UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State World Campus pre-law students have formed the first online undergraduate chapter of the international legal honor society Phi Delta Phi.
The 16 students who are charter members were inducted during a ceremony Thursday, Nov. 12, on campus. Two World Campus students attended in person, and four of the students participated through video-conferencing.
The chapter, which is open to students in the online bachelor of arts in law and society degree, was established to give the Penn State online undergraduates a way to learn more about the field and make connections with their peers.
“When I enrolled, I noticed that little to no social and leadership opportunities were offered for pre-law students,” said student Haley Hicks, the founder and president of the local chapter, also known as a hall. “My goal in establishing our hall is to give students a way to leverage the honor society so that students have the means to communicate and work together to prepare themselves for the highly competitive field of law.”
Hicks, who came from her home in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, to attend the ceremony, said she plans to go to law school after she graduates from Penn State and work as a criminal defense lawyer.
Hicks has been working as an intern to establish the chapter under the direction of Diana Gruendler, the chapter’s faculty adviser and lead faculty member of the law and society program.
Gruendler said one of the chapter’s first projects will be to help develop a website for advising the online undergraduates in the law and society major as they look toward going to law school.
“We’re trying to create a comprehensive support system that didn’t exist for online learners who are going to professional schools,” she said.
In addition to Hicks, Nicholas Schuck attended in person and Joy Garcia, Edwin Warford, Dustin Mack and Chantal Louvet joined in online.
For more information about the bachelor of arts in law and society program, visit its website.