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Frank C. Aiello

Frank Aiello


B.A. Michigan State University 1998
J.D. Wayne State University Law School 2001
[email protected]

“Seeing my former students impact the lives of their clients is the best part of this job.”

In my role as Chief of Staff, I work closely with the WMU-Cooley President and Dean James McGrath on projects and issues of strategic significance. This includes helping to identify and resolve matters across departments that affect the law school’s overall function, representing the President to internal and external stakeholders, and working with the President and Dean and other senior law school leaders on policy development.

I have also been a Professor at WMU-Cooley since 2005. My areas of legal expertise are commercial finance, bankruptcy, land use planning, zoning, conservation, and LGBTQ related issues. I have taught Property Law, Secured Transactions, and Zoning and Land Use Law.

Before joining WMU-Cooley, I was an associate with Bodman LLP, representing financial institutions in the structuring, negotiation, and documentation of commercial and real estate loans, including construction and end mortgage loans, working capital arrangements, acquisition and mezzanine facilities, leveraged buyout financings, and agented and syndicated transactions. I represented several banks in complex real estate transactions, involving retail, office, residential, and office projects located throughout the United States.

Given my area of expertise and commitment to conservation, I have provided hundreds of hours of pro bono legal representation to land trusts in Michigan, assisting them with the acquisition of real property held for natural preservation. I also served as the original editor of the Michigan Model Conservation Easement, a project hosted by the Heart of the Lakes Center for Land Conservation Policy. My interest in land use policy issues began early when, while still a student at Michigan State University, I was appointed to the East Lansing City Council, becoming its youngest member at the age of 20. Since then, I have been involved in many state and federal political campaigns.

Currently, I focus my scholarship and service on issues that affect the LGBTQ community. I served six years as a member of the board of directors of Affirmations, Metro Detroit’s community center for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender people and their allies. In June of 2021, I joined the board of Stand with Trans, whose mission is to advocate, support and empower Transgender youth to be their authentic selves. I am also a member of the LGBT Section of the State Bar of Michigan.

Articles (Law Reviews and Law Journals)

  • Frank Aiello, Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve:  Custodial Standing of Non-Biological Same-Sex Parents for Children Born Before Marriage Equality, 24 Am. U. J. Gender Soc. Pol'y & L. 469 (2016).
  • Frank Aiello, Real Property, 61 Wayne L. Rev. 641 (2016).
  • Frank C. Aiello, Property Law: Annual Survey of Michigan Law, 57 Wayne L. Rev. 1103 (2011).
  • Frank C. Aiello, Not Losing the Forest for the Trees: Distinguishing Conservation Transfer Fees from Other Private Transfer Fees, 64 Me. L. Rev. 1 (2011).
  • Frank Aiello, Note, Gambling with Condemnation: An Examination of Detroit’s Use of Eminent Domain for Riverfront Casinos, 46 Wayne L. Rev. 1639 (2000).


  • Frank C. Aiello, Presentation, Where to Draw the Line? – Conservation Easement Negotiation Exercise (Lansing, Mich., Heart of the Lakes Center for Land Conservation Policy Member Summit Nov. 2009).
  • Frank C. Aiello, Presentation, Public/Private Partnerships for Wetland Conservation (Portland, Ore., Land Trust Alliance Rally Oct. 2009).
  • Frank C. Aiello, Presentation, Where to Draw the Line? – Conservation Easement Negotiation Exercise (Columbus, Ohio, Land Trust Alliance Midwest Conference Apr. 2009).
  • Frank C. Aiello, Presentation, Michigan Model Conservation Easement Revision Project Status Update (Lansing, Mich., Heart of the Lakes Center for Land Conservation Policy Member Summit Dec. 2008).
  • Frank C. Aiello, Presentation, Land Acquisition Primer (Flint, Mich., Genesee County Regional Greenways Summit Jan. 2008).
  • Frank C. Aiello, Facilitator, Panel Discussion on Conservation Easement Best Practices (Lansing, Mich., Heart of the Lakes Center for Land Conservation Policy Member Summit Dec. 2007).
  • Frank C. Aiello, Presentation, Feels Good and Saves You Money: The Conservation Easement (Pontiac, Mich., Tax Section of the Oakland County Bar Association Oct. 2007).