Bad Ideas, Law Schools, Ridiculousness

We’ve Already Mocked Michigan Law’s Secret Society, Now It’s Time to Mock Their Law Fraternity

It’s been quite some time since we’ve had the opportunity to openly mock Michigan law students. Well, actually, that’s not entirely true — after all, we did pass judgment on their so-so performance on their own state’s bar exam. But thankfully, these kids have given us another chance to chuckle at their expense.

Remember that not-so secret society they had? You know, the one that tried to prank the campus community by putting sheets with sloppy penmanship up on the roofs of the residential dorms? That was a total fake fraternity fail. But now we’ve got a “real” fraternity fail for you to feast your eyes upon.

It appears that students at Michigan Law are trying to re-live their college glory days of coolness (or pretend that those days existed in the first place) via one of their law fraternities. It’s actually kind of cute, because they think it should be like a real fraternity, complete with insane initiation rituals….

(Plus, check our our update with some relevant information from a current member.)

This is the Phi Delta Phi fraternity house at Michigan Law. Their chapter is the only law fraternity in the United States with an actual house, so they’re trying to make the most of it, perhaps as an avenue for College 2.0.

Now, if that were a college fraternity house, it’d be filled with booze, babes, and bongs. But since it’s a law fraternity house, they’ve got… books. Instead of fighting over who gets sloppy seconds on the guy or girl who’s become like a piece of furniture at the house, they’re fighting over outlines, highlighters, and note tabs.

But Michigan’s law frat apparently harbors dreams of becoming a real frat, because they’re making a really valiant effort to haze their initiates (who, by the way, had to complete a pretty tough application to be chosen for their elite ranks of membership, with questions like, “What is your favorite YouTube video?”)

A tipster emailed us to let us know that Michigan’s “law school frat is kind of out of control.” Here’s why:


  • Be in your rooms, with a pillowcase covering your head, by 6pm SHARP on Friday.
  • Collectively, as a group, you should have at least one flashlight with you.
  • Email me ASAP if you do not know how to swim.
  • By some point tomorrow there will be initiation-related materials in your mailboxes, including a contract. Please return a signed copy of the contract to my mailbox by 5pm on the day of initiation. Have all other initiation-related materials with you at 6pm on the day of initiation.
  • DO NOT ASK NON-INITIATES about any of these instructions. If you made it Michigan Law, you are presumably smart enough to understand a couple of simple instructions.

I will send out one more reminder email about initiation the day of. Most importantly, DO NOT BE LATE. We have a strict schedule of events, and in order for those of you that survive initiation to enjoy house dinner, we need to stick to our schedule as much as possible.

We know we’ve got some initiates reading today, so let us ask you this: did you think you’d be paying dues so upperclassmen could put bags over your heads and parade you around barefoot when the low temperature on Friday night is supposed to be 34 degrees? Sheesh, the things people will do for a résumé line. We wonder what the national organization will think about the Phid House’s initiation plans.

And on another note, really? Come on, if you’re going to be hazing your pledges, you should know better than to leave a paper trail — especially when it sounds like you’re planning on drowning your newest members.

Just kidding, they’re not drowning anyone. They’re taking adequate precautions for emergency preparedness:

From: [Pledgemaster Ma’am]
Date: Wed, Nov 14, 2012 at 1:43 PM
Subject: [lawopen] WTBorrow: Life jackets
To: “[Unofficial Law Listserv]”

Hi lawopen,

If anyone has a life jacket (or several) they would be willing to let me borrow for this upcoming Friday, that would be stellar–please let me know!


[Pledgemaster Ma’am]

Another thing that would be stellar: admitting to yourselves that this really isn’t worth the $75 initiation fee. But hey, if you want to join this law frat that’s masquerading as a real frat, then by all means, go right ahead. Just keep in mind that you may be wincing and saying, “Thank you, sir! May I have another?,” in the near future.

UPDATE (1:00 PM): Here’s some information from a current Phi Delta Phi member at Michigan Law:

As a member of the house I can assure you that the email was a joke. There is an initiation required by the national fraternity, but it does not involve life jackets. We have to say read some things about honor and service and then we go out to dinner. Its hard to imagine that anyone in the house took that email seriously.

Ahh, law frat humor at Michigan Law. That whole elephant walk thing was a joke, too. Promise, bro!

Earlier: Michigan Law Secret Society Openly Mocked

(hidden for your protection)

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