Live Commencement on May 15, 2020 has been canceled. We apologize for any inconvenience or disappointment.
Please see more details in an excerpt from an email Dean Erwin Chemerinsky sent to the law community on March 23 for more information. We will keep this page updated as new details become available.
Dear Graduating Berkeley Law Students,
I have just learned that there will not be a live commencement ceremony on Friday, May 15. The Chancellor and Provost have decided that the public health emergency means that there cannot be live commencements for any schools on campus this May. This, of course, is not a surprise in light of live commencements being cancelled all over the country for this spring.
I know that commencement is an enormously important event in the lives of students and their families, as it is to the Berkeley Law faculty and staff who have gotten to know you during your time here and who look forward to celebrating with you. We want to explore other options, including a possible virtual commencement on May 15 and a live ceremony at another time (perhaps in conjunction with alumni weekend in the fall, or in December, or even in May 2021).
I will create a small committee comprised primarily of graduating students (J.D., J.S.D., LL.M., and Ph.D.) to solicit views from the graduating students and make recommendations. I want very much for our graduating students to be involved in this decision. I am so sorry that we cannot do a live commencement on May 15, but I regard this as a postponement not a cancellation and want to do all we can to celebrate our wonderful graduating students and their accomplishments.
Please take care and be safe!
Date: Friday, Live Commencement on May 15 has been canceled
Keynote Speaker: TBD
Faculty Speaker: TBD
Commencement will be held at the Hearst Greek Theatre. Tickets are required.
|7:30 a.m.||Graduates arrive at the School of Law and check-in to receive a name card. Please assemble at the fountain in Kroeber Plaza between the School of Law and Kroeber Hall directly across the street from Caffe Strada.|
|7:30 a.m.||Gates open at the Hearst Greek Theatre for guest seating.|
|8:30 a.m.||Processional leaves the Law School.|
Graduation ceremony begins.
Tickets and Guests
All commencement guests much have a ticket to enter the theatre. Each graduating student will be allotted 8 tickets per person. If students wish to have more than 8 tickets, we will make available any remaining tickets a week before commencement on a first-come, first-served basis. Students must pick up their tickets from the Office of Student Services. Students away from Berkeley Law for their final semester can contact Student Services at (510) 643-2744 for tickets. The capacity of the Greek Theatre is approximately 7,000 seats (although approximately 2,000 of those are lawn seats – guests sitting on the lawn should bring a blanket or towel). The Greek Theatre gates will open an hour and a half before the ceremony (at 7:30 am). All patrons entering the Greek Theatre will be required to walk through metal detectors at the entrances to the venue. Please ensure that your guests arrive early enough to allow for this new security step and to ensure that you are in your seat and ready for the performance on time! The highest attendance for a law school commencement was just under 4,000 people, so please be assured that there will be plenty of seating for everyone.
For wheelchair seating at the Greek Theatre, please email Kyle Valenti, the Senior Director of Student Services at Berkeley Law, or call him at (510) 642-3263. The Senior Director of Student Services also serves as the contact person for any other disability accommodations (e.g.: sign-language interpretation). Please reach out as soon as possible with any accommodation requests.
Guests with disabled parking placards/plates can park in the Bowles Lot on a first-come, first-served basis for a fee. All designated disabled spaces and non-reserved spaces will be available at the Foothill Lot and Lower Hearst Lot for a fee for cars with disabled parking placards/plates on a first-come, first-served basis. Guests needing drop-off for accessibility reasons can be dropped off at the top of the Bowles lot but would have to go to another lot to park if they do not have a disabled parking placard. Note that there is a curbside drop-off area on Gayley Road just north of the Greek Theatre entrance for passengers with mobility disabilities who prefer to minimize the travel distance to the Greek Theatre. Please e-mail Kyle (email@example.com) if you need access to the Bowles lot for accessibility reasons.
Check back here in the Spring for regalia ordering information!
The Greek Theatre is an outdoor venue and guests should bring clothes and supplies in case of inclement weather. Commencement is a rain-or-shine event, so please be prepared to sit outside in uncomfortable weather. We recommend that audience members and graduates dress in layers and be prepared for varying weather.
We suggest that graduates and guests take public transportation or carpool if at all possible. Parking will otherwise be available for a fee at all campus parking lots, with the closest parking lots being the Foothill Lot and the Underhill Lot. Parking is also available for a fee at the Maxwell Field Lot, which is privately owned.
Guests with disabled parking placards/plates can park in the Bowles Lot on a first-come, first-served basis for a fee. All designated disabled spaces and non-reserved spaces will be available at the Foothill Lot and Lower Hearst Lot for a fee for cars with disabled parking placards/plates on a first-come, first-served basis. Note that there is a curbside drop-off area on Gayley Road just north of the Greek Theatre entrance for passengers with mobility disabilities who prefer to minimize the travel distance to the Greek Theatre. Please e-mail Kyle (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you need access to the Bowles lot for accessibility reasons.
Driving directions to the law school and campus are available here.
Guests are welcome to take photographs during the processional and ceremony as long as they do not block the walkways. Each graduating student will have his or her photo taken by a professional photography company twice during the ceremony. JD students should visit Student Services to fill out a name card. LL.M. students should visit the ADP office to complete their name cards. Name cards will be returned to students at check-in tables at the Law School on the day of the ceremony. Graduates carry this card with them to the commencement ceremony and, during the ceremony, hand it to the faculty announcer. After the ceremony, the name cards are given to the photographers who will mail proofs within one week of the ceremony.
At the graduation ceremony, graduates will receive a ceremonial scroll in lieu of an actual diploma. Approximately 4 months after your graduation date, you may obtain your diploma in person at the Office of the Registrar, 120 Sproul Hall, or you may request to have it mailed to you. Further information is available on the UC Berkeley Registrar’s Diploma Website.
LOCATION: Berkeley Law courtyards and Rooftop Terrace
TIME: 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
Graduates should be sure to complete the online employment survey before the end of spring semester, which will be added here closer to the date of commencement. This type of information helps us improve on the advice we give to alums and future and prospective students. If you encounter any difficulties in filling out the survey, please contact Liz Granlund at email@example.com (for the JD survey) or the ADP Office at firstname.lastname@example.org (for the LL.M. survey).
Berkeley Law treats this information as confidential. The employment information will be released only in an aggregated statistical format — with no individual identifying information — on its website and to national surveying entities such as NALP, U.S. News and the American Bar Association.
For those JD grads still in the job market, please make an appointment to see one of our attorney-counselors — we want to know the type of work you are looking for so we can watch for opportunities for you and work together on a plan to individually assist you in landing a position. LL.M. and JSD alumni can contact email@example.com.
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