Delta Theta Phi (ΔΘΦ) is a professional law fraternity and a member of the Professional Fraternity Association. Delta Theta Phi is the only one of the two major law fraternities to charter chapters (senates) in the United States at non-American Bar Association-approved law schools. Delta Theta Phi can trace its roots to 1900 at the then-named Cleveland Law School. Delta Theta Phi has initiated more than 136,000 members across the country and in several other nations.
Delta Theta Phi is the only law fraternity with an authoritatively recognized law review, The Adelphia Law Journal. Membership is the only requirement to submit a note for consideration for publication.
The governing body for the fraternity, called the Supreme Senate, has overseen the operation of the fraternity since 1913. The Supreme Senate was originally composed of seven elected officers until a student was added to the board to assure a more complete student representation. In the 1970s, a second student position was added. On Saturday, August 5, 2017, At the 60th Biennial Convention in New Orleans, LA the International Senate elected the following members to serve as the Supreme Senate for the 61st Biennium:
Delta Phi Delta was founded at the Cleveland Law School of Baldwin University, September, 1900, by C. E. Schmick, E. Quigley, F. W. Sinram, J. L. Barrett, W. F. Mackay, J. H. Orgill and Arthur Born. It went national with the establishment of Beta Chapter (now Harlan-McKusick Senate) at the University of South Dakota School of Law in 1904. Delta Phi Delta's Magazine was the Syllabus, first published in 1911. Delta Theta Phi now uses that name for the newsletter distributed to elected members of the administrative organization.
Alpha Kappa Phi was founded at the law school of Northwestern University October 6, 1902. Seeking to secure the advantage of an earlier date of origin its founders took the name of an old undergraduate fraternity called Alpha Kappa Phi which originated at Centre College, Ky., in 1858 and established a number of chapters in the South, the last one of which at the University of Mississippi became a chapter of Beta Theta Pi in 1879, becoming extinct a few years later. They also sought to secure some sanction for their conduct by securing permission of the living members of the extinct society to such assumption of their abandoned name. But it is obvious that no expedient of this kind could alter the actual date of the organization of this fraternity or serve as a basis for a claim to an earlier date than 1902.
The fraternity became national in 1904 with the installation of the Beta Chapter at Illinois College of Law (now the Warvelle Senate at DePaul University College of Law).
Theta Lambda Phi was founded February 18, 1903, at the law school of Dickinson College by Thomas S. Lanard and Walter P. Bishop. The first chapter was founded as the Holmes chapter with permission of Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.. A representative of West Publishing when visiting the law school learned of the formation of the fraternity, and the next issue of the Docket (published by West) announced the organization of Theta Lambda Phi as a new national law Fraternity. Students at the Detroit College of law, after seeing the article formed the Cooley chapter to actually make the fraternity national. In November 1903, Theta Lambda Phi started 'The Paper Book' as its official form of communication. Delta Theta Phi still uses that name for its official publication mailed to all members.
Sigma Nu Phi was founded in 1903 at National University School of Law. In 1916, Sigma Nu Phi started publishing The Owl.
Chapters as of 1920 were
Delta Theta Phi merged with Sigma Nu Phi (founded 1903) in 1989, taking all of Sigma Nu Phi members into membership and gaining The Adelphia Law Journal, giving Delta Theta Phi its own authoritatively recognized law review.
As of 1920, the following chapters existed, with fourteen having been established after consolidation
Notable initiates of Delta Theta Phi Law Fraternity include four U.S. Presidents (Theodore Roosevelt, William Taft, Calvin Coolidge, and Lyndon B. Johnson), Robert Menzies, an Australian Prime Minister, nine Chief or Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, including among them Edward Douglass White, Jr., Charles Evans Hughes, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., Harry Blackmun, John Paul Stevens, Sandra Day O’Connor, and William K. Suter, Alfred Lawrence, 1st Baron Trevethin, a Lord Chief Justice of England, 33 current or former U.S. Senators and 77 current or former U.S. Representatives and at least one state representative (Illinois) David Ivar Swanson.