Meet our Administration



Jeff Kinsler, JD, LLM

Dean of the College of Law
College of Law
Email Address:
jeff.kinsler@belmont.edu

Office Phone:
(615) 460-6320

Prior to joining Belmont University College of Law as the Founding Dean, Jeffrey Kinsler was a Professor of Law and Senior Scholar at Elon University.  Prior thereto, he was Dean of Appalachian School of Law, which he led to full ABA approval during his tenure.

The winner of nine teaching awards, Dean Kinsler has taught at several law schools in the United States and Australia.  He also has served as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Queensland in Australia.  Dean Kinsler was a partner with Katten, Muchin & Zavis in Chicago, “of counsel” and associate at Mayer, Brown & Platt in Chicago and, more recently, “of counsel” at the Kingsport, Tennessee law firm of Hunter, Smith & Davis. 

A member of the Tennessee, Virginia, Illinois and Wisconsin bars, he has co-authored ten books and has published numerous law review articles in journals at law schools such as the University of North Carolina, Northwestern University, and Vanderbilt University. 

He obtained his undergraduate degree with honors from Ball State University, graduated first in his class at Valparaiso University School of Law, and obtained a master of laws degree from Yale Law School.  In 2006, he was named a “Virginia Leader in the Law” by Virginia Lawyers Weekly, and he was elected to the American Law Institute in 2009.



Timothy P. Chinaris, JD, MLS

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Tim Chinaris
Email Address:
tim.chinaris@belmont.edu

Office Phone:
(615) 460-8264

Timothy P. Chinaris is Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Law at Belmont University College of Law in Nashville, Tennessee.  Dean Chinaris has operational responsibility for the College of Law's academic program and teaches courses in insurance law, legal ethics, and other subjects.  Before joining the faculty at Belmont, he held similar positions at Faulkner University's Thomas Goode Jones School of Law in Montgomery, Alabama, Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Virginia, and Florida Coastal School of Law in Jacksonville, Florida.  He is licensed to practice in Alabama, Florida, and Texas, and is admitted to the Bar of the United States Supreme Court.

Dean Chinaris was Ethics Director of the Florida Bar from 1989-1997.  His responsibilities included managing the Bar's popular "ethics hotline" service, which annually answers more than 20,000 phone calls per year from lawyers with ethics questions.

Dean Chinaris has a bachelor's degree cum laude in Business Administration from Florida State University, received his J.D. with Honors from the University of Texas School of Law, and earned his master's degree in Library and Information Studies from Florida State University.  After graduating from law school, he clerked for the Texas Court of Appeals.  Prior to accepting a position with the Florida Bar, he was an associate in Dallas with what is now the law firm of Godwin Lewis PC.

Dean Chinaris writes on legal ethics for various publications and speaks to local, state, and national organizations on a wide range of professional responsibility issues.  He is President-elect of the Florida Bar Out-of-State Division and Chair of the Alabama State Bar Disciplinary Rules and Enforcement Committee.  He has served on and chaired the Professional Ethics Committee of the Florida Bar and has served on state bar unauthorized practice of law committees in Alabama, Florida, and Virginia.  Dean Chinaris advises lawyers and others on professional responsibility and law library matters.  He has served as an expert witness on legal ethics matters, including in the first case decided under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

Dean Chinaris co-authors the comprehensive ethics treatise “Florida Legal Malpractice and Attorney Ethics” (published annually) and the legal ethics website "sunEthics."
 

Mitch Counts, JD, MLS

Associate Dean for Information Services
Mitch Counts
Email Address:
mitch.counts@belmont.edu

Office Phone:
(615) 460-5611

Mitch Counts has previously built two academic law libraries from inception, Ave Maria School of Law in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Elon University School of Law in Greensboro, North Carolina.  Both schools achieved ABA accreditation in the shortest possible period of time.  Belmont University College of Law’s library will be the third law school library to be created under the watchful eye of Dean Counts.

Dean Counts has been an Associate Dean, Director, or Acting Director at academic law libraries for the last fourteen years and has been working in increasingly responsible positions in these libraries for the last twenty-two years.  He has also helped design and plan the physical space for five academic law libraries during his professional career, including the law libraries at Baylor, Elon, Drexel, Ave Maria-Michigan, and Ave Maria-Florida.  In addition to his library director responsibilities, Dean Counts has been responsible for the information technology function in academic law libraries for the last fourteen years.

With over seven years of teaching experience, Dean Counts has taught Legal Research, Legal Writing, and Education Law.  His teaching interests include Legal Research, Advanced Legal Research, Higher Education Law, and Education Law.  He received his Bachelor of Science degree from Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, his Juris Doctor degree from South Texas College of Law in Houston, Texas, and his Master of Library Science degree from Indiana University in Bloomington.



Andy Matthews, JD

Associate Dean for Student Services
Andrew Matthews
Email Address:
andy.matthews@belmont.edu

Office Phone:
(615) 460-6697

Andy Matthews is the associate dean for student services at Belmont University College of Law where he oversees the admissions office and career services office.  Additionally, Dean Matthews implements the College of Law’s debt counseling program and scholarship program.  He previously served as assistant dean for student services at Faulkner University’s Thomas Goode Jones School of Law in Montgomery, Alabama.

Dean Matthews is a member of the Alabama State Bar.  Prior to his career in legal education, he practiced law in Birmingham and Montgomery.  He received his B.S. degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and his J.D. cum laude from Faulkner University’s Thomas Goode Jones School of Law.  While in law school, Dean Matthews served as Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review and represented his class as an honor court justice.

A primary emphasis for Dean Matthews is to counsel law students on professionalism and sound financial practices.  He enjoys meeting prospective students and working with current students at all stages of their law school career, from new student orientation to commencement.



Claudia Levy, JD

Director of Career Services
Claudia Levy
Email Address:
claudia.levy@belmont.edu

Office Phone:
(615) 460-8249 

As the Director of Career Services, Claudia Levy creates and presents career development programming and provides career counseling services for Belmont law students.  She works with law firms, judges, corporate counsel, government agencies, and non-profit organizations to create employment opportunities. 


Prior to joining Belmont University College of Law, Claudia Levy was a Client Relations and Placement Director at Counsel On Call, where she managed attorney recruitment and placement.  Previously, Ms. Levy was an attorney with Wilkes & McHugh, P.A. where she litigated medical malpractice cases throughout the Southeast.

Ms. Levy completed her Juris Doctor and Bachelor's degrees at the University of Mississippi.  She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Nashville Bar Association and previously served on the Board of Directors of the Young Lawyers Division (YLD) from 2006 through 2011, receiving the Enterprise Award in 2008 and the President’s Award in 2011. Ms. Levy was chair of the LAW New Admittees’ Breakfast 2006-2008, served on the executive board nominating committee, and participates in the Mentoring Program.  She is a member of the Nashville Bar Association, the Tennessee Bar Association, the Mississippi Bar Association, the Lawyers’ Association for Women, and Tennessee Lawyers’ Association for Women.  Ms. Levy is the past Events Director for Brentwood Area Networking Group, past co-chair of the Heart Gala Late Party, and current member of the American Heart Association (Middle TN Affiliate) Young Professional Board.  She currently serves as Secretary and Treasurer of Belmont University College of Law American Inn of Court.  Ms. Levy was named Belmont University College of Law’s Most Outstanding Administrator in 2011 and 2012. 



Lisa Giffen

Assistant to the Dean
B.A., State University of New York College at Fredonia; M.Ed., Ohio University


Email Address:
lisa.giffen@belmont.edu

Office Phone:
 (615) 460-8259

 

 

Lisa Griffen

Allison Staats

Administrative Assistant to the Dean's Office
B.S., University of Wisconsin Oshkosh


Email Address:
allison.staats@belmont.edu

Office Phone:
(615) 460-8253

 

 

Allison Staats

Margaret Ross Long

Admissions Counselor
B.A., University of Mississippi;
M.B.A., Belmont University


Email Address:
margaretross.long@belmont.edu

Office Phone:
(615) 460-8273

 

 

Margaret Ross Long

Maria Smith

Admissions Counselor
B.A., Emory University;
M.S. Florida State University


Email Address:
maria.smith@belmont.edu

Office Phone:
(615) 460-8250

 

 

Maria Smith

Kishia Nixon

Admissions Assistant
B.A., University of Tennessee; M.Ed., Middle Tennessee State University


Email Address:
kishia.nixon@belmont.edu

Office Phone:
(615) 460-5467

 

 

Kishia Nixon

Cory Coyne

Faculty Assistant
B.A., University of Delaware


Email Address:
cory.coyne@belmont.edu

Office Phone:

(615) 460-8268

 

 

Cory Coyne

Andrea Jones

Faculty Assistant
B.B.A., Lipscomb University


Email Address:
andrea.jones@belmont.edu

Office Phone:

(615) 460-8267

 

 

Andrea Jones