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USC Gould School of Law Commencement Ceremony and Reception

Friday, May 10, 2019
USC University Village Great Lawn and Piazza

Congratulations class of 2019 USC Gould School of Law graduates! This year the law school will host two separate ceremonies with separate receptions. One for JD students and one for Graduate & International Programs (G&IP) students. Both events will take place on Friday, May 10, 2019 at the USC University Village Great Lawn and the USC University Village Piazza.

Note: G&IP ceremony is for students graduating with the following master’s degrees: Master of Comparative Law (MCL), Master of Laws (LLM), Master of Laws in Alternative Dispute Resolution (LLM in ADR), Master of Dispute Resolution (MDR) or Master of Studies in Law (MSL).

JD Schedule

5 - 6 p.m. - JD Reception in the USC University Village Piazza

6 - 7:30 p.m. - JD Ceremony at the USC University Village Great Lawn

G&IP Schedule

6:30 - 7:30 p.m. - G&IP Reception in the USC University Village Piazza

8 - 10 p.m. - G&IP Ceremony at the USC University Village Great Lawn


The USC University Village is adjacent to the USC campus. Click here for labeled campus map. Click here for a map of the USC University Village.

The JD and the G&IP commencement check-ins and receptions will take place at the USC University Village Piazza.

The JD and the G&IP commencement ceremonies will take place at the USC University Village Great Lawn.


JD students should arrive at the USC University Village Piazza no later than 5 p.m. to check-in and then enjoy the pre-ceremony reception.

G&IP students should arrive at the USC University Village Piazza no later than 6:30 p.m. to check-in and then enjoy the pre-ceremony reception.

Family members and friends of our graduates are invited to join the pre-ceremony receptions.

Keynote Speakers

JD Keynote Speaker
Jeh C. Johnson

Jeh Johnson is the former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security (2013-2017). Johnson has now returned to practice law at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, LLP, and is a member of the firm’s management committee. Johnson has been affiliated with Paul Weiss on and off since 1984, and he became the firm’s first African American partner in 1994.


G&IP Keynote Speaker
Ambassador Nina C. Hachigian

Mayor Eric Garcetti appointed Ambassador Nina Hachigian to be the first Deputy Mayor of International Affairs. Her office seeks to use and expand Los Angeles’ global ties to help bring jobs, economic opportunity, culture, visitors and the Olympics to the city.



The law school does NOT require tickets for the reception or the ceremony. Ceremony seating will be available for all family and friends.

Cap and Gown

Renting Info:

All graduates can place their rental orders for cap and gown online. The website is scheduled to be open February 13 (1st day of grad fest):

  • Graduates don’t have to pre-order their rental; the bookstore will have plenty of regalia available for walk ups beginning May 1st.
  • Pre-order and walk up orders are available for pick-up beginning May 1, 2019. Distribution of regalia will be held outside on the bookstore patio under the red tents. If you have pre-ordered your regalia, you’ll need your ID (student or government issued) and it always helps if you have your order confirmation from Herff Jones.
  • If you’re a walk up order, the bookstore will just need your height and weight.
  • All caps are one size fits all. Students can keep their cap and tassel as a souvenir.
  • If you are a JD student, please make sure you receive the RED doctoral gown, a DARK PURPLE (not lavender) hood and YELLOW (not black) tassel.
  • If you are an MCL, LLM, LLM in ADR, MDR or MSL student, please make sure you receive the BLACK master’s degree gown, a DARK PURPLE (not lavender) hood and a BLACK tassel.
  • Master’s degree regalia package is $89.99 – JD regalia is $109.99
  • Note: If you would like to receive your regalia sooner than May 1st, you will need to select the home ship option for an additional $16.95 fee when placing your order.

Purchasing Info:

  • All items are available for purchase by using this website: This includes masters and doctoral regalia.
  • JD students can purchase a Tam, if you prefer it over the red mortar board cap. This is the most popular item JD students usually want to purchase.


  • All students in all degree levels can wear sashes.
  • Standard sashes are $49.99, available in store and online at
  • Custom sashes price begin at $75. You can place custom orders online. Pick-up will be on the 3rd floor of the bookstore at the grad counter. You’ll receive an email once your sash is ready. You can also ship the sash to your home for an additional $15 fee.
  • All rented regalia should be returned directly after your ceremony.

Feel free to email questions to the bookstore grad team at

Correct Pronunciation of Your Name

For the JD ceremony, 3L Class President Tiffany Yadegar, will read your name as you walk across the stage to get your diploma. Tiffany will send an email to JD graduates if she has a question about pronouncing your name to ensure your name will be read correctly. If you have a name you think she might mispronounce, please email Tiffany at with your name phonetically spelled. If you like, include your telephone number and she will practice your name while you listen, or she will meet with you in person.

For the G&IP Ceremony, a name reader will read your name as you walk across the stage to get your diploma. On-campus students will have the opportunity to provide their name pronunciations at our upcoming End of the Year (Commencement) workshops. Please be sure to attend a workshop to ensure your name will be read correctly. For Online LLM or MSL students, your Student Advisor will follow up with you directly to obtain your correct name pronunciation.

Announcements, Diploma Covers and Rings

The law school will provide each graduate with ten (10) complimentary commencement announcements for the law school ceremony. Announcements will be delivered to JD student boxes in early April. On-campus G&IP students will receive their announcements after attending the End of the Year (Commencement) workshops. If you are an online LLM and MSL graduate, please request your complimentary announcements from your Student Advisor.

You will be given a complimentary diploma cover from the law school when you receive your diploma.

In addition, official graduation announcements, rings, and diploma frames are sold by Herff Jones and should be ordered through USC's Commencement Accessories webpage.


We strongly advise all graduates to wear flat, comfortable shoes in order to navigate the grassy area and the steps leading up to the stage.

Commencement will be held outside under a tent in the evening when temperatures are cooler. Guests may want to bring a light jacket.

Parking and Public Transportation

Parking will be available free of charge and is on a first come, first served basis. The closest parking to the USC University Village will be the Royal Street Structure and the USC Shrine Parking Structure. Click here for a campus map.

Disabled guests with blue, handicapped placards can park in designated handicapped parking spaces in any parking structure.

If you are traveling by public transportation the Metro Expo line is the best option. The Metro Expo line will be running on its usual schedule and stops immediately south of campus at Exposition Boulevard and Trousdale.

LA Metro will be running trains all day for commencement attendees to use. Fares are sold on TAP cards, so you'll need to buy them at ticket vending machines or from a Metro representative. For more help with planning your trip to USC via Metro, use the handy LA Metro trip planner.

Guest Seating

Guests will be able to secure seats on a first come, first served basis. We ask that your family and friends take only the seats they will use so that we are able to provide seating for everyone.

Law school staff members will be available to answer questions and direct your guests. Staff ushers will be identifiable by their USC Gould shirts.

Wheelchair Seating

If someone in your group will require wheelchair seating at the law school ceremony, please contact the law school Events Office in Room 313 no later than 12 noon on Wednesday, May 1, or call 213-740-3841 or email Wheelchair seating must be reserved through this office in advance and is limited to (2) people per graduate in an effort to accommodate all requests.

If your guest will require a wheelchair, you will need to provide one or rent one in advance. The law school and the University will not have wheelchairs.

Balloons and Air Horns

Balloons and air horns will NOT be permitted in the general area.


Professional photography service, Grad Images, will be at the ceremony taking pictures of each graduate. Several days after the ceremony, the photographer will send, via regular mail and email, free color proofs to each graduate with an offer to purchase prints.

Customer Service #: 800-261-2576
Customer Service Email:

Social Media

Please share USC Gould commencement photos and stories with #GouldGrad.

Rain Plan

The ceremony and reception will take place rain or shine. If the weather is so inclement as to be dangerous, a rain plan will go into effect. Details of the rain plan will then be posted on the law school website and an email will be sent to all graduates. If you have questions regarding inclement weather prior to event day, contact the law school Events Office at 213-740-3841.

USC's Main Commencement Ceremony

The USC main commencement ceremony is open for all 2019 law school graduates and will take place in Alumni Memorial Park on Friday, May 10, 2019 and begins at 8:30 a.m. Further information regarding the main ceremony can be found here.

You are not required to attend the University ceremony, but if you are a JD student and would like to participate in the main ceremony, please contact the law school Events Office at 213-740-3841 or at to register. G&IP students, who would like to participate in the main ceremony, may email to register.

Please note: the University has allocated a set number of seats for each school. Students must line up and walk in together as part of the ceremony if they would like to sit with their school and classmates. No late or walk-up seating will be allowed in the designated school seating areas on the morning of the event.

You can also attend the main ceremony as a member of the general audience. Seats for these sections are first come, first served.


For questions regarding commencement, please contact the USC Gould Events Office at or at 213-740-3841.



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