Commencement Information 2017


Congratulations on your upcoming graduation from Notre Dame Law School. We are excited to celebrate your achievements and hard work, and are honored to share this memorable occasion with you and your families.

The Commencement page will give you updated information about Commencement Weekend and important due dates. We will be making updates as graduation gets closer, so please continue to check back. Follow us on Facebook (Notre Dame Law School) and Twitter (@NDLaw), with #NDLS2017 for late-breaking updates.

NDLS Commencement Weekend 2017 Schedule

Awards Ceremony — Friday, May 19


2:30 p.m.        Awards Ceremony
                       Washington Hall
                       Due to limited seating, this event is by invitation only.

3:00 p.m.        Refreshments
                       Eck Atrium
                       Photographer will be available after 3:30 p.m.

Law School Ceremonies — Saturday, May 20

9:30 a.m.         Law School Prayer Service
                        Basilica of the Sacred Heart
                        Tickets required

                        Law School class picture on the steps
                        of the Main Building immediately
                        following the service.

10:30 a.m.       Brunch
                        Eck and Biolchini Halls of Law
                        Please enter either west or north doors of Eck, or the north or east doors of Biolchini.
                        Tickets required

12:30 p.m.       Law School Diploma and Hooding
                        Joyce Center North Dome, enter Gate 3
5:00 p.m.         University Commencement Mass
                        Joyce Center Purcell Pavilion

University Ceremonies Day — Sunday, May 21

9:30 a.m.         University Commencement Ceremony
                        Notre Dame Stadium
                        Tickets required for guests.

Doctoral Attire Rentals

Law graduates wear doctoral attire, which includes a gown, hood, tam, and souvenir tassel. Students should order their gowns online through ND Catalog. If you haven’t ordered your gown yet, you’ve miss the April 28 deadline. The rental fee is $128, plus a late fee of $35 if you order the week of commencement. You also risk limited availability for rentals.

Students may pick up gowns between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thursday or Friday, May 18 or 19, at Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore.

You must return your gown to the bookstore between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday, May 21, or between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, May 22-25. If your gown is not returned by Thursday, you will pay a fee of $15 the first week it’s late, $25 the second week, and $35 the third week.

Email questions to or call 574-631-1399 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Be a part of the University of Notre Dame tradition by wearing the Stole of Gratitude and presenting it to those who have made a significant difference in your life.

The Proper Way to Wear Commencement Regalia

Full Regalia The full doctoral robes, cap, and hood.

The traditional doctoral robes signify your achievement in graduating from Notre Dame Law School. The following instructions will help you make sure your robes, cap, and hood are worn correctly.

Lower Button

After you zip up your robe, you will notice a small black button about six inches below the top of the zipper on the inside of the robe – that’s for the cord at the front of your hood.

Once you put your hood on, make sure the point of the hood meets the top of the front the robe. You should wear your hood to the Prayer Service, but you should carry your hood on your arm, velvet edge toward your wrist, to the Hooding Ceremony.

You also need to clasp the blue cord between the two buttons at the top of the inside of the robe, as well as the black hook-and-eye clasp.

First Clasp Second Clasp Back Button

Have a friend check to make sure your hood is draping evenly down your back, and that the loop just below your shoulder blades is hooked over the corresponding button to keep the hood from slipping. This button needs to be unbuttoned prior to the Hooding Ceremony.

Your cap should sit with the tassel toward your right shoulder. You do not need to remove your cap for the Hooding Ceremony.

Ticket Distribution

Tickets are not necessary for the Law School diploma ceremony or the University Commencement Mass.

Tickets for the Sunday University Commencement Ceremony will be available at the Hammes Bookstore on May 18 from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and on May 19 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Tickets for Friday’s Awards Ceremony and Saturday’s prayer service and brunch are available Tuesday, May 9, and Wednesday, May 10, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in 1335 Biolchini. Brunch tickets are $8.50 per person and are payable either by check or exact change. Students may request a maximum of four tickets for the prayer service.

2017 Awards Ceremony

Awards Ceremony Friday, May 19

Washington Hall

Graduating Notre Dame Law students will be honored with awards for activities ranging from academic performance to service to the Notre Dame and greater community. This event is by invitation only. Seating is limited for guests due to the size of the venue. Business attire is requested.

1:30 p.m.     Graduates check in at 2nd floor lobby of Washington Hall.
                    Students will be provided a seat number.
                    Ushers will assist in finding seats, if needed.
                    Guests may sit in any available seat except the student areas.

2:30 p.m.     Awards Ceremony begins in Washington Hall.
                    Ushers will assist students to queue to the stage by rows.
                    As your name is called, go up the stairs to receive your award from Prof. Huber.
                    Then proceed to recognition by Dean Newton, where a photographer will take your picture.

NDLS Commencement Ceremony

Law School Ceremonies Saturday, May 20

9:00 a.m.        Graduates assemble outside of Biolchini Hall of Law on the north side in full academic attire for prayer service.
                       Basilica of the Sacred Heart opens to guests (tickets required)

9:15 a.m.        Academic Procession to Basilica of the Sacred Heart

9:30 a.m.        Law School Prayer Service begins at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart
                       Law School Class Picture immediately following on the steps of the Main Building

10:30 a.m.      Brunch begins in Eck Hall (tickets required)

12:00 p.m.      Graduates assemble in alphabetical order within degree and in academic attire in Joyce North, Gate 3.
12:30 p.m.      Law School Diploma and Hooding Ceremony begins in the north side of the Joyce Center North Dome.

2:00 p.m.        Estimated completion of Ceremony

4:20 p.m.        Students assemble in Joyce Center Gyms for University Commencement Mass

4:30 p.m.        Academic Procession for the University Commencement Mass begins

5:00 p.m.        University Commencement Mass, Joyce Center

Instructions for the Prayer Service

At 9:00 a.m., report to the north side, near flagpole, of Biolchini Hall to line up in two lines on the north and south sides of the sidewalk (in any order). Law School staff will arrange you in two rows shortly before leaving for the Basilica.

Wear the tassel on the right, front. Wear your hood to the prayer service. Here is a short description and photos to show how to wear the regalia. Staff will be available to assist you with questions about regalia.

Upon entering the Basilica, we will process up the left side aisle (west aisle) to file into the pews. Professors Brinig and Robinson will direct you into the pews. There will be six graduates in the short pews and eight in the long pews. Be seated while your classmates file into pews. Please stand when the professors are processing. Professors Brining and Robinson will let you know when to stand.

If you have a reading or singing part in the ceremony, please proceed promptly to your station at or before the appropriate time.

For the recessional, follow the faculty out of the church starting with the graduates on the center aisle in the first pew. Each pew should follow in order. Stay in procession to the steps of the Main Building for the class picture.

Brunch is available at Eck Hall of Law starting at 10:30. (Bring your brunch tickets!)

Please remember to share photos you like with us via email or #NDLS2017. It will contribute to a Commencement Storify!

Instructions for the Diploma and Hooding Ceremony

At 12 p.m., line up within gate 3 of the Joyce Center in alphabetical order beginning with a J.S.D.and LL.M candidates in single file. Next, in alphabetical order in two lines are J.D. candidates from A-L on the left and a second line from M-Z on the right. Signs will be posted to guide you and Law School staff will arrange you.

Wear the tassel on the right, front.

Do NOT wear the hood.

UNBUTTON the back of the hood so that it is easier to slip over your head at the time of the hooding.

Carry the hood over your right arm. The velvet side should face your wrist; the larger satin side should face your upper arm.

We will process into the Joyce Center to file into the rows directly behind the faculty. Professors Brinig and Robinson will direct you into the rows. Be seated while your classmates file into rows. Professors Brinig and Robinson will let you know when to stand during the faculty processional.

When it comes time for the hooding, do not stand up until your entire row is directed to do so. Exit the row to the right, crossing the center aisle if necessary.

Stay on the right side of the stage and ascend the steps when Law School staff directs you to climb the steps. Make sure your hood is unbuttoned and hand it to Peter Horvath. It is not necessary to remove your cap.

When you reach the faculty member hooding you, face the congregation with your back to him or her.

After he or she hoods you and pats your shoulders, walk to the center of the stage to receive your diploma from Dean Newton. Then exit via the left (west) side of the stage, stop on the X for a photo to be taken, and then return to your row via the west aisle.

For those of you being hooded by a family member: Parents (or other family members) should proceed promptly to the right side of the stage at or before the student’s name is called. Parents should exit the stage on the left as did their graduates.

The faculty will recess after the ceremony but graduates will not.

University Commencement Mass and Ceremony

commencement page image

University Ceremonies Saturday, May 20

3:45 p.m.        Law Students Assemble for
                       Academic Procession for
                       Commencement Mass
                       Joyce Center Gyms
                       doors open at 3:30 p.m.

4:30 p.m.        Academic Procession begins
                       Joyce Center Purcell Pavilion

5:00 p.m.        University Commencement Mass
                       Joyce Center Purcell Pavilion
                       Overflow—North Dome (live video screens)

University Ceremonies Sunday, May 21

7:15 a.m.        Law students assemble for Academic Procession for University Commencement
                       Enter the north entrance of Hesburgh Library
                       Law School Banner carrier students are in front of the line

9:00 a.m.        University Commencement Procession

9:30 a.m.        University Commencement Ceremony, Notre Dame Stadium

11:30 a.m.      Estimated completion of Ceremony

University Commencement Security

Guests are encouraged to arrive early due to expected delays as everyone will be required to pass through security checkpoints operated by U.S. Secret Service personnel. All attendees must have a ticket for admission. Guests can enter beginning at 7 a.m. through Gate A on the stadium’s northeast corner and Gate C on the south end.

Many common items will be prohibited at Commencement, including umbrellas; purses or bags larger than 12 by 12 by 12 inches; personal seatbacks; backpacks; signs or banners; unopened packages or gifts of any kind; containers including bottles, cans or thermoses; coolers; grocery bags, tote bags, duffel bags and more.

Attendees are encouraged to carefully check their belongings before entering the security checkpoint lines.

For more detailed information about the security measures visit Commencement Security.

Transportation and Parking

Please visit the University Transportation and Parking page for updated information.

Commencement Video


Beginning with the 2017 Commencement ceremonies, the University will no longer record and produce DVDs for sale afterward. This year, some of the ceremonies will be broadcast live online, and some portions will be uploaded to the University’s YouTube page. More information can be found here. DVDs from past commencements can still be purchased at that link.