About USC Gould
USC Gould is a top-ranked law school with a 115-year history and reputation for academic excellence. We are located on the beautiful 228-acre USC University Park Campus, just south of downtown Los Angeles.
Learn about our rigorous and interdisciplinary curriculum, our invaluable experiential learning opportunities, and the breadth and depth of our specialized areas of concentration and certificate offerings.
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USC Gould School of Law Commencement Ceremony and Reception
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Friday, May 11, 2018
USC University Village Great Lawn and Piazza
Congratulations class of 2018 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 11, 2018 at the USC University Village Great Lawn and the USC University Village Piazza.
Note: G&IP ceremony is for students graduating with a 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).
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
6:30-7:30 p.m. - G&IP Reception in the USC University Village Piazza
7:30-9:30 p.m. - G&IP Ceremony at the USC University Village Great Lawn
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.
JD Keynote Speaker
Frederick J. Ryan, Jr.
Frederick J. Ryan, Jr. (USC BA 1977, JD 1980) is Publisher and CEO of The Washington Post and affiliated publishing businesses. During his time at The Washington Post, it has been recognized for excellence in journalism with multiple Pulitzer Prizes, and named by Fast Company Magazine as the "World's Most Innovative Media Company."
G&IP Keynote Speaker
Ambassador Lamia Mekhemar
Ambassador Lamia Mekhemar, Consul General of Egypt in Los Angeles, took her current post in September 2015.
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
Graduating students must rent regalia from the USC Bookstore:
- Beginning May 1, 2018, go to the third floor "supply desk" at the USC Bookstore and inform the staff that you are a graduating law student. Note: your order cannot be placed before May 1.
- A bookstore staff member will take your measurements (height, weight, and cap size) before giving you your regalia.
- 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 LLM, LLM in ADR, MDR or MSL student, please make sure you receive the BLACK master's gown, a DARK PURPLE (not lavender) hood and a BLACK tassel.
- Regalia rents for approximately $100.
- Note: Graduates from the Online LLM and Online MSL may purchase their cap and gown rentals online. This information will be sent directly to you by your Student Advisor.
Correct Pronunciation of Your Name
For the JD ceremony, 3L Class President, Amir Shakoorian, will read your name as you walk across the stage to get your diploma. Amir will send an email to JD graduates if he has a question about pronouncing your name to ensure your name will be read correctly. If you have a name you think he might mispronounce, please email Amir at email@example.com with your name phonetically spelled. If you like, include your telephone number and he will practice your name while you listen, or he 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. 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 students in the Online LLM or MSL, 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 late March. G&IP students will receive their announcements after attending the End of the Year (Commencement) workshops.
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.
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.
If someone in your group will require wheelchair seating at the law school ceremony, please contact the law school Events Office in Room 475 no later than 12 noon on Tuesday, May 1, or call 213-740-3841 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
STA Travel is the official travel agency for commencement and can be reached by calling 800-495-5832. They have negotiated discounted rates with airlines, hotels, and rental cars. We recommend that you contact them early to arrange your travel needs.
Please share USC Gould commencement photos and stories with #USCGouldGrad.
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 2018 law school graduates and will take place in Alumni Memorial Park on Friday, May 11, 2018 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 email@example.com to register. G&IP students, who would like to participate in the main ceremony, may email firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com or at 213-740-3841.
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