the founder and president of the Creighton University Asian Law Student Association.

After graduating from Creighton Law, Kainani served as law clerk to the Honorable Glenn S. Hara in Hilo, Hawai'i, where she worked on a variety of civil and criminal legal matters with the judge. In 2010, Kainani began practicing criminal defense as a Deputy Public Defender at the Honolulu Office of the Public Defender. Kainani defended hundreds of people in misdemeanor and felony jury and bench trials. She also filed briefs with Hawaii's Intermediate Court of Appeals and the Hawaii Supreme Court. In late 2016, she was assigned to Hawaii's Opportunity Probation with Enforcement (HOPE) Division where she worked within the HOPE specialty court in the Honolulu Circuit Court. During her work in HOPE, Kainani provided criminal defense with a client-centered approach in a program that holds probationers accountable while helping them, in a rehabilitative way, to succeed during their probation and in life. As a Deputy Public Defender, Kainani also represented clients in juvenile procedures, civil commitment hearings, and before the Hawaii Paroling Authority.

A 2000 graduate of Maryknoll High School and 2004 cum laude graduate of the University of Nevada Las Vegas, Kainani was admitted to the Hawai'i State Bar Association in October of 2009. She is licensed to practice in all courts in the State of Hawai'i.

Kainani has been an adjunct professor teaching criminal law at Kapi'olani Community College, continues to provide court appointed criminal defense legal representation to indigent clients, and serves on the board of directors of the Hawaii Filipino Lawyers Association. She is active in the community as a pro bono legal advisor for the Legal Aid Society of Hawai'i's Access to Justice Legal Clinic, the Hawai'i Filipino Fiesta Legal Clinic, the Hawai'i Volunteer Legal Services Juvenile Records Expungement Program, and the YMCA College Camp.

Kainani's years of experience spent zealously advocating on behalf of Hawai'i's indigent population has given her unsurpassed litigation skills and insight. Kainani understands the uncertainty that a person can encounter when entering the legal system. Her experience helping those people navigate through that system, and compassion for clients, help them find the light at the end of the dark tunnel. Kainani is committed in applying her legal expertise to help individuals and families get past their legal issues and smoothly transition into the next phase of their lives.

Areas of Practice

  • 50% Family Law
  • 50% Criminal Law

Litigation Percentage

  • 100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • Hawaii, 2009
  • U.S. District Court District of Hawaii, 2009


  • Creighton University School of Law, Omaha, Nebraska
    • J.D. with a Litigation Concentration - 2009
  • University of Nevada Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada
    • B.A. - 2004
    • Major: Criminal Justice


  • Adjunct Professor of Criminal Law, Kapiolani Community College, 2015 - 2017

Honors and Awards

  • Francis M. Ryan Diversity Scholarsiop, 2006 - 2009
  • Public Interest Law Forum Grant Recipient, 2007 - 2009

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Hawaii Filipino Lawyers Association, Board Member, 2012 - 2018

Past Employment Positions

  • Honolulu Office of the Public Defender, Deputy Public Defender, 2010 - 2017
  • The Judicial Chambers of Judge Glenn S. Hara, Judicial Law Clerk, 2009 - 2010

Pro Bono Activities

  • Legal Aid Society of Hawaii Access to Justice Legal Clinic, 2015 - Present
  • YMCA College Camp Legal Division, 2015 - Present

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