MTG76 (mindthegap76) wrote in utexas_prelaw,

Phi Alpha Delta

Alright, I've already done this once or twice in threads on UT_Austin community, but now that we have a pre-law community (thanks LavenderGoddess), I suppose I ought to do it again.

My name is William Rothwell, and I am vice-president of the Phi Alpha Delta pre-law fraternity. If anyone reading is interested in pre-law, I'd invite all of you to come check us out. Our last prospective member info session of the semester is this Tuesday, Sept. 14 at 7:00 in PHR 2.110.

Our two official PAD goals are to a) help you decide whether or not you want to go to law school and b) if you decide to go, help you prepare for admissions and your first year. Our unnofficial goal is to have a good time.

Anyway, I'll end my spiel here, but if anyone has any questions I'd be happy to answer them.
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no, thank you!!!

thanks for the info!

why did you decide on PAD over the other pre-law frats/orgs?
I don't know much about TDA, so my comments will be limited to only BAR and PAD. Also, I'm going to be as thorough as possible, since this is the question that is most frequently asked. Sorry if you wanted a short answer :)

When I decided I was interested in law school, I talked to two of my friends, one of whom was in BAR and the other in PAD. I decided to check out both groups, so I went to one PAD info session and one BAR info session.

Essentially, both groups are very similar. If you look at the list of activities between the two organizations, they are virtually identical - speakers at meetings, parties, mock-trial, retreat, etc. So I don't think its really fair to say one group is "better" than the other.

If you ask BAR why they are better, I think the two answers they give are a) dues stay in the organization and b) hosting mock trial tournament. a) is true and is an important point, but I think there should be some clarification. I believe BAR dues are like $100 per semester (I could be wrong). PAD dues are $60 for pledges and $50 for actives, all of these dues stay 100% within the local chapter and go directly towards events. There is also a one-time $70 fee that is paid towards nationals; this is the only PAD money that goes to nationals. So, if my numbers are correct, I believe PAD's pledge semester is a little more expensive than BAR's, but that after that PAD is cheaper. Frankly, either way, I think the dues for both organizations are fair and probably shouldn't influence your decision one way or the other.

With regards to mock trial, BAR does host the local competition (and from what I've heard does a great job with it). However, I don't know that that is really an advantage, as I think being on a BAR mock-trial team is no different from being on a PAD or TDA mock-trial team.

Now, the advantage of PAD, and I believe this is a real advantage, is that PAD is a national fraternity. There is a PAD branch in every ABA approved law school, and there is some statistic that 1 in 6 lawyers in the US are PAD members. This means that PAD has much better name recognition than either TDA or BAR.

That said, I believe the most important consideration you need to make when choosing between the organizations is where you "fit best". As I said, I attended both PAD and BAR info sessions last semester. I just sort of immediately fit right in with the PAD crowd; BAR all seemed like really nice people, but something with PAD just clicked. I think that feeling of getting along is much more important than where your dues go or which group is nationally recognized. If you are excited about an organization and its members, you are going to have a better experience, you're going to get more out of it, and its going to be more worth your time and money.

If you are considering joing a pre-law org, I would definitely stop by all three groups and see if you have any feelings like I did; if you do, let that guide you. Otherwise, I guess I would decide based on whether national reputation or a little more local control of dues is more important to you.