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What’s What Law Student Handbook

Commencement

Also see: Commencement information from the Registrar

J.D. students may graduate in May or January. L.L.M students may graduate in May, August, or January. The Registrar will prepare a list of students meeting graduation requirements approximately a week before the graduation date. The actual degree dates for May, August, and January will be set each year by the Registrar and the Associate Dean for Student Affairs.

All students who are eligible to graduate must complete a graduation application online via WebAdvisor and return the form to the Registrar by a date set by the Registrar each year, in the Fall semester of the academic year in which the student wishes to graduate. Each individual student is responsible for keeping track of whether she/he is on track in meeting the graduation requirements. A form is available online or a student may go into WebAdvisor at any time to audit his/her transcript before the final year. Each student is urged to monitor her/his own progress toward graduation. Graduation requirements can be found by clicking here.

J.D. students must complete all requirements for graduation by the end of the last day of exams in the Fall semester (for January graduates) or the Spring semester (for May graduates), unless the Associate Dean for Student Affairs or a supervising faculty member has approved a different deadline that allows the faculty member to submit a grade by the due date for graduating students. Final grades in the spring, for students graduating in May, are due approximately one week before commencement. Grades for all Degree Candidates in all classes are entered and final grade point averages are computed by the Tuesday before graduation.

At commencement, the May or January graduate(s) with the highest cumulative G.P.A., may be asked to present the “Reflections of the Graduates” speech.

If the student is the subject of a disciplinary hearing, or the grade point average is below the minimum required for graduation, at the time of the commencement, the Dean may determine that the student is not eligible to participate in the ceremony. The student will be notified as quickly as possible if he or she will not be allowed to participate.

All students who have completed the requirements for graduation the previous January, or who have completed those requirements by the final day of the Spring semester exam period, may participate in the commencement ceremony.

A J.D. student who plans to finish their degree before August 31 can petition the Associate Dean for Student Affairs to participate in the May commencement ceremony. Participation in the graduation ceremony by students who plan to finish their degree before August 31 is purely ceremonial and does not constitute a representation by the law school that they will successfully complete the requirements for graduation. 

L.L.M. students who, in the Dean’s estimation, are reasonably likely to have completed the requirements for graduation by August 1 may also participate in the commencement ceremony. Participation in the graduation ceremony by prospective August L.L.M. graduates is purely ceremonial and does not constitute a representation by the law school that they will successfully complete the requirements for graduation.

If a student has not fulfilled all graduation requirements by the final day of the exam period (unless a special arrangement has been made, as discussed above), then his/her degree date will be postponed to the next graduation date. When the degree requirements have been completed, certification of completion of program may be sent to state bars or other parties by the Registrar. The date of the degree however, will be that of the next graduation date.

A student who has completed all graduation requirements but who has not yet graduated may also request a certification of completion of program from the law school for his or her own use (for example, to provide to prospective employers).