Claire T. O’Keefe
Associate Dean of Admissions and Student Engagement
Claire T. O’Keefe is an experienced law school administrator in the areas of admissions, student affairs, academic support and academic advising. Before joining Ave Law, she had over eight years of law school administration experience including positions as Director of Admissions at Touro Law School and Director of Student Affairs at Hofstra Law School. Ms. O’Keefe joined Ave Law in August 2011 providing academic counseling and was an instructor for the Applied Critical Thinking and Legal Analysis course. She became the Director of Admissions in February of 2015, and was promoted to Assistant Dean of Admissions in December 2016. Ms. O’Keefe is currently the Associate Dean of Admissions and Student Engagement, which includes oversight of the student organizations and journals. Ms. O’Keefe is a licensed attorney in New York and practiced in the areas of family law and labor law and spent nine years at the New York State Attorney General’s Office as an Assistant Attorney General in the Labor Bureau. In that capacity, Ms. O’Keefe focused on appellate practice, which included defending state agencies, including the New York State Department of Labor and the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board. Ms. O’Keefe has argued in the New York State Appellate Division and before the New York State Court of Appeals.
Associate Director of Admissions and Veteran Outreach
Tabitha M. Canalda was born in New York City and raised in Southwest Florida. She is a bilingual first generation American with Argentine roots. Ms. Canalda received her Bachelor’s degree in Legal Studies from Florida Gulf Coast University in Ft. Myers, FL. While at FGCU, Ms. Canalda interned with a local wealth management firm and State Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto. Ms. Canalda enrolled in Ave Law in the Fall of 2014 and graduated in 2017. While at Ave Law, Ms. Canalda was on the boards of Phi Alpha Delta, Ave Maria Elder Law and Estate Planning Association. Ms. Canalda was involved in the SBA and the American Bar Association committee, represented the school as a student ambassador and was a work-study student in the Admissions Department. Upon graduation, Ms. Canalda joined the Ave Law admissions team as the Associate Director of Admissions and Veteran Outreach.
For veterans, please visit the following website for more details regarding veteran benefits at Ave Law: http://veterans-project.avemarialaw.edu/attend-ave-law/
Associate Director, Admissions & Student Engagement
Naomi Hatton is a 2017 Ave Law graduate. Prior to attending Ave Law, Ms. Hatton graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in International Business from Rollins College in Winter Park, FL. Ms. Hatton became part of the Ave Law family in the Fall of 2014. While at Ave Law, Ms. Hatton was elected as a Governor to the Florida Bar, Vice-President of the Student Bar Association and ultimately President of the Student Bar Association. Ms. Hatton was selected to be a Dean’s Delegate and volunteered for the Executive Board of Lex Vitae (the pro-life organization on campus). Ms. Hatton graduated Summa Cum Laude from Ave Law in May 2017, and is licensed to practice law in Florida. Ms. Hatton joined the Admissions Department in September 2017 as Associate Director of Admissions and Student Engagement.
Juanita Martinez first joined the Office of Admissions as the Administrative Assistant in January 2015, where she was later promoted to Admissions Coordinator. She administers all daily admissions operations and checks for data consistency. She works closely with the Director and Associate Director of Admissions. Mrs. Martinez earned a Bachelor of Management from Florida Gulf Coast University. She graduated in May 2014 among the Dean’s List with Cum laude honors.
Tina Thompson was born and raised in the Washington, DC metro area. Ms. Thompson moved to Naples 8 years ago from Las Vegas, where she was employed with a construction firm. Ms. Thompson has more than 20 years of administrative and customer service experience. She joined Ave Law and the Admissions team in September 2017. Ms. Thompson is the contact point for Admissions and performs all administrative duties for the Admissions department.