The first law fraternity chapter in the Law School's history will open today after two years of efforts by the international association to elicit student participation.
The opening will make Harvard one of the last law schools in the country to start a chapter of Phi Alpha Delta (PAD), the nation's second largest legal association--second only to the American Bar Association.
Steve Clark, president of the international fraternity and Attorney General for Arkansas, said yesterday that the chapter will aim to "bridge the gap between law school and the professional world."
PAD offers an international placement service and numerous programs including a federally-funded juvenile justice program through which law students teach primary and secondary school students about the law.
In the long run, the latter program "pays for itself ten times over," Clark said, because it teaches youth "when they're still forming their values."
Corliss C. Stone, president of the chapter and a third year law student, said that the charter members saw PAD's "impressive" programs as useful for students' future careers.
The fraternity is open to "all who are interested and academically qualified," Clark said, adding that the fraternity has accepted Blacks since 1948 and women since 1971 when PAD merged with Phi Delta Delta, the national law sorority.
The 164th chapter opening at Harvard today will be named after George L. Ruffin, the first Black graduate of the Law School.
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