[ Makenzie Way, 3L at the University of Pennsylvania ]
If you’re anything like me you love to plan. Somehow time has escaped me and now it’s the middle of the semester, meaning my desire (and need) to begin planning all things commencement related has become too strong to ignore. So, in typical OCD fashion, I created a checklist to help me navigate the graduation requirements and necessities. Now I’m sharing it with you!
Graduation eligibility Complete a degree audit to confirm your eligibility to graduate and inform yourself on any outstanding requirements Complete a pro bono audit to confirm you are on track for graduation and for admission to the New York bar Complete any outstanding degree requirements Submit your senior writing requirement or journal comment before final exams, if required and not already completed Apply to graduate pursuant to university specifications Commencement tickets Confirm the number of commencement tickets you’re eligible to receive If necessary, apply for extra tickets or join the waitlist for extra tickets Confirm your guest list for commencement weekend Retrieve graduation tickets and announcement cards Return or ‘gift’ any unused tickets ASAP If you’re feeling fancy, send announcement cards Reservations / bookings Make dinner and/or brunch reservations for commencement day Book graduation photo slot (or plan to take them yourself before commencement) Book accommodations for guests if they’re not staying with you, or confirm guests have obtained accommodations if you’re not handling the bookings for them Obtain visitor parking permit for guests if necessary Confirm guests travel arrangements, including arrival and departure date(s) and time(s) Reserve moving truck if you’re leaving the city/state permanently after graduation Purchases / rentals Rent or purchase academic regalia as required by your university Purchase a graduation outfit, if you do not already have one If desired, purchase a diploma frame, but make sure to confirm the diploma size and orientation before ordering If desired, purchase commencement apparel and/or a grad ring Bar requirements / employment requirements / visa requirements Request your law school certificate be mailed immediately after commencement to complete your bar application Send final transcripts to your employer or potential employer, if required Obtain an extension on your F-1 visa if you’re an international student planning to study for the bar exam in the USA Miscellaneous Clear out your locker and/or journal or board office space Send transitional memos or files to pertinent incoming journal board or student organization member(s) Return any library books Plan, or attend, a farewell gathering with your classmates or law school friends during commencement weekend, or immediately before/after Carve out time to say goodbye to your favorite professors, advisors, mentors, etc. Apply for any summer funding opportunities, recognition awards or scholarships, and/or post-graduation fellowships or internships Cancel or put a hold on city-specific memberships if you’re leaving the city after graduation Terminate your lease and cancel utilities if you’re leaving the city permanently after graduation And of course, crush all your final law school exams because we’ll never have to take them again once we’ve graduated