In 1869, students from the University of Michigan School of Law formed a society for the purpose of promoting "a higher standard of professional ethics and culture in this and other law schools and the profession at large." That organization still exists today and is known as International Fraternity, Phi Delta Phi.
The fraternity is the oldest professional fraternity in the Western Hemisphere and charters over 150 chapters called Inns, after the English Inns of Court, including five in Mexico; three in Canada; four in Guatemala; and one in Puerto Rico. Phi Delta Phi has initiated over 135,000 members. The Southwestern chapter was chartered in 1977 as the Shenk Inn.
Membership benefits include scholarship awards, placement opportunities, insurance programs, a biennial convention, and yearly regional conclaves as well as a quarterly newsletter and listing in the Fraternity Directory. As a member, there are opportunities to participate in social and professional activities which help to fill the gap between law school and the world of the Bar and the Bench.
More judges, American presidents, governors, senators, representatives, cabinet members and American Bar Association presidents come from the ranks of Phi Delta Phi than from any other legal fraternity. Some prominent members of the organization are: Howard H. Baker, Jr.; James A. Baker, III; Justice William J. Brennan; Archibald Cox; President Gerald R. Ford; Leon Jaworski; Robert F. Kennedy; Justice Anthony M. Kennedy; Justice Thurgood Marshall; Justice Sandra Day O'Connor; Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr.; Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist; President Franklin D. Roosevelt; President Theodore Roosevelt; Justice Antonin Scalia; and Justice Byron R. White.
Although first-semester students are ineligible for active membership (one semester of good academic standing is required for initiation), you may become a candidate for membership and participate in select Inn activities pending second-semester initiation. The fraternity initiates 3,000 law students nationally each academic year.
We hope you will consider joining our prestigious fraternity. Phi Delta Phi has a mailbox located in the SBA Office. If you are interested in pledging, please leave your name and phone number in the mailbox and a representative of the Inn will contact you to describe more fully the programs and activities of Phi Delta Phi.