Below, find information for guests and visitors to Yale Law School Commencement activities.

Details for Guests


COVID-19 Policy: The Law School follows University policy, which requires that Commencement guests be fully vaccinated (children under five are exempt) and boosted (if eligible), carry documentation, and be prepared to share their documentation if asked. Masks are required at the ceremony. Visit the University website for more information.

Yale is monitoring the spread of COVID-19 closely and is consulting with local, state, and federal agencies and experts at the university to safeguard the health and safety of students, faculty, and staff.

We will post any updates regarding commencement on this webpage. In the meantime, we encourage you to follow precautions for your well-being and to review Yale’s COVID-19 website for the latest information.

All Yale Law School degree candidates are invited to participate in Commencement activities. 

The Class of 2022 will be celebrating on Monday, May 23.

There are two distinct ceremonies that comprise Commencement. The University Commencement takes place on Old Campus in the morning and the Law School ceremony is held in the Lanman Center at Payne Whitney Gymnasium beginning at 12:30 pm (doors open at 11 am). Registration is required for the Law School commencement ceremony. 

All attendees (graduates and guests) must:

  1. register to attend by Saturday, April 30
  2. be fully vaccinated and boosted
  3. carry and provide vaccination and booster documentation while on Yale campus
  4. carry and provide a government-issued photo ID while on Yale campus

There is no limit on the number of guests. The participants in both ceremonies wear caps and gowns.

University Commencement

Class of 2022: Monday, May 23 at 10:30 a.m.
Old Campus
All university degrees are formally conferred during the Commencement ceremony on Old Campus. During the ceremony, the  deans formally present their approved candidates to President Salovey. The president, in turn, confers the degrees and admits new graduates to each degree’s “rights and responsibilities.” Student marshals accept symbolic diplomas from the president on behalf of their colleagues. The ceremony lasts approximately 1 hour 15 minutes.

Diploma Ceremony

Class of 2022: Monday, May 23
12:30 pm, doors open at 11 am
Payne Whitney Gymnasium
The diploma ceremony for Yale Law School takes place immediately after the University Commencement. The ceremony includes a few speeches including remarks by the dean and a faculty member selected by the class. This ceremony lasts approximately two and a half hours. Masks are required at this indoor event.

 

The University Ceremony (Rain or Shine)

  1. All graduating law students and faculty should gather in the SLB main hall with the front of the line at the Grove Street door. We will line up in pairs in the following order: Dean Gerken; the faculty; the student marshals and finally, the degree candidates in the following order: J.S.D. candidates; LL.M. candidates; M.S.L. candidates; Ph.D. candidates, and J.D. candidates. Within any category you may pair up with anyone else; students who want to sit together should march behind/in front of each other.  The Mattatuck Drum Corp will line up outsie the same door. The MDC leads the procession up Grove toward York, Wall, and then onto Cross Campus. 
  2. After the undergraduates and the Corporation party have left Cross Campus, the graduate and professional schools procession (including the Law School group) will follow them through the Noah Porter Gate, across and up Elm Street and then down High Street, entering Old Campus through the High Street Gate.
  3. Once we arrive at Old Campus, all degree candidates should take seats as directed. Please fill up every row completely and sit down immediately upon finding a seat. There is no particular order of seating during the University ceremony. Don't worry about keeping the same partner for the exiting march B you can pair up with anyone when we leave Old Campus. 
  4. Procedure: During the symbolic awarding of degrees, when Dean Gerken begins to address the President, the student marshals proceed (without batons) to walk to the ramp leading to the stage (to the right side as you look at it). When Dean Gerken says, "I have the honor to present candidates…for the degree of …, …in number," the degree candidates designated rise and put on their caps at the words "in number." When the President says, "I confer upon you the degrees…and admit you to all their rights and responsibilities," the student marshals go onto the stage to receive the symbolic diplomas. When our Dean tips her cap to the President and resumes her seat, the degree candidates sit down without waiting for the student marshals to return to their seats.
  5. Dean Thompson will lead the Recessional march off of Old Campus through the High Street Gate. Once you leave Old Campus, please proceed directly to the Lanman Center at Payne Whitney Gymnasium. Once you enter the Payne Whitney Gymnasium through the main entrance, turn right toward the John J. Lee Amphitheater. There will be signs and law school volunteers directing you to the appropriate location. Ushers will direct you into the Amphitheater to line up alphabetically by the degree you will be receiving (e.g. J.D.s should line up with J.D.s, LL.M.s with LL.M.s, and so forth), so that you can be checked off on the attendance list. Please instruct your parents and friends to go directly into the Lanman Center at Payne Whitney Gymnasium to find seats for themselves immediately following the University ceremony.

The Law School Ceremony

  1. Following the University Commencement exercises on Old Campus, law students will process from the ceremony held on Old Campus and march directly to the Lanman Center at Payne Whitney Gymnasium. Masks are required at this indoor event. Once you enter the Payne Whitney Gymnasium through the main entrance, turn right toward the John J. Lee Amphitheater. There will be signs and law school volunteers directing you to the appropriate location. Ushers will direct you into the Amphitheater to line up alphabetically by the degree you will be receiving (e.g. J.D.s should line up with J.D.s, LL.M.s with LL.M.s, and so forth), so that you can be checked off on the attendance list. The order of entrance into the Lanman Center will be as follows: J.S.D, LL.M., M.S.L., Ph.D., and J.D. candidates. 
  2. The Law School ceremony will include the reading of each degree candidate's name. Ushers will direct you by row to move to the stage. You will cross the stage when your name is called. This is, of course, a photo opportunity for family and friends. You may want to place the tassel of your caps on your right side, since the photographer* will be facing your left side as you proceed across the stage. (*GradImages will take individual photos of all who participate in the Commencement Ceremony. It will be possible to order photographs from their website.)
  3. After the ceremony, weather permitting, we will host a reception in the Goldman Courtyard of the Law School. This is an opportunity to mingle with faculty, members of the administration, family and guests, and to take lots of photographs! 

The Yale Law School commencement ceremony will be live streamed. It will also be broadcast live in the Yale Law School building, as will the Yale University ceremony. 

May 14 ceremony

May 23 ceremony

You may request a wheelchair rental for guests on a first come first served basis.

To make disability arrangements, please contact Dean Mike Thompson.

Please find information on accommodations on the Yale Commencement website.

All university parking lots are open on Commencement day, but parking will be at a premium, and meters will be monitored. Traveling and parking within the city of New Haven is always challenging on Commencement Day. Please plan ahead and allow plenty of time to travel to and around campus that day.

Additional information can be found here:
http://commencement.yale.edu/transportation

It can be mild and sunny or cold and rainy in Connecticut in May. Recent Commencement weekends have had both weather extremes, so flexibility and practicality are good planning principles. Dress with an eye to the weather and comfort. The University ceremony is held outdoors; the Law School ceremony is held indoors. Low heels or flats are appropriate for navigating the grass and mulched pathways of Old Campus. Rain gear, including water-impervious footwear, is important; and rain ponchos are preferred over umbrellas so sightlines are not blocked. Sunglasses and hats may also be useful. A jacket and tie or collared shirt and sports jacket is appropriate men’s attire for most events. On graduation day, it is recommended that students wear clothing with pockets, comfortable heels (if they choose to wear heels), and a shirt with a button to make it easier to tie their regalia.

All bags will be checked at gates and no bags larger than 12x12 will be allowed. 

Looking for graduation gifts? Vendors selling fresh flowers will be available on site. You can also purchase hats, t-shirts, umbrellas, and other Yale memorabilia from the Yale University Bookstore and Campus Customs.