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Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Letter from the Inaugural Editor-in-Chief of the Ave Maria Law Review

----- Original Message -----
From: Daniel Kelly
Date: Friday, February 23, 2007 2:10 am
Subject: Re: Message to Community
To: "Milhizer, Eugene R"
Cc: [Transition Team]; [Alumni Board]; [Board of Governors]

Dear Dean Milhizer,

I must candidly confess that I am among the many disappointed with this week's news of AMSL's "relocation." I am heartened to see, if I understand the import of your email below, that you will be substantially involved in matters going forward. I have great respect for you both professionally and personally and I do not envy your position, given the strong feelings on all sides of this matter.

It is thus with a heavy heart that I must tell you in all charity that the invitation to participate in AMSL's transition is among the coldest indignities I have yet endured in my life. Since my tenure as a student, many of my classmates and I have sought to assist the law school in a host of constructive ways, and we have acquitted ourselves well. In 2003-04, I led the Alumni Advisory Committee that drafted the bylaws for and successfully erected the school's Alumni Association. Since then, many alumni have served the school with class and distinction not only as ambassadors in the larger legal community but in smaller, often overlooked ways. Many alumni have returned to campus annually to assist with moot court and client counseling competitions. We have fielded calls from and initiated calls to prospective students. We have regularly attempted to assist in securing externships and job placements, constructing a network of goodwill on the law school's behalf. Through the tenacity of Professor Pucillo and other faculty members, 28 students and alumni have secured federal clerkships--half of them with judges in United States Courts of Appeals. Chris McGowan poured time and energy into coordinating class gifts from the class of 2003 and others. Dave Kelley could probably tell you how much money tudents and alumni have donated, down to the last penny. For many alumni with loans and family expenses, these donations have been a widow's mite.

For all of these services, the alumni as a body have had one small request that Dean Dobranski and/or the Board of Governors have spurned in perpetuity. Not one of us has ever served on the Board of Governors. Members of my class put this request to Dean Dobranski and the Board of Governors before we graduated, and as alumni we have renewed this request with a regularity that borders on monotony.

And now, after having made the decision to "relocate" AMSL on the basis of a feasibility study whose authors could not consistently spell Mr. Monaghan's name correctly and with steadfast refusal to grant a hearing to a majority of the faculty in the face of well-reasoned opposition, the Board, Dean, and administration have the audacity to enlist the assistance and indulge the goodwill of the entirety of the greater AMSL "community" to aid in the transition? This is a treachery akin to asking the condemned man to build his own gallows. It is morbid, distasteful, and, quite honestly, very much beneath a man of your integrity.

Those in power quite obviously view this as a community of convenience, and I will not stand for it. The Board of Governors saw fit to bow to Mr. Monaghan's will in this endeavor and spurn the input and assistance of the school's main constituencies--faculty, alumni, and students--at every turn. They have made this bed in the face of all reasoned judgment to the contrary, and they should be the ones to figure out how to sleep in it.

Be assured of my continued prayers for the Dean's speedy recovery and for your efforts in his stead.

Yours truly,

Daniel J. Kelly '03
[email address deleted]

cc: AMSL Alumni Association Board of Directors
AMSL Board of Governors

"Milhizer, Eugene R" wrote:

Dear Ave Maria School of Law Community:

As you now know, the Board of Governors has resolved to relocate the Law School in Florida. We want to begin the transition planning immediately and I encourage you to get involved. If you are willing to participate in the transition planning process, send me an e-mail at transitionteam[at]avemarialaw[dot]edu. We are working to establish the various teams during the few weeks.

After our Mid-Term Break we plan to host a visit from members of the Collier County bench and bar who can speak about the employment and externship opportunities for students and graduates in Southwest Florida. We will share details of this visit as they become available. I invite you to suggest other presentations that may provide you with useful information at the e-mail address above. Also, I am available to meet personally with anyone who has questions or would like to talk.

Finally, please join me in praying that Dean Dobranski has successful surgery and a speedy convalescence.

Eugene R. Milhizer

Email addresses were redacted. This email was sent to Associate Dean Milhizer, and cc'd to the Alumni Board and the Board of Governors.