Dean Emeritus Bernard Dobranski

Dear Friends,
This academic year is quickly coming to a close and we are truly grateful for all of the wonderful blessings surrounding us at Ave Maria School of Law. We were named Best Catholic Law School in the U.S. for the Devout and the number one Most Diverse Law School in the country in the Spring 2016 issue of National Jurist's PreLaw Magazine. I would like to take a moment to honor the late Dean Emeritus Bernard Dobranski whose passing we have deeply mourned within the Ave Maria Law Community. Dean Dobranski was extremely instrumental in the founding of our law school and ABA accreditation. He and his family will remain in our thoughts and prayers. Lastly, I hope you will be able to join us for our Estate Planning Conference on May 6 and Commencement on May 14.  

God Bless,
Kevin Cieply
President and Dean
For more information on Ave Maria Law news and events, visit our website . 
Dean Emeritus Bernard Dobranski's Passing 

The Ave Maria School of Law community deeply mourns the passing of Dean Emeritus Bernard Dobranski. His passing is a great loss not only to our law school but also to Catholic Legal Academia as a whole. Dean Emeritus Dobranski was an exceedingly accomplished man, who served not only as the founding Dean of Ave Maria School of Law, but also as the Dean of the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law and the Dean of Catholic University's Columbus School of Law. With admiration and deep respect for his leadership of Ave Maria School of Law through an incredible evolution, may he rest in the peace of Christ.
"Bernie was pivotal in so many ways to the founding of the law school and the success it experienced under his leadership. He brought immediate credibility in the legal community and his extensive experience and reputation in Catholic higher education helped us in countless ways. He was a man with clear vision and deep convictions." -Thomas S. Monaghan, Ave Maria School of Law Founder and Chairman
We invite you to visit this link which shares excellent commentary from The National Review. 

Ave Maria School of Law Ranked #1
The Spring 2016 issue of National Jurist's PreLaw Magazine ranked Ave Maria School of Law the most devout Catholic law school in the nation. We were also ranked the number one most diverse law school in the country quantified in a study by Dr. Jack Manhire at Texas A& M University School of Law. We are extremely proud of our Ave Maria Law students, faculty, staff and alumni who represent the culmination of these well-deserved distinctions . Here is a link to both stories:

Career Services Hosted March Madness Professional Development Series 

From March 8 - March 17 Career Services hosted a Professional Development Series on campus prepping our current law students for their next steps in their future career in law. A special thank you to Celestine Oglesby and Career Services for hosting this initiative.

Monica Kelly '16, Chelsey Tucker '17, Celestine Oglesby, Naomi Hatton '17, Bibiana Potestad '17
Panelists and moderator, Jovanni Fiallo '16
Legal Studies students from FIU in Miami: Brian Carvajal and Loilette Pelier with Monica Kelly '16
Ave Maria Law Students Volunteer

Phi Alpha Delta hosted their annual St. PADdy's Day Celebration with the assistance of many of the student organizations. The event featured a snow cones, cotton candy, popcorn, food, games, a photo booth, face painter and the infamous dunk tank with Professor Miller. The dunk tank and 50/50 raffle raised $400 for the underprivileged children at Vineyards elementary school. We commend the Ave Maria Law students for being a part of this special day.

Alex Scarselli '18, Christine Talaba '17, Rachel Romero '17, 
Siobhan Bonilla '17, Brendan Murray '16

Children of law students
Ave Maria Law Men's Softball Champions!

The Ave Maria Law Men's softball team traveled to Charlottesville, Virginia to play in the 33rd Annual Virginia Law School National Softball Invitational and became the champions of the tournament! There were 115 teams in the National Tournament and our Men's team went 7-0 to win and become the 2016 National Champs. Ave Maria Law is now known as a competitive and respected school. Please join me in congratulating our team for all of their hard work and dedication.
Lou Holtz - This Year's Commencement Speaker  

We wanted to remind you of the exciting news that Lou Holtz will be the 2016 Ave Maria School of Law Commencement Speaker. Mr. Holtz has established himself as one of the most successful college football coaches of all time, being the only coach in the history of college football to take six different teams to a bowl game, win five games with different teams, and have four different college teams ranked in the final Top 20 poll. In 1988, he led the Fighting Irish to the consensus national championship. He also served  as a college football studio analyst, has been considered one of the greatest speaking legends in America today, and has authored three New York Times best-selling books. Mr. Holtz and his wife Beth Barcus are the parents of four children and reside in Orlando, Florida. We look forward to welcoming Mr. Holtz as our 2016 Commencement Speaker.
Estate Planning Conference 

Just around the corner, our third annual Estate Planning Conference will be held on May 6 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples. I hope you will join us for this outstanding annual event. CLE, CTFA and CFP credits are available. There will be a pre-conference dinner sponsored by Northern Trust; Jonathan Blattmachr, nationally recognized speaker, will be the special guest of the evening. We'd like to thank our sponsors for making this pre-conference and conference possible: Advisor's Trust, Northern Trust, PCE Valuations, CliftonLarsonAllen, Ariel Capital Advisors, Farmer's & Associates, Akerman, LLP, Gassman Law Associates, P.A., Providence Family Office, Cummings & Lockwood, Roetzel & Andress, Veralytic, Thompson Reuters, Hill, Barth & King, Hawthorn PNC Family Wealth, Lee County Bar Association, Collier County Bar Association, Sabadell Bank & Trust and Innovative Benefits Consulting, Inc., Corporate Valuation Services, Inc., Marquis Wealth Management Group and The Bryn Mawr Trust Company of Delaware. Click here for more information on our speaker lineup and session topics or to register: . If you have any questions please contact Kristy Kryszczak at 239-687-5404 or
Ave Maria Law's Summer 2016 Course Highlights  

The Sports Law Academy, Introduction to Government Contracts and Religious Liberty Practicum are three of the key courses being offered this summer online. The Sports Law Academy offers the option of online or in person on our Naples, Florida campus. For more information or to register now, please visit this link.

Ave Maria Law's Summer 2016 Bar Prep Courses     

For those 3L students sitting for the July 2016 Bar Exam, we have a bar prep summer 2016 course program in place. This program would be in addition to your Commercial Bar prep program (BAR/BRI, Kaplan, Themis) and will run parallel with it. If you are taking a bar exam other than Florida and will not be present on campus this summer, all of the Supplemental Program events will be live-streamed and videotaped.
A complimentary lunch will also be provided for all of the Supplemental events on the schedule. In addition, we have developed a great incentive program: (1) the student completing the most practice multiple-choice questions will receive a $125 gift card; (2) the student completing the most practice essay questions will receive a $125 gift card; and (3) students who complete 100% of their commercial bar prep course will enter a drawing for a $250 gift card. There will be a celebratory event following the bar exam - more details to come.
Please contact Christopher Buscaglia, , (239) 687-5375 and Deborah Favro,, (239) 687- 5313 if you are interested.
Fodale Family Dedicates St. Thomas More Commons Fountain      
On April 8, Professor and Mrs. Frank Fodale generously donated to our capital campaign and named the St. Thomas More Commons Fountain in their family's honor. Professor Fodale's wife, son and family joined him on campus for the Mass and Dedication by Monsignor McGrath. We are very grateful to Professor and Mrs. Fodale for their generosity.
Donna Heiser, Monsignor McGrath, Francis M. Fodale, Dean Cieply, Professor Frank Fodale, Alyssa and Katie Fodale, Theresa Fodale, and Lisa Fodale.
Photo courtesy of Tony Zollo.
Professor Govern on Ave Radio     

The Vatican hosted a conference recently to evaluate the Church's longstanding teaching on Just War Theory. Cohosted by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and Pax Christi International, the conference featured some 80 experts who are engaged in global nonviolent struggles. Prior to the conference, Professor Kevin Govern spoke on the Al Kresta show on April 6 on the topic of whether this conference will change or update Church teaching on the Catholic response to war? Listen to the conversation streaming here. 
Ave Maria Law Faculty and Staff Appointments      

Please join me in congratulating Mollie Murphy and Kevin Govern for their promotions to the rank of "Professor of Law."  This is a promotion that reflects great confidence in their abilities and potential, as well as recognizes the achievements they have made to our school in the areas of teaching, scholarship and service.  We are blessed to have them both as outstanding professors and individuals. 
Please join me in welcoming two new staff members to our Ave Maria School of Law community.  Ms. Kristy Kryszczak has been appointed our new Director of Special Events and Communications and Mrs. Christina Newman has joined us as Administrative Assistant for Advancement and External Affairs.  Mrs. Amanda Eberl has moved to the Admissions Office to serve as an Admissions Representative. James Maloy, J.D. has been promoted to I.T. Helpdesk and Audio Video Manager. Welcome and congratulations to all!
Ave Maria Law Student Appointments      

In March's newsletter we announced the appointment of Naomi Hatton as the first-ever woman President of Ave Maria Law's Student Bar Association. This month I'm pleased to share additional student appointments who all happen to be women. Please join me in welcoming the new Criminal Justice Society President Katie Sarpy '18, the new Editor in Chief of Ave Maria Law Review, Michelle (Micki) Hurvitz '17, newly appointed Editor-in-Chief of the International Law Journal on campus, Siobhan Bonilla '17 and Brittney Davis '17 as President of the Moot Court. Congratulations to all of these accomplished women.
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.
Upcoming Events:

Friday, April 29, 2016
Prospective Students Open House
Ave Maria Law Campus
For more information, please contact Admissions at 239-687-5420 or

Thursday, May 5, 2016
Estate Planning Pre-Conference Dinner
6:00 p.m.
Northern Trust Company, 4001 Tamiami Trail North
For more information, please contact Kristy Kryszczak at 239-687-5404 or

Friday, May 6, 2016
Estate Planning Conference
The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples
For more information, please contact Kristy Kryszczak at 239-687-5404 or

Friday, May 13, 2016
Baccalaureate Mass
St. Agnes Catholic Church
New Alumni Reception and Pinning Ceremony
St. Thomas More Commons

Saturday, May 14, 2016
Commencement - Lou Holtz will be our Commencement Speaker

Friday May 20 - Saturday May 21, 2016
Admitted Student Open House
Ave Maria Law Campus
For more information, please contact Admissions at 239-687-5420 or

Every Tuesday
Weekly Bible Study
7:00 p.m. | Michigan Room
Complimentary coffee and desserts

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

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

  Read the latest issue of the Advocate magazine.
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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.

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