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Phi Alpha Delta

Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, International
The Coat of Arms of Phi Alpha Delta
Founded November 8, 1902; 117 years ago (1902-11-08)
Chicago, IL and South Haven, MI
Type Professional
Scope International
United States
Puerto Rico
Colors Purple and Gold
Flower Red Carnation
Headquarters Towson, Maryland, United States
Homepage Phi Alpha Delta Website

Phi Alpha Delta (ΦAΔ or PAD) is the largest co-ed professional law fraternity in the United States. Phi Alpha Delta has members who are university students, law school students, lawyers, judges, and politicians.[1] It was founded in 1902 and today has over 300,000 initiated members. Approximately one out of six attorneys in the United States is a member of PAD Five of the sitting Justices of the United States Supreme Court are members of PAD. From 1964 to 1968, Tom C. Clark, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, served as Supreme Vice Justice of the Fraternity.[2] Additionally, one of five of all Federal judges and three of ten of all State judges are PAD members. Six U.S. Presidents have likewise been members of PAD.

Organization and government

Pursuant to the Constitution and By-Laws of Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, International, the supreme governing body of the Fraternity, is the International Chapter in Convention Assembled.[3] The International Chapter is composed of up to two delegates and alternates from each active law school and alumni chapter, up to two alumni members at large from each district, each district justice, each international officer, and each former Supreme or International Justice in attendance. Conventions are convened every two years, usually in August.

Between conventions the Fraternity is governed by an International Executive Board (IEB) composed of the International Justice, the International Vice Justice, the International Secretary, the International Treasurer, the International Advocate, and 4 Members at Large. An International Tribunal composed of the Chief Tribune and two Associate Tribunes hold judicial authority within the Fraternity. All 12 International Officers are elected at the Biennial Conventions.

For organization purposes, the Fraternity is geographically divided into thirty-three districts covering North America. For each district, the International Justice, with the advice and consent of the IEB, appoints a District Justice to serve as regional coordinator and work with Law School and Alumni Chapters within his district. Each District Justice may have one or more Assistant District Justices to assist him/her in his/her work. Additional district level officers, "District Presidents," have been appointed to perform similar tasks with respect to the pre-law chapters in the district.


Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, International, is a professional fraternity composed of pre-law and law students, legal educators, attorneys, judges, and government officials.[4] Phi Alpha Delta was founded on November 8, 1902 for the purpose of promoting professional competency and achievement within the legal profession. Today, PAD is the world’s largest law fraternity with 206 law school chapters, 99 alumni chapters and 316 Pre-Law chapters in the United States (including Puerto Rico), Canada and Mexico.

PAD was the first law fraternity to admit members of all races, creeds, colors, religions and national origins. It was also the first law fraternity to admit women.[5] PAD is the only law fraternity to admit undergraduate students interested in the law.[5] PAD also sponsors an annual International Pre-Law Conference and Mock Trial Competition. PAD is the only law fraternity to receive federal funding from the U.S. Department of Justice for its Law Related Education program.

PAD was the first to create a "Senior Transition Program", aimed to help undergraduate seniors transition from the life of undergraduate studies to law school.[6]

PAD was the first law fraternity to establish a food drive.[6]

Prominent members of the fraternity

United States Presidents
William H. Taft (1909-1913)
Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921)
Warren G. Harding (1921-1923)
Harry S. Truman (1945-1953)
Jimmy Carter (1977-1981)
Bill Clinton (1993-2001)
U.S. Supreme Court Justices
William H. Taft (1921-1930)
Tom C. Clark (1949-1967)
Warren E. Burger (1969-1986)
Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1993-Present)
Stephen G. Breyer (1994-Present)
Samuel A. Alito, Jr. (2006-Present)
Sonia Sotomayor (2009-Present)
Elena Kagan (2010-Present)


  1. ^ Jung, Heather, "The Three Major Legal Fraternities", LawCrossing, Law Crossing, Inc. 2007 .website
  2. ^ Judice, C. Raymond, Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, International: The History Continues, 2000.
  3. ^ Constitution and International By-Laws of Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, International, revised August 2010 -
  4. ^ ”In the Law Schools”, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, April 25, 1995. Law Bulletin Publishing Company (Chicago, 1995)
  5. ^ a b Laura Duncan, “Happy Birthday, PADs”, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, November 13, 1992. Law Bulletin Publishing Company (Chicago, 1992)
  6. ^ a b "About Phi Alpha Delta". Phi Alpha Delta. 


  • Directory of Membership 2006 - Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, International, Harris Connect, Inc. 2006.
  • In re Application of Henry M. Day, et al., 181 ILL. 73, 54 N.E. 646, 1899 Ill. LEXIS 3011 (1899).
  • Judice, C. Raymond, Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity: A History, 1968.
  • The Political Graveyard website

External links