Raven Francomano '22, Most Outstanding Student in the Nation, and Professor Dwight Duncan, Most Outstanding Professor in the Nation
Raven Francomano, JD '22 with her Most Outstanding Student in the Nation Award and Professor Dwight Duncan, who was named Most Outstanding Professor in the Nation by law fraternity Delta Theta Phi.
Feature Stories 2021: UMass Law chapter of Delta Theta Phi wins record number of awards at national convention
UMass Law chapter of Delta Theta Phi wins record number of awards at national convention

National awards include Most Outstanding Student Senate, Most Outstanding Professor for Professor Dwight Duncan, and Most Outstanding Student for Raven Francomano, JD ‘22

At the 62nd Biennial Convention for Delta Theta Phi Law Fraternity International in Tulsa, OK, the Larkin Senate (UMass Law chapter) won six awards, a record number of awards won by a student senate since the law fraternity’s founding more than 100 years ago.

Delta Theta Phi is a professional, co-ed law fraternity with roots that date back to 1900. With more than 136,000 members throughout the world, the organization assists with professional programs, charitable and service programs, and academic opportunities. The fraternity offers a forum for law students, lawyers, and other members to network, exchange ideas and knowledge, and create lifelong professional affiliations and personal friendships. 

Members include four former U.S. presidents and nine U.S. Supreme Court justices and is the only law fraternity with its own authoritatively recognized law review, Adelphia Law Journal, that provides all student members an opportunity to be published. Student members are also members of the international professional fraternity with alumni and student members in all 50 states and many foreign countries.

The Larkin Senate was among 100 student senates across the nation to submit nominations, which were evaluated and voted on by the Supreme Senate (Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, Master of Rolls, Master Inspector, Master Scholar, Master Alumnus, and Marshal).

The UMass Law chapter won the following awards:

  • Most Outstanding Alumnus in the Nation: Teresa Marie, JD ’20
  • Most Outstanding Student in the Nation: Raven Francomano, JD ’22
  • Most Outstanding Professor in the Nation: Professor Dwight Duncan. Professor Duncan is also an initiated Brother of Delta Theta Phi Law Fraternity.
  • Most Outstanding Student Senate in the Nation: The Honorable Francis J. Larkin Senate (UMass Law Chapter). Each student senate is evaluated by the Supreme Senate based on their recruitment, professional development activities/events, networking development activities/events, academic contributions, and charitable events.
  • Most Outstanding Networking Event in the Nation: Virtual Anything But Cups ("ABC") Happy Hour. This was a virtual happy hour event where attendees could bring any beverage of their choosing, but no cups were allowed. The best "cup" won a prize.
  • Most Outstanding Professional Event in the Nation: Delta Theta Phi Implicit Bias Training (Co-sponsored by the UMass Law Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee and the UMass Dartmouth Office of the Chief Diversity Officer & Title IX Coordinator). This event was an intersectional implicit bias training led by Professor, Chief Diversity Officer, & Title IX Coordinator David Gomes. The objective of this event was to teach Delta Theta Phi members about implicit bias, how it affects the legal community, and how to combat our own implicit biases.

In addition to representing the Larkin Senate as the outgoing dean (president), Francomano was selected to serve as an assistant to the chancellor at the Delta Theta Phi International Office.

“It was such an honor to attend the 62nd Biennial Convention to receive these awards on behalf of the UMass Law chapter of Delta Theta Phi,” said Francomano. “This international recognition is a monumental occasion for our chapter and for our campus. We hope this recognition will provide the law fraternity with increased visibility and a larger presence on the UMass Law campus as we continue to provide invaluable social, professional, and academic resources for our law students.

“Following nearly three semesters of remote learning, professional fraternal relationships are more important now than ever,” added Francomano. “Moreover, this recognition provides us with the opportunity to self-reflect and accept feedback on how we can continue evolving our 121-year-old organization to be more inclusive and serve as a useful resource for our law students.”

Photo of six glass awards
The Larkin Senate won six national awards at the 2021 biennial convention, a record number of awards won by a student senate since the law fraternity's founding more than 100 years ago.

121-year-old organization offers law students programming and networking opportunities

The Honorable Francis J. Larkin Senate was founded at Southern New England School of Law (now UMass Law) in 1992. The chapter continued when UMass Law was established in 2010 and was named for the Honorable Francis J. Larkin, founding dean of Southern New England School of Law, a Massachusetts judge, and Delta Theta Phi alumnus.

Student members at UMass Law have access to social, professional, and academic programming and can receive scholarships, awards, and prizes. They also have ample networking opportunities with fellow members, UMass Law faculty, UMass Law alumni, and Delta Theta Phi alumni.

The Larkin Senate is currently the largest student organization at UMass Law.  The chapter hosts several collaborative events with other student organizations to foster relationships with colleagues outside of the organization. Members can serve on the Executive Board and work with the UMass Law and UMass Dartmouth administrations, as seen when coordinating with Professor Gomes for the Virtual Implicit Bias Training.

Some notable Delta Theta Phi alumni include:

  • Calvin Coolidge, President of the United States
  • Lyndon B. Johnson, President of the United States
  • Theodore Roosevelt, President of the United States
  • William Taft, President of the United States
  • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Supreme Court of the United States
  • Sandra Day O’Connor, Supreme Court of the United States
  • Sir Robert Gordon Menzies, Prime Minister of Australia
  • 33 current or former U.S. Senators 
  • 77 current or former U.S. Representatives