The oldest, most prestigious law fraternity in North America, Phi Delta Phi International Legal Fraternity, was established in the year 1869 to promote a higher standard of professional ethics, is among the oldest of legal organizations. The Fraternity was established only six months after the Columbus, Ohio Bar Association and nine years before the American Bar Association. It holds a unique position in the history of the North American bench, bar and the law schools. During the past three decades, Phi Delta Phi’s reputation as an organization devoted to legal excellence has begun to spread into México and Europe.
Phi Delta Phi has one hundred and thirty-one active chapters — called Inns — in the Western Hemisphere and the number increases yearly. Phi Delta Phi has initiated in excess of 200,000 members making it the world’s largest legal fraternity whose membership is restricted to students and practitioners of the law.
The total initiated membership of Phi Delta Phi exceeds 200,000 persons. More judges, American presidents, governors, senators, representatives, cabinet members, ambassadors, American Bar Association presidents, Association of American Law School presidents and law school Deans have come from the ranks of Phi Delta Phi than from any other legal fraternity.
To be eligible for active membership, a law student must be of good moral character and in good academic standing at a law school in which a student Inn is located. Although Phi Delta Phi is not a national honors organization; it is viewed as such at a number of law schools with Inns that require a minimum standard of scholarship for eligibility beyond the international constitutional requirement of “in good academic standing”.
Each Active member pays an initiation fee of U.S. $75, with due consideration for international exchange rates. Most, if not all, of the student Inns are dependent upon “local dues” to finance their activities. These dues are established by each individual Inn, depending upon its needs. Alumni dues are strictly voluntary upon graduation. Alumni Dues provide approximately fifty percent of the income comprising the yearly General Operating Fund of the Fraternity.
Phi Delta Phi is committed to the elimination of discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, handicap or disability, or sexual orientation.
American presidents, Supreme Court justices and prominent members of the bar and bench who have been initiated into Phi Delta Phi.