Monday, August 09, 1999

Interest high in Catholic law school

Interest high in Catholic law school-Hundreds of prospective students apply to Ave Maria; 100 instructors interested as well
The Ann Arbor News
By Pamela Appea

The newly-formed Catholic law school in Ann Arbor is considering prospective students for fall 2000--an almost eight months before the April 1 admissions deadline.

Ave Maria administrators said hundreds of prospective students have called the admissions office asking for information on requirements, courses and faculty.

Michael Kenney, dean of admissions, estimated that 200 prospective law students from 40 states have called Ave Maria since the law school was formed four months ago.

About 100 faculty at other institutions have expressed interest in joining Ave Maria, Kenney added.

Ave Maria administrators are encouraged by the response, said Kenney, who had been acting dean of admissions until this month.

“I’m very enthused about the opportunity to be involved in the process of starting a new Catholic law school. The vision … is to be a national law school that will have high admissions standards,” he said.

Led by interim Dean Joseph Falvey of Grosse Pointe Park Ave. Maria Law School is preparing a specialized, Catholic-centered law curriculum and recruiting faculty.

Bernard Dobranski of the Catholic University Law School in Washington, D.C. will become Ave Maria dean in a few months. Judge Robert Bork was recently named as Ave Maria’s first faculty member, Kenney said.

The school, temporarily located at Thomas More Center at the Domino’s Farms, plans to admit 50 first-year law students in the fall 2000. It will gradually increase enrollment size to several hundred students, Kenney said.

Officials are still working out major details for short-and-long-term campus planning. A real estate agent said Ave. Maria is leasing an 85,000-square foot building at 4375 Plymouth Road, where Ave Maria may house administrative offices and classrooms.

Plans for student housing to fall 2000 are uncertain, school officials said.

However, admission services are up and running, and Kenney said the law school intends to process applications this year.

Law school candidates will be expected to fill out a two-page application. Admission will be assessed by grade-point average, standardized test scores, letters of recommendations and the prospective student’s personal statement.

Ave Maria, Kenney said, welcomes applicants of any religion.

Ave Maria will be the 26th Catholic law university in the United States. It is in the process of obtaining its accreditation with the Michigan Board of Education, published reports said.
Thomas Monaghan, the former owner of the Domino’s Pizza empire and founder of the Ave Maria foundation will reportedly spend $50 million of the law school.

For information, contact Kenney by email at or by phone (734) 930-4408.

Originally published Tuesday, August 9, 1999