The word “fraternity” means a brotherhood, friendship among the members of a particular profession, group, or nation. Here, in this article, fraternity, particularly, is not used in its abstract form but it is used for association, organization. Although fraternity seems to be there among the people of a particular group but fraternity as associations, societies were being formed since the late 18th century. These fraternities serve as a helping society for a particular profession or group of students. These fraternities have their membership from the university or college students. In these, many alumni or practicing professionals are also members. Sororities are as same as fraternities, the only difference between them is gender. Sororities members are female. Fraternity generally is used as a general term means; both male and female can be its members. These fraternities often start from the university level, and spread to other universities, and get established at the national levels. They maintain their objectives, motto, rules, and regulations. There are the benefits and limitations of these associations. One of these fraternities is a legal fraternity. Legal fraternities are formed by law-affiliated people and law-affiliated students. Law students after entering universities start thinking to join these fraternities for the development of their carrier. All legal fraternities are clubbed together for this article.
OPPORTUNITIES IN LEGAL FRATERNITIES
Two are better one and four are than two. This proved to be true here. Legal fraternities provide many opportunities and good exposure to the newly admitted students in the law institutes. Newly admitted students get guidance and help from experienced members of the fraternities. There are many opportunities that a law student gets in these fraternities. Some are mentioned below.
1. Plan/ guidance to law journey- One of the most basic challenges to new law students is about their journey to the law field. Problems which are generally faced by students are about an internship, CV, competitions, and academics related. This is the basic benefit which the new students get from legal fraternities.
2. Honing of different skills- There are many fraternities for different skills like speaking, drafting, mooting, etc. Students who lack these skills and want to improve are welcomed in these fraternities.
3. Networking- The important thing which the lawyer needs is networking with different lawyers and firms for their good carrier in the law. This also can be developed through legal fraternities.
4.Internship/Placement- This is one of the greatest opportunities which the members get from the fraternity.
Every rose has thorns with it. So, to get the rose one to have to take care of these thorns. Similarly, legal fraternities also have thorns, one has to take care of these thorns to reap the benefits.
LIMITATIONS AND THEIR ENHANCEMENT
There are some negatives of legal fraternities that are needed to overcome. These societies generally face issues from the universities, members, and other relatable issues. These limitations which hamper the growth and proper functioning of the societies can be divided into two factors. First, factors from outside of these fraternities, and second, factors within the fraternities. Factors that affect the outside of these fraternities generally hamper the spread of these fraternities. Like, some universities do not allow students to indulge much in these fraternities and pay focus on academics. Other factors in this category can be the opinions of the peoples about these fraternities, culture in the local area where these fraternities are established. On the other hand, inside factors mainly hampers the proper functioning of the fraternity and which also hampers the growth of these fraternities.
These inside factors are the reasons for the outside factors. Factors like students tend to devote more time to activities, it also costs to participate in activities, the prevalence of hazing, bad behaviors among the members, basically affects the internal functioning of the fraternities. Improper behavior of the members or negative impacts on the studies resulted in the closing of chapters of fraternities in college or university. In common terms, a chapter is the branch of any fraternity in the university.
Just because of these limitations fraternities cannot be avoided in the universities. They provide the essentials which are needed in the afterlife of college in developing a carrier or may it be particular hobbies. Like, students who are members of the fraternity which provides free legal aid to the people who are in need. It is promoting philanthropic activities along also sharpens the skills of students. Other fraternities that work particularly on skills development like drafting, mooting also cannot be disregarded. Instead of removing these fraternities from the law schools, they needed proper regulation.
To enhance or increase the number of opportunities, rules, and regulations of the fraternities needed to be enhanced. To enhance the functioning of these fraternities, a model needed to adopt which takes academics and fraternity together, makes a balance between the two. A 5-point model can be adopted to resolve the prevailing problem. The model is-
1. Role of College/University- There is a need to adopt a continuum approach by law schools rather than a dichotomy approach i.e. College/ University should have some role in these societies rather than not having any role or directly banning the fraternity. Courts also have recognized the liability of students who are involved in the fraternity. Colleges/Universities are liable not only for the studies of students but also liable for the character or behavior of the students. Along with this, there should be a nominal role of college/universities in the fraternities. They should just maintain the role of the warden which is to maintain a timetable and behavior among the students. They should not peek into the rooms (fraternity) and disturb the functioning. Fraternities are student-led initiatives.
2. Leadership- A fraternity should have strong leadership. Without strong leadership, it will be difficult to keep the fraternity on track. The fraternity which does not have strong leadership or group of leadership often scatters into the pieces or not able to do the work for which they are developed. After all, the leader should be acceptable or the members follow him/her.
3. Rules & Regulations- There should be a proper constitution of the fraternity along with its objective and motto. This will help members to adhere to rules and regulations. Rules should be equal for all. They should not be oriented only towards the fraternity otherwise it can result in a clash between the college/university authorities and the fraternity.
4. Hereditary- Proper hereditary should be followed at all levels. There should not be any clash between the positions. Proper hereditary will allow the proper functioning of the fraternity at all levels.
5. Funding-At the last, everything stops on the funding. Fraternity should follow a simple approach to raise funds. First of all, fraternities should avoid unnecessary expenses otherwise it may cost fewer members. Along with it, fraternity should adopt appropriate ways to raise funds like entry fees but should keep the services charges low. The strength of the fraternity lies in the number of members and its proper functioning.
The near future of law schools cannot be imagined without these fraternities. The colleges/universities should be fraternity-friendly. These are the societies that can improve the whole law field by fielding a good number of law professionals with excellent skills. A fraternity developed at the starting remains long-lasting. It is not a thing that can be developed at any time. After all, the law field requires the fraternity among its practitioners for the proper deliverance of services and justice.
1. Joining a Fraternity or Sorority: The Pros and Cons of Greek Life, The Best Schools (Feb. 12, 2019), https://thebestschools.org/magazine/joining-a-fraternity-or-sorority-real-pros-and-cons-of-greek-life/.
2. The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica, Fraternity and Sorority, Britannica (June 24, 2011), https://www.britannica.com/topic/fraternity-and-sorority.
3. Kenneth H. York, Legal Fraternities, 50, The Mich. Laws Rev. Ass. 1047.