Meet our Administration

Alberto R. Gonzales, JD

Dean and Doyle Rogers Distinguished Professor of Law
College of Law

After attending the United States Air Force Academy, Alberto Gonzales graduated from Rice University (B.A.) and Harvard Law School. He was nominated by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the United States Senate as the 80th Attorney General of the United States on February 3, 2005 and served in that capacity until September 2007. He has worked as a partner at a major Houston law firm (Vinson & Elkins) and held positions as Justice on the Texas Supreme Court, Texas Secretary of State, General Counsel to the Governor of Texas and Counsel to the President of the United States. Judge Gonzales has also served as a Visiting Professor and minority/veteran recruitment consultant at Texas Tech University.  Currently, he is Counsel to the Nashville law firm of Waller Lansden. At Belmont, he teaches Constitutional Law, First Amendment, National Security Law and Separation of Powers. 

Among his many professional associations, Judge Gonzales is a member of the American Law Institute, the leading independent organization in the United States producing scholarly work to clarify, modernize and otherwise improve the law. For his many accomplishments and years of public service, Judge Gonzales has been recognized as a Distinguished Alumnus of Rice University and received the Harvard Law School Association Award, as well as the Central Intelligence Agency’s Director’s Award and the Office of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service. His work in the Hispanic community and his achievements as a role model have also earned him recognition as Hispanic American of the Year by HISPANIC Magazine and one of The 25 Most Influential Hispanics in America by TIME Magazine.

Presently Judge Gonzales serves on the board of directors for the United Way of Metropolitan Nashville and the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.  He is also an appointee of Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam to the Governor’s Commission for Judicial Appointments and the Governor’s Management Fellows Executive Committee.

An endowed “distinguished” chair is a permanent tribute to the person whose name it bears and a prestigious honor to the professor who occupies it. Belmont University’s Doyle Rogers Distinguished Chair of Law is named in honor of an attorney whose career reflects accomplishments to which all lawyers aspire. A graduate of the University of Florida and its Levin College of Law, Doyle Rogers is the senior shareholder in the prominent law firm of Alley, Maass, Rogers & Lindsay, P.A., one of the oldest firms in Palm Beach, Florida. He is a member of the Palm Beach County Bar and American Bar Association and formerly a member of the District of Columbia Bar. He has practiced successfully as a lawyer in South Florida for over 50 years and has established himself as an expert in the areas of real estate transactions, estate planning, probate, estate administration and business/corporate law.

Timothy P. Chinaris, JD, MLS

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Tim Chinaris
Email Address:

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:

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:

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:

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 NBA Young Lawyers Division (YLD) from 2006 through 2011, receiving the Enterprise Award in 2008 and the President’s Award in 2011.  Ms. Levy is a member of the Board of Directors of the Lawyer’s Association for Women where she is the current co-chair of the Practicing Parents Committee and past chair of 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 past 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, 2012, and 2013.

Lisa Giffen

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

Email Address:

Office Phone:
 (615) 460-8259



Lisa Griffen

Allison Schaeffer

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

Email Address:

Office Phone:
(615) 460-8253



Allison Staats

Kishia Nixon

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

Email Address:

Office Phone:
(615) 460-5467



Kishia Nixon

Concetta Wilson

Career Services Assistant
B.A., Wofford College

Email Address:

Office Phone:
(615) 460-8254



Kishia Nixon

Andrea Jones

Faculty Assistant
B.B.A., Lipscomb University

Email Address:

Office Phone:

(615) 460-8267



Andrea Jones