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Graduation Ceremony Logistics

Congratulations! Finishing law school is a tremendous accomplishment. We look forward to celebrating with you and your family and friends at the Law School’s diploma ceremony and University Commencement.

The Law School’s diploma ceremony, at which graduates get their actual diploma, will be held on Saturday, June 16, at 11:15 a.m. on the lawn in front of the Law School. A reception follows in Crocker Garden. Stanford University Commencement, at which degrees are actually “conferred,” will be held Sunday, June 17, at 9:30 a.m. in Stanford Stadium. Tickets are not required for either event.

This 2018 Graduation Website is the place to find all information about graduation, including parking, disability access, what to wear, and more. More information about graduation can be found on the University Commencement website.

Stanford Law School’s Diploma Ceremony will be held on Saturday, June 16 at 11:15 a.m. in Canfield Courtyard.

The Dean's Reception will follow immediately after the ceremony in Crocker Garden.

Cap & Gown Ordering Information

All graduating students are required to wear a cap and gown at the Law School’s graduation ceremony. The bookstore will take orders through May 8 (2017 deadline; 2018 deadline TBD). JD students should order the doctorate package (the ‘doctor law’ package will come with a mortarboard, the regular ‘doctor’ package will come with a tam), and LL.M. students should order the master package. Make sure to enter ‘law’ in the comment field in order to get the correct hood.



Is there a graduation rehearsal?

Not really, although your class officers will meet with the graduation staff to make sure we’re all on the same page. In brief, the ceremony proceeds as follows:

You march in single file, then fill in the rows. You will sit alphabetically by degree program — JSD, JSM, LLM (CGP), LLM, (ELP), LLM (IELBP), LLM (LST), JD. The class marshals and staff will direct you to stand at the appropriate time. Advanced Degree students will proceed to the stage by program but JDs will proceed to the stage only one row at a time.

When you get on stage, you will hand Associate Dean Jory Steele the card with your name on it. (This is the card that will be at your seat in room 290 or 280B, depending on whether you are a JD or an Advanced Degree student.) Dean Steele will read your name. You will cross the stage and shake Dean Magill’s hand. She will hand you your diploma. You will go back to your seat. At the end of the ceremony, you will be directed out after the faculty processes out. As you leave the seating area, please walk all the way to the building. Otherwise, things tend to clog up.

When do I have to show up on Saturday and where do I go?

The Law School’s Diploma Ceremony starts at 11:15 a.m., so you need to arrive at the Law School, 2nd floor of the classroom building, by 10:15 a.m. on Saturday, June 16. Your family will be able to start sitting for the ceremony at that time too.

How do I put on that cap and gown I paid so much money for (and picked up from) the bookstore? Or why are you making me show up at 10:15 on Saturday?

Be sure to open up the package containing your regalia and at least let your gown hang for awhile (or even iron it) because it will be a mass of wrinkles if you don’t. Also be sure that you have a gown, a hood, and a tassel. JDs and JSDs have gold tassels. LLMs and JSMs have black tassels. The hoods are different colors as well. JDs have purple velvet and red satin, LLMs and JSMs have light blue velvet and red satin, while the JSDs have royal blue and red satin.

We will have bobby pins, safety pins, mirrors, sunscreen, etc. at tables on the second floor on Saturday morning. We will also have people to help you with your hood.

By 10:45, we will have split up JDs (into room 290) and advanced degree students (into room 280B). There will be index cards set out for you in alphabetical order. Please take a seat where your card is located. We want to make the ceremony goes well (i.e., we want to start on time and we want to make sure you get the diploma with your name on it), so it is important that we know who is attending and who is not; the cards at the seats will help that. When you leave the room, bring your name card with you; you will hand it to the reader when you get on stage. You will process out from the classroom building to Canfield Courtyard for the ceremony. The procession starts with the faculty, then advanced degree graduates, then JDs.

When will the festivities end?

The ceremony usually lasts about an hour and a half and no more than two hours. The reception will last another hour and a half or so.

What should I wear under my gown?

It is likely to be warm, so wool is a bad idea, as is wearing a suit jacket under your gown. You can wear anything from nice clothes to t-shirt and shorts and flip flops under your gown. Unless you’re doing something afterwards, there is no reason to dress up. Dress to stay cool.

Do I need to bring anything?
Yes, you must bring your Stanford ID. Also, you cannot participate if you are not in a cap and gown. At each graduate’s seat, we will place a program and a bottle of water. Your guests can pick up programs and bottled water as they enter.
What do I do with my purse/suit jacket during the ceremony?

Leave your purse/suit jacket with a family member or in your locker or do not bring one. You will not want to carry/wear it under your regalia, and we aren’t able to ensure the security of the rooms given all that is going on that day

What should my family wear?

Business or business casual or summer garden party – so dresses or slacks for women and suits or sport coat and slacks for men are the norm.

Where does my family park?

Parking Structure #6 (the garage under Wilbur Field).

How do I/they get to Parking Structure #6?

FROM HIGHWAY 101 Take the Embarcadero Road (West) exit. Embarcadero turns into Galvez right after El Camino. Turn left on Campus Drive (the first stop sign after the stadium), and proceed toward the Law School. You will see signs directing you to Parking Structure #6/Law School Graduation parking. Turn right into the Wilbur parking lot and follow the signs to Parking Structure #6.

FROM HIGHWAY 280 Take the Alpine Road exit and proceed east. Turn right at the first traffic light (Junipero Serra) and left at the second light (Campus Drive East). Proceed past the Law School to the fourth stop sign. By then you should be seeing SLS signs. Turn left into the Wilbur parking lot and follow the signs to Parking Structure #6.

Is there any help for elderly or disabled people?
Yes. Golf carts will be available near Parking Structure #6, at the corner near the elevators closest to the Law School, to shuttle anybody with mobility concerns to the ceremony. Please let Holly ( know if anyone in your family will need special seating. In order to accommodate guests using wheelchairs, or those with other disability-related needs, we request only one companion per seat.
What if I have family who can’t sit in the sun forever?

We will have covering for the stage and all the seats that the graduates will be sitting in. The covering will extend and will cover most guests but not everyone. We will try to situate as many of the other seats under the trees and umbrellas as we can; but, unfortunately, some seats will still be in the sun. If the shade is not sufficient for your family member, the upper breezeway will be open. So, people who are feeling too hot are welcome to go to either place to get out of the sun for awhile. The ceremony is amplified, so they should be able to hear.

Also, we will have plenty of water both for you and your guests. There will be a bottle of water under each seat for graduating students.

When is University Commencement?

Stanford University’s Commencement ceremony is Sunday, June 17, at 9:30 a.m. in Stanford Stadium (on the corner of El Camino and Galvez).

What do I need to do participate in Commencement?

Keep your regalia from Saturday and show up at Masters Grove by 8:45 a.m. on Sunday. Look for the Law School flag. More information can be found at the Commencement website.

Why should I participate in University Commencement?

It is a true Stanford experience. As your friends who were undergrads here can tell you, the undergrads will entertain you with their “Wacky Walk.” The Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band (LSJUMB) plays at the end. Plus, this is when your degree actually gets conferred. Dean Magill will be on stage to ask that all of the candidates for JD, JSM, JSD, LLM stand when it comes time to confer law degrees. It would be embarrassing if no one were there. You get an interesting speaker. You get some time in the sunshine, and you get one last official chance to be a Stanford student because after that, you are alumni.

How do I share the thrill of graduation with my friends who cannot make it?

Communications feels that, in the land of iPhone apps, tech start-ups and social networks, it only seems natural that you should end your time here at SLS by tweeting. So, if you use Twitter, you and your family can use the hashtag #SLSgrad2018 throughout graduation day and share your thoughts and pictures with the SLS community.  The ceremony will also be videotaped and posted to the website in the near future.

Does my family need to rush the stage with their cameras or can I order a photo of me as I get my diploma?

Your family can remain comfortably in their seats. Staff from Grad Images will take individual photographs of you as you receive your diploma. They will hand out order information while you are getting ready, and will answer any questions you have. After the ceremony, you will be able to go on-line, view your photograph and place your order.

Will I have one last chance to buy Stanford Law School apparel?

Yes you will. SLA will be selling apparel during the reception. Bring cash or check.

What were those things you told me I should do as a new alumna/us?

Go to for a checklist of things you should do as a new graduate.  We encourage you to take advantage of these and many other opportunities to stay in touch with each other and with Stanford Law School after graduation.

I’m getting all misty, when will I have a chance to see everyone again?

In early December, in the Moot Court room at Stanford Law School, we will host a state and federal Swearing-In Ceremony for all of you who pass the July California Bar exam.  Please watch for your invitation to the ceremony in the fall.  We hope to see you and your family and friends for this special event.

For Families and Friends

Getting Ready to Graduate 8

Get information regarding eateries and lodging near Stanford University.

Get driving instructions, parking suggestions and walking directions from the parking structure to the commencement site. Download campus map.

Review accommodations and available resources for family members and guests with mobility concerns and disabilities.