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Law School

Friday, May 8, 2020

Law School
Main Commencement Ceremony

9:00 am, Alumni Lawn
Graduates arrival time: 8:25 am

Law School Hooding/Diploma Ceremony

10:30 am Curry Field
(adjacent to the Law School between the Law school and Wilson Hall)
Graduates arrival time: 10:30 am


Graduates from August 2019December 2019 and May 2020 are eligible to participate in Commencement ceremonies on May 8, 2020. This includes the Main Ceremony on Alumni Lawn, followed by the Law School Hooding/Diploma Ceremony on Curry Field. You will receive email messages from both the University Registrar and the Law School about confirming your attendance and other important information. Messages will be sent to your permanent (non-VU) email address as specified on your intent to graduate form. Please reply to all messages when requested. The Law School will continue to contact graduates until we receive a response. 

A reception honoring graduates will be held on Thursday, May 7 in the Law School (North Lobby) from 3:00-4:30 pm. All graduates are invited along with their family and guests. Light refreshments and beverages will be served.

The best way to find information and stay up-to-date on day of changes is to download the Vanderbilt App for Apple or Android phones. Be sure to turn on notifications for last minute alerts of potential venue changes due to inclement weather.



All graduating students must order and wear regalia (cap, gown, hood) in order to participate, and are responsible for ordering it through Vanderbilt University.

Please note:  The deadline for ordering regalia is April 3, 2020.  

Students must pick up their regalia at the upper level of Barnes and Noble at Vanderbilt, located at 2525 West End Avenue, across from Centennial Park, on Wednesday and Thursday, May 6th and 7th, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm. Please bring a photo ID, or allow someone to present your Vanderbilt ID to pick up your regalia on your behalf.   Regalia will not be available on Alumni Lawn .

Law School Reception

Graduating students and their guests are invited to attend an Open House hosted by the Law School. This reception takes place in the Law School North Lobby from 3:00-4:30 pm on Thursday, May 7th. 

Main Commencement Ceremony

The Main Ceremony takes place on Alumni Lawn (Memorial Gymnasium in case of severe weather, see Commencement app). Law students should arrive at the area between Cole Hall and Sarratt Student Center by 8:25 am. where they will line up by degree. The procession begins promptly at 9:00 am.  When released from the Main Ceremony, law students should walk to the Law School for the Law School Hooding/Diploma Ceremony. Additional instructions and maps can be found on the Vanderbilt Commencement website. 

Hooding/Diploma Ceremony

An integral part of the Diploma Ceremony is the hooding of graduates. All graduating students and faculty will line up alphabetically outside of the "V Doors" of the Law School immediately following their release from the Main Ceremony. Staff will be there to assist. The procession to Curry Field will begin at 10:30 am. The hooding is preformed by two appointed law faculty members. 

Guest Seating

Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis in “designated” guest areas under the tent (white chairs are for guests). Reserved seating for individuals with special needs is located to the side of the tent. Contact the VLS Department and Alumni Office to make arrangements:

Important Instructions:

  • Please keep ALL aisles clear at all times for the processional/recessional.
  • Please refrain from cell phone use during the ceremony.
  • Smoking is strictly prohibited inside or around the tent area.
  • Pets are prohibited other than official service animals.


All graduate candidates drape their hood over their left arm. They walk onto the stage, stop in front of the hooding platform, then face the audience. The hooder takes the hood from the candidate and places it over the candidate's head and across the shoulders. After being hooded, graduates walk across the stage to shake the Dean's hand and receive their diploma. 


A professional photographer takes photos as graduates are hooded and shake hands with the Dean. As a courtesy to all in attendance, please ask your guests to refrain from advancing to the front of the stage area to take photos. After the ceremony, the stage is available for additional graduate and guest photo opportunities.


Curry Field is located adjacent to the Law School between the Law School and Wilson Hall. Please refer to this map.


Parking for all guests and participants is available at the 25th Avenue Garage, Kensington Garage, Terrace Place Garage, and Wesley Place Garage.

Champagne Reception

Following the Law School Hooding/Diploma Ceremony, champagne will be served in an adjacent tent for graduating law school students and their guests.