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The Ave Maria School of Law threw itself a party on Jan. 5 at the Hay-Adams Hotel, complete with wine, cheese, and Robert Bork. The festivities marked the Catholic school’s receiving full accreditation from the American Bar Association on its fifth anniversary. Washington’s conservative legal glitterati came out in force to celebrate the school’s validation and professed optimism at the prospect of attracting, and molding, the Federalist Society members of the future. “Ave Maria was granted full accreditation by the ABA in just five years, the shortest possible time,” says Bernard Dobranski, the school’s dean. “This is a testament to the knowledge and skill employers can expect from our graduates.” The school has 187 alumni, with 361 students currently enrolled. Ave Maria doesn’t shy from being a conservative incubator. Many in attendance affirmed the school’s mission statement that “a harmony of faith and reason” is necessary to sharpen conservative legal theory and promote a Catholic ideological agenda. The school’s validation comes at a time when every conservative justice on the Supreme Court is Catholic — with Samuel Alito Jr. ostensibly waiting in the wings. And now it seems for Catholic conservatives, reinforcements are on the way.
Nathan Carlile can be contacted at [email protected].

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