Hampton University

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Pre-Law Honor Society Molds Future Law Students

Members of P.A.D.
Members of P.A.D.

Every November is crunch time for students applying for graduate school to meet the early application deadlines. This November is no different for students aspiring to attend law school. Hampton University’s Phi Alpha Delta (P.A.D.) Pre-Law Honor Society prepares students for law school and how they can succeed once they become attorneys, lawyers, and judges.

P.A.D.’s main goal is to provide information to students to help them prepare for law school. The organization’s membership is not limited to political science majors. It is open to students of all majors who are interested in attending law school. The organization typically has member inductions twice a year during the fall and spring semesters.

“I have always been interested in law, and I have gained a lot more information about scholarships, admissions, financial aid and law schools that are interested in minorities,” said senior English major and P.A.D. treasurer Sarah Beamer.

Members of P.A.D. discuss the LSAT exam.

Members of P.A.D. discuss the LSAT exam.

P.A.D. is a professional law fraternity for law students, attorneys, judges, and educators. It is the first and only fraternity that recognized the needs to prepare future law students for a career in law. P.A.D. exposes students to life in the law field. It informs students about potential scholarships at law schools and internships with law firms.

“When students get the opportunity for an internship position, we encourage them to learn something meaningful from it so they can take it with them while in law school,” said P.A.D. advisor Novelle Dickenson.

The organization holds different events throughout the year such as forums with local attorneys or judges as speakers. The speakers come and hold panel discussions on different topics such as ethics in the law field and how to pass the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) exam. Other events include inviting law schools to come and recruit students during Graduate and Professional Day and throughout the rest of the school year. Some recruiters who come on a rolling basis are able to follow students from their freshman year until they graduate. P.A.D. also conducts mock trials based on cases sent by various law schools. The students will attend workshops pertaining to trials and learn how to act out the case as if they are in a real courtroom. Students are also encouraged to attend open houses at law schools to gain more information about application processes and what is expected of them.

“Being in the society has allowed me to visit other schools to help me decide which schools to apply to and where I want to be in my law career,” said Beamer.

Members have the opportunity to attend law school expos and regional leadership symposiums. They also receive membership benefits such as discount programs on car rentals, car insurance, health insurance, student loans, and LSAT prep courses.

Members of P.A.D. discuss the LSAT exam.

Members of P.A.D. discuss the LSAT exam.

P.A.D. was founded in 1902 by a group of law students in Chicago, however, in 1980, P.A.D. saw a need to create a Pre-Law Program for undergraduate students with an interest in law school.

“The organization creates a backbone for students to lean on and the chance to network with people who have also experienced the process of getting into law school,” said senior political science major and P.A.D. secretary, Courtney Smith.

Dickenson hopes to establish a regional mock trial with other historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), for more students to experience the ins and outs of a trial.

“We attempt to have HU attain a status among top HBCUs who send their students to law schools and help them become the greatest lawyers and judges they aspire to be,” said Dickenson.

-Mya Singleton