United States Air Force Academy

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Professor Kristine Kuenzli

Associate Professor of Law

Department of Law

Kristine Kuenzli
Contact Information

(719) 333-9159



Kristine Kuenzli instructs cadets in Law for Air Force Officers, a core course for all cadets, Law for Commanders, an upper level legal studies course, and Law & Economics, an interdepartmental upper level course.


1992     Bachelor of Arts, Political Science and Economics, University of California at Davis, Davis, CA

1996     Juris Doctor, cum laude, Gonzaga University School of Law, Spokane, WA

1999     Squadron Officer School, by correspondence

2010     Air Command and Staff College, by correspondence

2014     Air War College, by correspondence

Professional Experience

Head, Department of Law, United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado, October 2019 – June 2020, 40 hrs/wk

Lead a team of twenty-five faculty and staff in the design and teaching of nineteen core and elective law courses to 1,647 cadets while leveraging a $227,000 budget.  Served on additional DF level committees, including the Honor Review Committee, the pandemic Curriculum Team, the Leaders of Character Line of Effort Team, and the Air Force Academy Athletics Association Advisory Council.  During the COVID-19 pandemic, led the department in a rapid conversion to distance education methods of 10 courses for 780 cadets, enabling the graduation of 967 Air Force and Space Force officers six weeks early.

Assistant/Associate Professor of Law, United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO, January 2015 – December 2018, August 2019 – June 2020, 40 hrs/wk

Courses taught:

  • Law 220, Law for Air Force Officers (Spring 2015 – December 2019) Instructed 400+ USAFA cadets in a core course introducing cadets to the legal knowledge and skills they will need as Air Force officers and educated citizens.  Delivered over 890 platform hours, developed course syllabus, exercises, and assessments, including extensive legal research and writing.  The course examines the nature of law and its role in American society and the military; provides an overview of the American and military justice legal systems; examines selected foundational constitutional rights, particularly as they apply in the armed forces; and introduces substantive areas of the law that military officers likely will encounter in their personal and official capacities, including criminal law, civil law, military administrative law, and the law of armed conflict.
  • Soc Sci 420, Law and Economics (Spring 2016, 2017, 2020) Instructed 38 USAFA cadets in an interdepartmental upper-class course covering a variety of legal concepts, including property, contracts, torts, and criminal law in light of economic principals.  The course employs basic economic principles in an effort to understand the nature of legal rules, their effect on society, and to suggest how these rules might be reformed.  Delivered over 100 platform hours, developed course syllabus, exercises, and assessments, with a focus on legal research, writing, and advocacy.
  • Law 421, Law for Commanders (Fall 2018) Instructed 26 USAFA cadets in an upper-class course for Legal Studies majors in their final year at USAFA.  The course focus is on real-world scenarios to help students think like a commander who has respect for the rule of law, knows how to evaluate basic legal advice about a problem, and appropriately uses it to make good decisions for the Air Force.  Examines command authority over AF personnel, the extent of that authority to accomplish the mission and instill good order and discipline, the effective use of disciplinary tools, and common command/legal concerns facing leaders.  Delivered over 40 platform hours, developed course syllabus, exercises, and assessments, including extensive legal research and writing.



“Something to Believe In: Aligning the Principle of Honor with the Modern Battlefield,” co-wrote with Major Aaron Jackson, George Mason University National Security Law Journal, Issue 6:35, Fall 2018

“Is your Kidney for Sale?  An Economic and Policy Perspective on the Legalization of a Living Kidney Vendor Program in the United States,” University of Pittsburgh Journal of Law and Commerce, Issue 36:2, Spring 2018

“Reserve Retirement and the Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act: The Hypothetical Kuenzli v. Kuenzli Divorce,” The Judges' Journal, Spring 2017

“Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act:  Is There Too Much Protection for the Former Spouse?” Air Force Law Review, Issue 47:1, Fall 1999.

“Opportunity Wasted: The Supreme Court’s Failure to Clarify Religious Liberty Issues in Rosenberger v. Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia,” Gonzaga Law Review, Issue 32:85, Fall 1996