Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA

General Information

Current Students may find specific details, forms and important dates related to Commencement on the MySouthwestern portal.

Commencement Reception - Details

Commencement Ceremony

Place, Date and Time Stoles
Parking Photographs
Handicapped Students and Guests Legacy Graduates
Processional Line National Anthem
Air horns, Confetti and Balloons Student Speaker
Program Class Rings
Announcements, Invitations
and Tickets
Graduation News Releases
Caps and Gowns Questions

Commencement Reception

Southwestern's Commencement Reception will be held on Friday, May 19, 1:00 - 3:00 p.m., on the Southwestern Campus. Each graduate and four guests are invited to a reception with faculty and staff, and are welcome to tour the campus, including the Leigh H. Taylor Law Library.

Commencement Ceremony

Place, Date and Time

The Commencement Ceremony will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, May 21 at the Shrine Auditorium, 665 West Jefferson Boulevard in Los Angeles (see map PDF).


Parking is available in the 32nd Street parking structure, which is located on the corner of 32nd Street and Royal Street, directly north of the Shrine Auditorium. In addition, guests may park in the West Lot located on Royal Street, directly west of the entrance to the Shrine Auditorium (see map PDF). Please note parking fees are approximately $10 - $15.

Handicapped parking is available for disabled students or guests in the 32nd Street parking structure. A Department of Motor Vehicles handicapped placard must be displayed in vehicles utilizing handicapped parking.

Handicapped Seating

Reserved seating will be available in the Shrine Auditorium for disabled students or guests. A handicapped seating form must be returned to Southwestern's Administrative Services Office by Friday, February 6 to arrange for reserved handicapped seating. Handicapped guest seating is fully ramped and located on the ground level.

There will be a sign language interpreter present at the ceremony who will be located on the right side of the stage. Special seating located directly in front of the interpreter will be provided for hearing impaired guests. Students should contact the Administrative Services Office to make seating arrangements for your hearing impaired guests who would like to be seated in this area.

Processional Line

Program and alphabetical order is utilized for the graduate processional line to help your family and friends know when you will be receiving your diploma and to facilitate photographic and videotaping opportunities.

Airhorns, Confetti and Balloons

Graduation is an important, memorable event for Southwestern graduates, families, guests, trustees, faculty and staff. For this reason and to ensure that each graduate's name is clearly announced and heard by the audience, air horns are not permitted in the auditorium. We request that graduates inform their guests that air horns are not allowed in the auditorium.

Southwestern is approved by the Shrine Auditorium to use its facilities for the law school's annual Commencement Ceremony. To insure continued future use, we request that graduates and guests refrain from the use of confetti, streamers and balloons while attending the ceremony.


The Commencement Program lists graduates in alphabetical order in order of degree, with LL.M. graduates listed first, followed by J.D. graduates. Those students who made the Dean's List as well as other honors and board memberships during law school will be identified in the program as well.

Announcements, Invitations, and Tickets

The Commencement Announcement and Invitation are  substantially different despite having similar layouts and artwork. Announcements state the pertinent information concerning graduation (e.g., degree awarded, date degree received, etc.) and are sent to individuals who will not be attending the ceremony. Personalized announcements may be ordered through March 31, 2017.

Invitations are not personalized and are sent to individuals who will be attending the ceremony. Commencement Invitations and Guest Tickets are distributed to each graduate at the Grad Fair in April. Ten invitations are provided to each graduate. Students may order tickets by completing a guest ticket request form - each guest must present a ticket for entrance into the Shrine Auditorium. Tickets are required for small children needing their own seat. Students are asked to only request the actual number of tickets needed - requested tickets will be provided based on availability and will be distributed during the cap and gown distribution at the Grad Fair in April.

Caps and Gowns

Graduates may order their cap, gown and hood in the Administrative Services Office. Orders must be placed by February 3, 2017 and involve completing a form and measuring for cap size. Orders are placed with the Collegiate Cap and Gown Company and will be available for pick-up at the Grad Fair in April. If a student is unable to pick up their cap and gown, a friend or relative may pick it up for them. Written authorization must be received by the Administrative Services Office (W100) prior to the distribution dates in order to make these arrangements. Please note that after the Grad Fair, cap and gown pick-up will only be available on Fridays in W100.

Immediately following the Commencement Ceremony, the cap, gown and hood must be returned to the Collegiate Cap and Gown Company representative located outside the main entrance of the Shrine Auditorium. The Collegiate Cap and Gown Company will bill students for the full purchase value for any items which are not returned after the ceremony.


Stoles may be purchased for $20 by graduates who have been on the Dean's List or completed the participation requirements in any of the following academic co-curricular honors or extra curricular service programs: Moot Court, Negotiation, Trial Advocacy Honors Program (TAHP), Law Review, Journal of International Law, Journal of International Media and Entertainment Law, the Student Bar Association Board, and The Commentator. Graduates who have participated in multiple academic groups may purchase the appropriate stoles. Stoles will be distributed during the Grad Fair in April.


The law school has made arrangements with a professional company to photograph the graduates. During the ceremony, a photographer will take pictures from the stage of each graduate receiving his/her diploma. The photographer will email ordering information directly to graduates approximately five days after the Commencement Ceremony.

National Anthem

Graduates with singing experience are invited to audition to sing the Star Spangled Banner at the Commencement Ceremony. To qualify, the graduate must be a December 2016, January 2017, May 2017 or July 2017 candidate, complete an Audition Form by 6pm March 1, 2017, and be prepared to sing the Star Spangled Banner acapella. Auditions are performed before a panel of judges.

Student Speaker

Graduates are invited to apply to be the Commencement Student Speaker. To qualify, the graduate must be a December 2016, January 2017, May 2017 or July 2017 candidate, currently be in good academic standing, and plan to be present at the Commencement Ceremony.

For consideration, students must submit an application and a copy of the speech to the Administrative Services Office by 6pm on March 1, 2017, and be prepared to present the speech to the graduation speaker committee, if selected as a finalist. The speech must be the student's original work and may not exceed 5 minutes. The selection criteria is based on quality of draft of speech, substance of speech, representation of graduating class, academic achievement, service to Southwestern student body, community service and quality of oral presentation.

Class Rings

A Jostens representative will be on campus for class ring orders during the Grad Fair in April.

Graduation News Releases

Southwestern's Public Affairs Office sends news releases regarding a student's graduation to hometown papers and/or undergraduate alumni newsletters if a news release form is completed and submitted to their office. The releases are sent out after the official graduate list has been finalized.


The Administrative Services Office is open Monday - Thursday, 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. and Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. to assist students with Commencement questions or arrangements. Emails regarding Commencement may be sent to