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Class Day

May 22, 2024

The Class Day Program is a celebration of the achievements of the graduating class, with speeches, a presentation of awards, and a keynote address from the HLS Class Day Speaker.

  • 2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.: Class Day Ceremony, Holmes Field

    The Class Day ceremony is a celebration of the achievements of the graduating class, with speeches, a presentation of awards, and a keynote address from the Class Day Speaker.

    A livestream of the ceremony will be available on the HLS Commencement landing page.

    Tickets are not required.

  • 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.: Class Day Reception, Caspersen and Crossroads Patios

    A casual reception for degree candidates and their guests.

    Tickets are not required

Commencement Day

May 23, 2024

Commencement Day is comprised of the University Morning Exercises, where the Harvard President and the University Commencement Speaker deliver their addresses and  the President confers degrees, and the Law School Diploma Ceremony, where Law School Dean John F. Manning presents diplomas to each graduate.

  • 9:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.: University Morning Exercises, Tercentenary Theatre

    The Harvard University President and the University Commencement Speaker deliver their addresses and the President confers degrees.

    Please note that the start and end time of Morning Exercises is tentative until confirmed by the University.

  • 1 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.: Law School Diploma Ceremony, Holmes Field

    Law School Dean John F. Manning presents diplomas to each graduate.

    Please note that the start and end time of the HLS Diploma Ceremony is tentative until the University confirms the schedule for Morning Exercises. The HLS Diploma Ceremony will begin following the conclusion of University Morning Exercises.

    A livestream of the ceremony will be available on the HLS Commencement landing page.


Essential Information

  • Tickets

    Class Day – May 24, 2023

    • HLS expects to be able to allow unlimited guests for Class Day programming. Tickets are not required to attend.

    Commencement Day – May 25, 2022

    • Each graduate will receive two (2) guest tickets to the University-wide Commencement ceremony. 
    • HLS expects to be able to allow unlimited guests at the Law School Diploma Ceremony. Tickets will not be required.
  • Televised Broadcasts & Webcasts

    The University Commencement Program may be viewed via live webcast on harvard.edu or Comcast 283 in metro Boston.

    The Law School Class Day and Diploma Ceremonies will be livestreamed and captioned through Harvard Law School Commencement homepage.

    In addition, the Harvard University Commencement Exercises and the Law School Diploma Ceremony are televised and captioned live in Wasserstein Hall, rooms 1010, 1015, and 1019.

  • Photography

    GradImages will be photographing the Law School ceremony and will be taking professional photos of the graduates as they receive their diplomas. They can be reached by phone at 800-261-2576 or by e-mail at service@gradimages.com.

    We ask that guests who wish to photograph their graduate do so in a way that does not obstruct the view of other guests.

  • Severe Weather Plan

    May can be a rainy month in Cambridge. In the event of rain, the ceremony will remain outside. We encourage you to bring umbrellas if the weather looks threatening.

    If the Severe Weather Plan is in effect, you will be notified by signs posted around the Law School campus and at the Information Tent. Commencement staff will also disseminate information around the campus.

Getting Around

  • Parking & Transportation

    Parking during Commencement Week is extremely limited and traffic around Harvard Square will be quite congested so guests are encouraged to use public transportation or taxi services. Questions should be directed to the University Parking Office at 617-495-3772 or parking@harvard.edu. Guests in need of transportation may use Uber® or Lyft® or call to arrange a taxi in advance.  The Class Day reception should end by 6:00 p.m., the Commencement Day ceremony should end by 2:30 p.m. A taxi can meet you at the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and Everett Street, which is near the North entrance to Wasserstein Hall (1585 Massachusetts Avenue).

    In addition, there is a taxi stand and an MBTA “T” Station (subway—Red Line) in Harvard Square, directly across the street from Harvard Yard.

  • Security

    Guests will be screened for the ceremonies and are strongly discouraged from bringing bags to the events. All items are subject to search. No strollers will be allowed in Harvard Yard. Degree candidates must have their student IDs visible. Degree candidates will not be admitted to any of the ceremonies on Commencement Day without their Harvard Law School ID.

Guest Support

  • Guests with Disabilities

    Students and guests in need of disability accommodations for Class Day or Commencement Day may request accessibility accommodations for yourself or your guests through the HLS Accessibility Office. A form will be provided to degree candidates in the coming months.

    On Class Day and Commencement Day, Accessibility Services staff members will be available in the Information Booth to assist with accommodation inquiries and requests.

    Please reach out to accessibility@law.harvard.edu if you have any additional questions.

  • First Aid

    If there is an emergency, call 911. All guests requiring medical attention may visit the First Aid station located across from the Information Tent between the Caspersen Student Center and Hauser Hall.

  • Nursing Facilities

    Nursing facilities will be available for guests and attendees who would like access to a private space for the purpose of nursing or pumping. Please visit the Information Booth for access and additional information.

    Please feel free to email commencement@law.harvard.edu in advance with any questions.

  • Lost & Found

    Any found items will be collected and held at Holmes Hall, Room 4 (1st Floor, Facilities). Following the ceremony, guests may inquire about lost items at the HLS Facilities Office by phone at 617-495-5521 or e-mail at facmgmt@law.harvard.edu.

  • Questions

    The Information Tent is conveniently located on Kumble Plaza, between Wasserstein and Hauser Hall.

    Law School Commencement Staff will be available around the Law School campus to assist with questions during the Class Day and Commencement ceremonies. Look for the crimson polo shirts!

Helpful Hints

  • What to Wear

    Business casual attire is common dress for the Commencement ceremonies and guests are advised to wear shoes appropriate for walking on grassy areas. In May, the weather in Cambridge is unpredictable, so guests should plan for a range of temperatures and weather conditions. A jacket and umbrella will come in handy. All ceremonies are held outdoors, except in the event of severe weather. For more information on Harvard Law School’s severe weather plan, please see our Severe Weather Plan Info Tab.

  • Flowers for Graduates

    Anyone who wishes to purchase flower bouquets on the Harvard Law School campus for a graduate will be able to do so on Commencement Day.

    There will be a flower tent located behind Austin Hall on the path between the University Ceremony and the Law School Diploma Ceremony, and another located directly across from the Information Tent.

    Bouquets can also be pre-ordered at https://www.thecommencementgroup.com/harvardlaw/.

  • Lunch & Refreshments

    Boxed lunches are available at the HLS Diploma Ceremony, however, guest lunch tickets must be purchased in advance. A link to purchase guest lunch tickets will be provided to degree candidates later this spring.