School of Law Commencement 2024

The Golden Gate University School of Law commencement ceremony brings together law students’ families, friends, faculty, and staff in an annual rite and singular celebration.

About the Ceremony

Date: May 9, 2024

Time: 7:00–9:00pm PST

Location: Davies Symphony Hall
201 Van Ness Avenue
San Francisco

The main entrance to the building is located on Grove St. between Van Ness Ave. and Franklin St. in San Francisco.

More detailed information about directions and parking can be found here.

Students must arrive by 6:00pm to check in, line up, and make sure they have properly put on their graduation regalia. Please see Student Check-In information.

Family and friends may not wait with students while they check in, line up, and proceed to stage. Family and friends will be permitted into the auditorium at 6:30pm. Guests who have notified us that they will need accommodated seating will be permitted to enter through a separate entrance and encouraged to take their seats between 6:00 and 6:30pm.

The ceremony will begin promptly at 7:00pm and will last about 2 hours. Please stay seated during the entire ceremony unless instructed to do otherwise. The venue states that food and drinks are prohibited inside the auditorium, and violators will be removed.

Keynote Speaker

More information will be available in the spring semester.

Student Speaker

The Graduation Committee would like to encourage all members of the graduating class of 2024 to become our next graduation student speaker. Share your thoughts, laughter, and sense of accomplishment; thank those who have helped us along the way; invoke and inspire in others the ideals and values of what it means to join the legal profession; and share our joy of achievement.

If you are interested in becoming a student speaker and representing the graduating class, please note the following requirements and deadlines: The speaker should submit a 2-3 minute speech (no more than 1 double-spaced page at 12 point font – if your speech goes beyond one page or the time limit, it will be rejected and sent back to you) in MS Word format to the graduation committee here by Friday, March 8, 2024.

By the end of March, the committee will review the speeches and invite a few finalists back to audition their speech before the graduation committee. Following the presentations, the committee will select one speaker to represent the entire graduating class.


Regalia for law students can be ordered here. Early Order Discount available through 2/17/2024 at 8:59pm PST. To pick up regalia at Grad Fair, order deadline is February 17, 2024. You can still order after February 17 but it will not be available for pick up at Grad Fair. Last day to order for Ship-To-Home is April 7, 2024.

MLS students only: please contact Sara Meeks at the Bookstore to order your regalia. Above deadlines apply.


GradImages will take professional pictures of the ceremony. Guests must remain in their seats and maintain the safety and dignity of this very important event. GradImages will take student photographs as they walk across the stage. On the back of the name card that students receive at check-in, they can indicate a mailing address or e-mail address. GradImages will mail or e-mail students a proof of their picture, which can then be purchased online.

Special Accommodations

If you are attending and need accommodations for you or your guests, such as wheelchair space or extra time to get to their seats, please contact We have requested certain seating arrangements to meet the needs of the guests. If your guests arrive the day of the event without prior arrangements, we cannot guarantee accommodations.

Stroller & Coat Check

Strollers are not permitted inside the auditorium. There will be a secured place to store strollers, and a venue staff member to watch over them during the ceremony. Before entering the auditorium, have your or guest’s stroller placed in the stroller and coat check-in area. Please make sure to pick up your or guest’s stroller immediately following the ceremony.

Graduates throw graduation caps into the air at commencement.

Student Check-in Information

Students must arrive by 6:00pm to check in, line up and make sure they have properly put on their graduation regalia. When you arrive, you will be instructed to check-in at a particular table depending on your last name and degree. You will receive a colored card with a name label on it. Beneath the label, you are to write the phonetic spelling of your name to assist the name reader. Please hold on to this card until you hand it over to the name reader during the graduation ceremony. If you have a particularly difficult name to pronounce, you may receive a call.

On the back of the name card is information from the photographer.

After you have checked-in, the staff will direct you to a robing area to put on your regalia. If you have not received your pre-ordered regalia prior to graduation day, you must contact the bookstore immediately. Please put on your regalia and be all ready to go. Line up for the processional begins at 6:30pm sharp.

Wearing the Cap & Gown

After check-in, you will be directed to the robing area. Staff will be available to help you with your regalia. Please bring safety pins and bobby pins to secure your cap and gown as necessary. Tassels should remain on the left since you already have received your undergraduate degree.

  • It is best to have your regalia ironed and ready to go when you arrive.
  • Please wear sensible shoes as you will be walking up and down stairs.

Honor Cords

JD students who are graduating with Highest Honors or Honors will receive honor cords to wear during the graduation ceremony. The Law School’s Highest Honors and Honors policy for JD graduates is as follows: based on cumulative GPAs as of the fall 2023 semester, Highest Honors will go to those students who were in the top 5% of their class. Honors will go to the students who were in the top 10% of their class. Eligible students will receive their honor cords when they check-in at the graduation ceremony.

Purses, Coats, and Other Personal Belongings

There is no place to put your personal belongings in the check-in area. Please bring to the check-in area only what you intend to wear as you walk across the stage, and have your family and friends hold on to any other personal belongings. The staff is not responsible for any lost or left behind items.

Lining Up & Walking

The processional will form at 6:30pm. JD, LLM and SJD graduates will line up in separate lines according to degree and program. Within each degree, the students will be lined up alphabetically by using the number labels on their cards. Students are to follow the directions of the marshals. The marshals will direct you into your lines, take you up the stairs and seat you. When it is your turn to receive your degree, the marshals will escort you up to the platform. You then will walk up the stairs, hand your card to the name reader, walk across the stage, receive your scroll, and walk off the stage and down the stairs on the opposite side of the podium. When you are off the platform, the marshals will again direct you back to your seat. Please show respect for your classmates who receive their diplomas after you by remaining quiet and orderly as you leave the stage and are guided back to your seat. You must return to your seat until the recessional.