Archbishop Chaput with Pope Francis during the Holy Father's visit to Philadelphia.
Dear Friends, 
November signals the beginning of "Season" in Southwest Florida and the impending end of the first half of the academic year. I am pleased to tell you that our American Bar Association site visit at the end of October went very well. We were pleased to welcome a distinguished ABA site visit team to our campus, a review that takes place at each U.S. law school every seven years. Overall their exit review was positive. They lauded our academic changes to improve bar passage rates, and remarked that our faculty and staff are strong. There were some good recommendations as well, including improvements to our IT in the Moot Court room. I was very proud and grateful for the work that so many of you have done to prepare for the site visit, and for the outstanding efforts of everyone to present our law school in such a favorable light. As we continue to celebrate our 15th Anniversary year, may we give thanks to Our Lady for the blessings she continues to give to Ave Maria School of Law. I wish you and your loved ones have a blessed Thanksgiving.

God Bless,
Kevin Cieply,
President and Dean
For more information on AMSL news and events, visit our website . 

  Read the latest issue of the Advocate magazine.
  Watch the Ave Law Video
Christina and Vincent "Cap" Mona,
Queen of Heaven Ball Honorary Co-Chairs.

Save the Date of Friday, February 15, 2016 for our annual Queen of Heaven Ball celebrating Ave Law's 15th Anniversary and featuring our honorary guest speaker, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Archbishop Chaput was the host for Pope Francis' visit to Philadelphia in September. We are honored to welcome him. The event will be held at the Ritz Carlton Beach Resort and I am pleased to announce that Christina and Vincent "Cap" Mona will be our Honorary Co-Chairs for the event. Please join us to celebrate our beloved law school!

For more info: 
Professor Ted Afield to step down as Associate Dean in December
I have bittersweet news to share. Associate Dean Ted Afield has accepted a position at Georgia State University College of Law. He will direct their tax clinic, as well as teach doctrinal courses. It is a unique opportunity for him. Associate Dean Afield will step down at the end of this semester.
We of course will miss him dearly. He has contributed so very much to our school, in all facets. He is an exceptional professor, administrator, leader and friend.
And while we will indeed miss him very much, we are, at the same time, excited for him and we support his decision to follow his professional aspirations.

Please join me in congratulating Associate Dean Afield. When you see him, please thank him and let him know how much he has meant to our beloved school.
Professor Tim Tracey Named Associate Dean for Academic Affairs 
It gives me great pleasure to announce that Professor Tim Tracey has been named our new Dean of Academic Affairs, effective in January 2016. We wish Professor Tracey much success in his new position and look forward to his continued outstanding contributions to our law school.

In other news, Tim was also a featured speaker at a Symposium on Religion & the Law at FIU. Professor Tracey spoke on "Bob Jonesing-Same Sex Marriage and Hankering to Strip Religious Institutions of their Tax ExemptStatus."
Jonathan Blattmachr Estate Planning Conference Featured Speaker
Jonathan G. Blattmachr, a nationally recognized expert on estate planning and wealth management will be our featured speaker at the 3rd Annual Estate Planning Conference to be held at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples on May 6, 2016.

Mr. Blattmachr is the author or co-author of seven books and over 500 articles, and is also co-developer of Wealth Transfer Planning, a computerized system for lawyers that automatically generates estate planning documents and provides specific client advice using a form of artificial intelligence. 

Mr. Blattmachr will be our featured presenter at the Pre-Conference Event hosted by Northern Trust at Northern Trust on Thursday, May 5, 2016. He will also be our morning keynote speaker to kick-off the conference on May 6, 2016 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples. I hope you will join us. Register at

Alan Gassman, a member of the Estate Planning Committee and a Partner with Gassman Law Associates, Tampa noted that the conference gives estate planning professionals "the ability to interact with other attendees, to have access to nationally known speakers in a local comfortable setting. This an almost essential conference for those who do not have the opportunity to attend comparable programs, which are few and far between."

A sincere thank you to our sponsors: Advisor's Trust, Northern Trust, PCE Valuations, CliftonLarsonAllen, Ariel Capital Advisors, Farmer's & Associates, Akermann, Gassman Law Associates, P.A., Providence Family Office, Cummings & Lockwood, Roetzel & Andress, Veralytic, Thompson Reuters, Hill, Barth & King, and Sabadell Bank & Trust. Sponsorships are still available. If you are interested please contact

The winners and judges pictured with Dean Cieply at our annual  Ave Law  "Soup Cook Off."
Professor Brosseit to speak at Oxford Education Research Symposium

Congratulations to Dr. Brett Brosseit who will be speaking on "Accelerating the Development of Critical Thinking Skills in Law Students" at the Oxford Education Research Symposium on December 7,8, and 9 at Pembroke College, in Oxford, UK. The Oxford Education Research Symposium is a forum for the presentation of papers and discourse by scholars who have a particular interest in the theory and practice of universal education. Prof. Brosseit will present a preview of this presentation on Thursday, November 19th from 12:30 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. in the      Library 123. Be sure to attend this "Oxford Preview: Charting the Course."
3rd Annual Robert H. Bork Moot Court Competition
I am pleased to announce the results of the championship round of the 2015 Robert H. Bork Moot Court Competition which was held October 22, 2015 in the Donum Dei Moot Courtroom at Ave Maria School of Law.

The finalists were the teams of Petitioners Aimee E. Schnecker and Daniel T. Whitehead v. Respondents Nicole L. Staller and Geoffrey W. Cuccuini. The Campions of the competition were Aimee E. Schnecker and Daniel T. Whitehead. The Best Oralist Award went to Nicole L. Staller and the Best Brief Award went to Aimee E. Schnecker and Daniel T. Whitehead.

Please join me in congratulating all four students. Thank you to the Moot Court Board and their faculty advisor, Professor Mark Bonner. I would also like to wish the best of luck to the upcoming New York Bar Moot Court participants.

Death Penalty Panel
The Criminal Justice Society of Ave Maria School of Law hosted a panel discussion featuring George F. Kain, Sheila Hopkins, and Mark Elliott, national experts who are engaged in a statewide effort to stop executions and end the practice of sentencing people to death. The panel discussed why Florida should abolish the death penalty and was sponsored by the Diocese of Venice. Some of the reasons the panel concluded the death penalty should be abolished is that it "no longer serves a useful purpose in protecting the sanctity of human life." They noted that imprisonment has a greater effect because it allows time for repentance and rehabilitation.
Ave Law Student Published in JURIST
Congratulations to Ave Law Student, Alyse Casale 16', who published an article in JURIST titled "The Downfall of Volkswagen." The article discussed the current Volkswagen scandal where Volkswagen installed software to alter the amount of nitrogen oxide emission reported during the pollution tests. The article was very well done and can be found here.
Ave Maria Lecture Series featuring Dr. John Finnis now available on You Tube!
In October, Ave Maria School of Law was honored to welcome internationally known legal scholar and author Dr. John Finnis as a distinguished speaker in our first Ave Maria Lecture series. Dr. Finnis is currently a Professor of Law and Legal Philosophy Emeritus at the University of Oxford and since 1995 has been Biolchini Family Professor of Law at the University of Notre Dame. He has authored several books including the seminal Natural Law and Natural Rights and Fundamentals of Ethics. Dr. Finnis' presentation on the topic "Towards Vatican II's Centenary: Your Next Fifty Years" is now available for viewing here.
Campus Naming Opportunities
With the purchase of our campus, we now have many Naming Opportunities that offer a meaningful way to support Ave Maria School of Law while honoring and commemorating someone or something important in your life. Please review this partial list of Campus Naming Opportunities and if you are interested in learning more, contact Donna Heiser, Chief Advancement and Communications Officer at 239-687-5405 or
View Naming Opportunities here.
Celebrate Ave Law's 15th Anniversary Weekend!

We have a great weekend of events planned over the Martin Luther King Weekend, January 15-18, 2016.  I hope you will join us. For those alumni who are planning on travelling to Naples to join us, don't forget to make your travel plans early as Naples hotels fill up fast during season. Please contact for more information on Alumni hotel rates.  Save the date for these upcoming 15th Anniversary events:

Thursday, January 14, 2016 
Ave Maria School of Law Career Services Office Mentor/Mentee reception 
5:30-7:30 PM  |  Commons

Friday, January 15, 2016
Archbishop Charles Chaput featured speaker at the Queen of Heaven Ball,
Ritz Carlton Beach Resort
For more info:

Saturday, January 16, 2016
Alumni Association's 15th Anniversary Golf Tournament  Vineyards County Club
For more info:

Monday, January 18, 2016 
Ave Law 's March for Life  
1:00 PM  | Commons
For more info:

Upcoming Events

Thanksgiving Food Drive to Benefit Catholic Charities
November 2-20, 2015    

Prof. Brosseit Oxford Preview: Charting the Course
Thursday, November 19th, 2015
12:30 PM - 1:15 PM
Library 123

Faculty/Staff Christmas Party
Thursday, December 17, 2015
5:30-7:30 PM
Quail West Country Club

Ave Maria School of Law Career Services Office Mentor/Mentee Reception
January 14, 2016
5:30-7:30 PM     
Commons 110, Hallway & Patio of Commons Area

15 year Anniversary Queen of Heaven Ball
Keynote Speaker Most Reverend Charles J. Chaput, Archbishop of Philadelphia
Friday, January 15, 2016
Ritz Carlton

Legion of Mary
Every Tuesday
8:00 AM
Cardinal O'Connor Conference Room

St. Thomas More Society: Rosary and Fellowship
Every Friday
6:00 PM

Ave Maria School of Law was founded in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in 1999, and in 2009 relocated to Naples, Florida. It is licensed by the Florida Commission for Independent Education, License Number 4007, and is fully accredited by the American Bar Association. A copy of the official registration and financial information may be obtained from the division of consumer services by calling toll-free within the state. \Registration does not imply endorsement, approval, or recommendation by the state. 1-800-435-7352.