Office of Campus Counsel

Kyhm Penfil

Section 1

Campus Counsel


  • J.D., University of Southern California (Order of the Coif, Southern California Law Review)
  • A.B., Wellesley College
  • Admitted: California; C.D. Cal.; 2nd, 9th and Federal Circuits; U.S. Supreme Court

Ms. Penfil is Campus Counsel at UCI, where she advises the Chancellor, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, Vice Chancellors, Deans and campus leadership with respect to complex legal matters of import to The Regents and the campus. Ms. Penfil also serves as primary counsel for UCDC, UC's campus in Washington, D.C. Her advice to the University includes legal counseling as well as advice concerning the implications of establishing or changing policy, practice and procedure.

Ms. Penfil's practice covers a broad range of legal issues, including First Amendment, copyright, patent and trademark, criminal, employment and discrimination, real estate and constitutional law. For example, she advises the Executive Vice Chancellor concerning First Amendment implications of whistle blowing activities, criminal and employment law implications of internal audit findings, and discrimination in employment claims. She also counsels the campus regarding copyright law concerns raised in the academic setting, due process issues raised in the student conduct context and research misconduct and human research matters.

Before joining the university, Ms. Penfil was a partner with Irell & Manella, where her practice focused on intellectual property law and complex business litigation at the trial and appellate levels.

Selected Honors and Service

  • Board of Directors, Orange County Bar Association (Audit Committee)
  • Chair, Corporate Counsel Section, Orange County Bar Association
  • Board of Directors, Anti-Defamation League of Orange County
  • Nominee, Orange County Business Journal General Counsel Awards
  • Top 50 Female Superlawyers in Southern California and Top 50 Superlawyers in Orange County, Los Angeles Magazine and Law & Politics Magazine
  • The National Law Journal, Top 15 Defense Verdicts of the Year

Selected Speaking and Teaching

  • Adjunct Professor (Copyright Law; Trademark Law; Intellectual Property Law; Ninth Circuit Clinic), University of Southern California School of Law and Chapman University School of Law
  • "Intellectual Property Law for the Business Executive," Paul Merage School of Business, University of California, Irvine
  • "Risky Business: Just Say No! Top Ten Ways You Can Limit The University’s Liability," The Paul Merage School of Business, Staff Development Presentation
  • "Personnel Files and Privacy Laws," UC Irvine HR Skills Training
  • "Free Speech Issues on Campus," University of California Campus Organizations Retreat
  • Moderator, "Obama and IP: What Will the New White House Administration Mean for Intellectual Property for Private Enterprise, Academic Institutions and Government Agencies?" California State Bar Intellectual Property Institute (Dana Point, CA)