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can congratulate the new lawyer by a card, text message or using the network. Category:graduation messageCategory:Graduation phrases for Lawyers.

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4.1  Introduction

This Chapter will describe, first, the basic requirements to earn a Doctor of Laws (J.D.) degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School. Then it will address the requirements for Diploma Privilege in Wisconsin (the privilege to practice law in Wisconsin without taking the Wisconsin Bar Examination) (see 4.6 below). It will briefly discuss some procedures a UW Law graduate needs to know when applying for bar admission in a state other than Wisconsin (see 4.12 below). Finally, it will review some general graduation and commencement information. Contact the Law School Registrar at [email protected] with any questions or concerns regarding the Diploma Privilege and Graduation course requirements.

4.2  J.D. Degree Requirements

Although the vast majority of students who earn J.D. degrees from the Law School also meet the requirements for the Wisconsin Diploma Privilege, it is important to note that the actual J.D. degree requirements are not identical to the Diploma Privilege requirements. Indeed, it is possible to receive a J.D. degree and not meet the Diploma Privilege requirements. In reading the following information about J.D. degree requirements, do not make the mistake of thinking these are the Diploma Privilege requirements (which are themselves discussed at 4.6 below). Note: the JD & Diploma Privilege Worksheets at the end of this chapter will assist you in keeping track of both your J.D. degree and Diploma Privilege requirements.

To graduate with a J.D. degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School, three sets of requirements must be met. You must:

  1. Satisfy the residency & other requirements described in 4.3 below.
  2. Meet the credit/hour & subject requirements. See 4.4 below.
  3. Achieve and maintain a requisite grade-point average. See 4.5 below.

4.3  J.D. Degree: Requirements and Limitations

Preliminary note: Like all ABA-accredited law schools, the Law School is required to comply with American Bar Association guidelines, including Chapter 3 of the Standards and Rules of Procedure for Approval of Law Schools, which can be found at  Some of the Law School's Rules which specifically address ABA requirements are currently out-of-date with respect to same. Since those particular Law School Rules were last revised, the ABA has altered significantly the applicable rules.

Time Limitations

  • Maximum allowable time: To be eligible for the JD degree, the Law School requires students to complete all degree requirements within six years from the commencement of law studies.  Extensions of time, in exceptional cases, can be granted by the Retentions Committee; military service typically does not count against this time period. For more information on this time constraint, see Law School Rule 7.06.
  • Minimum allowable time: You are not allowed to go to law school "too fast." The ABA's accreditation rules, intended to assure that the quality of legal training is not impaired by students carrying overloads and unduly accelerating their graduations, require law schools to, in effect, set speed limits on the pace of law study in order to prevent students from securing a J.D. degree in an injudiciously short period of time. Thus, the ABA requires students to attend for minimum periods of instruction in order to graduate.

ABA Standard 311(b) provides that students may complete their degree requirements “no earlier than 24 months” after commencing law studies.  To graduate early means, for example, were a student to start at the Law School in September 2018, the student could complete all degree requirements and graduate in December 2020–-that is, after five regular semesters of full-time study. Note, however, that in this instance some summer session work would almost certainly be necessary: because the First-year Program is currently limited to 32 credits, and in each subsequent term one is limited to a maximum of 18 credits (see below), one would still need 4 credits of summer session work to reach the 90 credits required. Additional Note: It is possible for a full-time student starting in September to complete degree requirements by August two years later (i.e., precisely 24 months later--and no earlier); this would entail taking, after the first year, approximately 18 credits in each of the 2L semesters, plus approximately 22 summer credits over two summers. Be advised, however, that: (1) sufficient variation in summer course offerings in subsequent summers is not guaranteed; and (2) completing J. D. degree work in 24 months is difficult and not necessarily advisable for most students.

Credit Limitations: Students are not permitted to be enrolled in more than 18 credits per term. (See ABA Standard 311(c), which forbids enrollment, at any time, in more than 20 percent of the total coursework required for graduation. As the Law School requires 90 credits for the JD degree, the applicable enrollment restriction is 18 credits.) Credits associated with enrichment classes or other classes upon which JD degree credit will not be based do not count toward the 18 credit limitation.

Credits 'in residence': Law School Rule 9.01(1)(c) mandates that a "minimum of 50 credits must be earned as a J.D. candidate in this Law School for a student to be entitled to receive a J.D. from Wisconsin."  Thus, a student who transfers to UW Law from a different law school, and who possesses a fairly large number of potentially transferable credits from the original school, must complete at least 50 credits as a UW Law student.  This might mean that such a student will need more than the typical 90 credits total (see 4.4.1 below) to earn the Wisconsin JD. Credits that are part of a Law School study abroad exchange program are considered "in residence."

Sufficient Credits in Courses with Regular Class Sessions (the 64-credit rule): Per ABA requirement (see Standard 311(a)), graduation is conditioned on at least 64 credits of the 90 credits required for degree being completed in law courses with regularly scheduled class sessions or direct faculty instruction.  This will be important to keep in mind if, for instance, a student wishes to participate in certain curricular activities (e.g., law journals, Moot Court, externships, Mock Trial competitions, directed reading/research) that do not necessarily involve attendance at regularly scheduled class sessions, or if a student will transfer non-law credits as part of a dual degree program or otherwise apply non-law credits to the JD.  The Law School course schedule indicates whether a class counts towards the 64-credit rule. If you have questions or concerns about this requirement, please contact Amy Arntsen, Law School Registrar, at [email protected]

4.4 J.D. Degree: Credit/Hour & Subject Requirements

4.4.1  Credit/Hour Requirement (the 90-Credit Rule):

To graduate, law students must satisfactorily complete 90 credits (or “hours”) of courses, all of which must qualify for credit from the University of Wisconsin Law School, whether the courses are taken at the Law School or elsewhere. This is sometimes referred to as the 90-Credit Rule. (To “satisfactorily complete” refers to required grades, discussed at 4.5 below.)

Important Note: A student who completes 90 or more credits and has fulfilled all other J.D. degree course requirements (i.e., the First-Year Program, the Legal Process Requirement, the Professional Responsibilities Requirement and the 64-credit rule ) will be graduated – regardless of whether the student has yet to complete any requirements necessary for Diploma Privilege.  However, students meeting the graduation requirements by December of their third year may request a deferral of graduation until the end of their 3L year (May) by notifying the Law School Registrar.  This exception may not apply to international students on a visa.  Contact Amy Arntsen, Law School Registrar, for more information. 

Additional Note: All 60-Credit Rule courses (discussed in 4.6.2 below) count toward the 90 credits needed for degree.  (But not all '90-Credit Rule' courses satisfy the Diploma Privilege-related 60-Credit Rule.)

Please note that the JD & Diploma Privilege Worksheets located at the end of this chapter are useful for keeping track of both your J.D. degree and Diploma Privilege requirements.

4.4.2  Subject Requirements:

Within the 90 “hours” (or credits), students must complete the following Graduation Requirement courses:

    1. The First-Year Program: Contracts I, Torts I, Civil Procedure I, Introduction to Substantive Criminal Law, Legal Research & Writing I & II, Property, and two mandatory electives such as Civil Procedure II; Constitutional Law I; Contracts II; Introduction to Criminal Procedure; International Law; Legislation and Regulation; and Business Organizations I. (Note that elective choices vary from year to year) (Law School Rule 3.01).
    2. The Professional Responsibilities Requirement: Professional Responsibilities or Ethical Issues in Criminal Justice. (Law School Rule 3.12) Qualifying courses comprise at least 2 credits and include substantial instruction in the history, goals, structure, values, and responsibilities of the legal profession and its members. Note: this requirement may not be met by a student in the same course in which the student is fulfilling the requirements of either the "Experiential Course Requirement/Skills Requirement" or the "Upper-Level Writing Requirement".
    3. The Legal Process Requirement: Met by courses that evaluate a particular “legal system as a whole.” (Law School Rule 3.03). These recent courses have satisfied the Legal Process Requirement:
      • Administrative Law
      • Chinese Law
      • Comparative Law
      • Constitution in the American Civil War
      • Federal Law & Indian Tribes
      • International Business Transactions
      • International Law
      • International Trade Law
      • Law of Democracy
      • Legislation
      • Legislation and Regulation
      • Legislation/Statutory Interpretation
      • Public Law and Private Power
      • Selected Problems in American Legal History: 20th Century Constitution
      • Sociology of Law
      • Wisconsin State Constitutional Law

        All courses meeting this requirement will be so designated on the online Course Schedule.
    4. Upper-Level Writing Requirement: Per Law School Rule 3.11.1 and ABA Standard 303(a)(2), J.D. candidates have an “Upper-level Writing Requirement” and are required to complete one rigorous, faculty-supervised writing experience subsequent to the completion of the First-Year Program. Curricular activities that may meet this requirement will be designated by the Dean and are denoted in the Notes column of the Law School's online course schedule with “LW.” Students, however, are urged to check with the course instructor to ensure that they will indeed be able to fulfill the Upper-level Writing Requirement in the course, and to understand what must be done in the class in order to fulfill the requirement. To satisfy the requirement, a student must complete a writing project that included each of the following:
      1. At least 20 pages (double-spaced) of written work;
      2. Submission of a draft on which the instructor provided feedback on the writing (and not merely on the substantive content); and
      3. the instructor's feedback was provided in time for the feedback to be incorporated into the final product.
      The Upper-Level Writing Requirement form must be submitted to the Law School Registrar by every student, indicating the manner in which the student meets this requirement.

                    Note: this requirement may not be met simultaneously by a student in the same course in which the student is fulfilling the requirements of     either the "Experiential Course Requirement" or the "Professional Responsibilities Requirement".

                   Also please note that, because law review/law journal writing is not typically faculty-supervised, writing done through participation on these does not meet the upper-level writing requirement.

            e.   Experiential Course Requirement (students matriculating in Fall 2016 and thereafter)

Per Law School Rule 3.07, all students must complete one or more experiential courses totaling at least six credit hours.  Experiential courses will be designated by the Dean's Office in conformity with American Bar Association standards. An 'experiential course' is either a simulation course, a clinical course, or an externship (also sometimes known as a 'field placement'). Experiential courses are primarily experiential in nature, as opposed to a course that simply has an experiential aspect.

Note: The experiential course requirement, in whole or in part, may not be met by a student in the same course in which the student is fulfilling the requirements of either the "Upper-level Writing Requirement" or the "Professional Responsibilities Requirement".  To illustrate: if a student is meeting the upper-level writing requirement in a clinic in a particular semester, the clinical credits from that semester cannot also count toward the experiential course requirement; however, if the student continues on in the clinic in a subsequent semester, the follow-on clinical credits may count toward the experiential course requirement.

               Skills Requirement (students matriculating prior to Fall 2016 only)

(The skills requirement is in the process of being replaced, beginning with students entering in Fall 2016, by the "experiential course requirement" described above.)  Under the skills requirement, students are required to receive substantial instruction in a professional skill generally regarded as necessary for effective and responsible participation in the legal profession. Formerly, this requirement was technically met by students through the Evidence course (required for Diploma Privilege), with those students who decided not to pursue Diploma Privilege, or take Evidence, being required to contact Associate Dean Kelly to ensure some appropriate skills course was taken.  Nevertheless, the Law School is aware that all students typically take one or more (non-Evidence) course(s) that have substantial skills instruction, such as a clinic, an externship, Trial Advocacy, Pre-Trial Advocacy, Negotiations, and a variety of other courses.  Associate Dean Kelly has reviewed the records of students in the Class of 2018 and been in contact with those who still need to take a professional skills course.  If you are in the Class of 2018 and have not been contacted by Dean Kelly, it is because your record reflects completion of this requirement.  Note: this requirement may not be met by a student in the same course in which the student is also fulfilling the requirements of either the "Upper-level Writing Requirement" or the "Professional Responsibilities Requirement".

Please note that the JD & Diploma Privilege Worksheets located at the end of this chapter are useful for keeping track of both your J.D. degree and Diploma Privilege requirements.

Important Note for students who may wish to be admitted in New York:  See Section 4.12.2 below. 

4.5  J.D. Degree: Grade Point Average Requirement

To graduate, a student must have completed courses totaling not fewer than 90 credits, including all the courses required for graduation, with a weighted final average of not less than 2.0 on the Law School’s 4.3 scale. (Law School Rule 9.01) Basically, the weighted final average is based on all the courses for which a student has received Law School letter grades (as opposed to letter grades earned in non-Law courses and for which the letter grades on the University’s 4.0 scale are reported; these non-4.3 scale letter grades do not factor into a Law student’s GPA).

Thus, the critical average to maintain is a weighted average of 2.0 or better (on the Law School’s 4.3 scale). Students frequently ask whether they must have a C (the equivalent to 2.0) in every class. The short answer is no. A second frequently asked question is whether students must retake any class in which they receive a grade below C. The short answer to this question is also no.  But students must have a 2.0 or better overall--and complete 90 credits--(including all Graduation Requirements) in order to receive the J. D. degree. (For information on Retakes, see Section 7.4).

Note: Since the Law School uses a separate grading scale from the rest of the University, your official UW transcript and student record will not calculate or show your Law School GPA. If you wish to calculate your GPA yourself, follow the directions on how to calculate your Law School GPA contained in Section 9  Grades, GPAs, Class Standing, Honors.  A student's Law School GPA is available on the unofficial transcript in Symplicity provided by the Office of Career and Professional Development.

4.6  Wisconsin Diploma Privilege Requirements

Years ago, many states had a "diploma privilege," a set of course and grade requirements which, if fulfilled, allowed one to be admitted to practice without taking a bar exam. Wisconsin is now alone in retaining this privilege, by rule of the Wisconsin Supreme Court: (see Chapter 40). To qualify for the Wisconsin Diploma Privilege, one must satisfy two sets of requirements:

  1. One must meet certain academic requirements. See 4.6.2-4.6.5 below.
  2. One must meet requirements relating to character and fitness to practice law. See 4.7 below.

4.6.1   Academic Requirements

As stated above, the vast majority of students who earn J.D. degrees from the Law School also meet the requirements for Wisconsin Diploma Privilege. The JD & Diploma Privilege Worksheets located at the end of this chapter outline the academic requirements for diploma privilege and are useful for keeping track of both your J.D. degree and Diploma Privilege requirements. Contact Amy Arntsen, Law School Registrar ([email protected]), with questions about the academic requirements for diploma privilege.

4.6.2   Degree and Course Requirements

In order to be certified for admission to the Wisconsin Bar under the Diploma Privilege, a graduate must satisfy three requirements:

  1. The graduate must be awarded a J.D. degree from the Law School. See 4.2 above. (See also Supreme Court Rule (SCR) 40.03).

  2. The graduate must have satisfactorily completed courses in the Mandatory Subject Matter areas. (SCR 40.03(2)(b)) (To “satisfactorily complete” refers to required grades, discussed below at 4.6.5.) The Mandatory Subject Matter Areas are: Constitutional Law (divided into separate Constitutional Law I and Constitutional Law II requirements); Contracts (satisfied by Contracts I); Criminal Law and Procedure (divided into separate Introduction to Substantive Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure requirements); Evidence; Jurisdiction of Courts (satisfied by Civil Procedure II, Federal Jurisdiction, or Conflicts of Laws); Ethics & Legal Responsibilities of the Legal Profession (satisfied by Professional Responsibilities or Legal Profession or Ethical Issues in Criminal Justice); Pleading & Practice (satisfied by Civil Procedure I); Real Property (satisfied by Property); Torts (satisfied by Torts I); and Wills & Estates (satisfied by Trusts  & Estates I). (Note: the above rule is sometimes referred to as the 10-Subject/30-Credit Rule, although the required courses will add up to more than 30 credits and, with the Constitutional Law and Criminal Law & Procedure requirements each divided, there are in reality twelve separate mandatory subjects, not ten.)

  3. The graduate must have satisfactorily completed not fewer than 60 credits in the Elective Subject Matter areas. (SCR 40.03(2)(a)) (To “satisfactorily complete” refers to required grades, discussed below at 4.6.5.) This is most often referred to as the 60-Credit Rule. All courses satisfying the 60-Credit Rule will be so designated on the Law School's online course schedule, which is available at  For an updated list of 60-Credit Rule courses, go to and click on “60-Credit Rule Courses.”

4.6.3  Overlap of the 60-Credit Rule with Other Requirements

All of the Mandatory Subject Area courses referenced above will count toward the 60-Credit Rule. A student who takes all of the Mandatory Subject Area courses (including the many found in the First-Year Program) will already have approximately 40 or more credits toward meeting the 60-Credit Rule. Thus, the student need only take 20 or so additional credits of 60-Credit Rule courses to meet the requirement.

4.6.4  60-Credit Rule and Clinicals, Trial Advocacy, Lawyering Skills, Professional Responsibilities

In a student’s law school career, a cumulative maximum of only five clinical credits (to include internships and externships) will count toward the 60-Credit Rule for Diploma Privilege (but all such credits will count toward the 90-Credit Rule required for graduation (see 4.4.1 above)). In the Lawyering Skills Course, five of the eight credits will apply to the 60-Credit Rule, but all will count toward the 90-Credit Rule. For Professional Responsibilities, one credit will apply to the 60-Credit Rule, but all will count toward the 90-Credit Rule. For Trial Advocacy (including Mock Trial, but not including Pre-Trial Advocacy), a maximum of four credits will apply to the 60-Credit Rule for Diploma Privilege, but all will count toward the 90-Credit Rule for graduation.

The operation of these rules is illustrated by the following table:

CourseCumulative Maximum Credits
Applicable to 60-Credit Rule
Credits Applicable To 90-Credit RuleCredits Applicable To 64-Credit RuleCredits Applicable to Experiential Learning Rule
Clinical courses
and Externships
5AllAll for clinical courses;
None for externships
Lawyering Skills
Trial Advocacy4AllInstructor-led classes
count; competitions do not

4.6.5  Required Grades for Diploma Privilege

As stated earlier, students must “satisfactorily complete” both the Mandatory Subject Matter courses and 60-Credit Rule courses for Diploma Privilege eligibility (SCR 40.03(2)). By Law School Rule, this is interpreted as both earning a weighted (or “cumulative”) average of at least 2.0 in the Mandatory Subject Matter courses (Law School Rule 3.04(1)(b)) and earning a weighted average of at least a 2.0 in the 60-Credit Rule area (Law School Rule 3.04(1)(c)). Note that this does not mean that a C (the letter equivalent of 2.0 on the 4.3 scale) is required in each course; rather, the weighted average must be 2.0 in each of these two categories of courses.

Thus, failure to achieve a weighted average of 2.0 or better on the Law School’s 4.3 scale in the Mandatory Subject Matter courses will prevent the student from receiving the Diploma Privilege upon graduation. This often means that a student who has not maintained a 2.0 average in the first-year courses will not be eligible for the Diploma Privilege. Thus, a student who achieves a better than 2.0 GPA for the 60-Credit Rule courses overall, but did not achieve a 2.0 or better for the Mandatory Subject Matter courses required for Diploma Privilege, must take the state bar examination to qualify to practice in Wisconsin after graduation. Similarly, students must also have a 2.0 average or better for all 60-Credit Rule courses overall.

Transfer and Visiting Away Students:  Credits from other law schools counted towards a UW law degree, whether due to a student transferring to the UW from another law school or a UW Law student visiting at another law school, are not factored into the UW Law school grade point average.

Students who transfer to UW Law after their 1L year may have far fewer credits averaged into the diploma privilege Mandatory Subject Matter courses than their fellow students who did their first year of law school at UW (most Mandatory Subject Matter courses would have been taken by the transfer student in his or her 1L year and thus transferred to UW Law without a letter grade).  In that situation, a four-credit D could prevent a transfer student from reaching the 2.0 GPA in Mandatory Subject Matter courses. 

4.7  Diploma Privilege: Character & Fitness Certification

4.7.1  Introduction

Wisconsin Supreme Court Rules state “[a]n applicant for bar admission shall establish good moral character and fitness to practice law.” Such an applicant must establish, to the satisfaction of the Board of Bar Examiners (BBE), that the applicant possesses the requisite character and fitness. (See SCR 40.06) Note that the burden is on the applicant to establish all necessary qualifications (SCR 40.07) and that the BBE “shall decline to certify the character and fitness of an applicant who knowingly makes a materially false statement of a material fact or who fails to disclose a fact necessary to correct a misapprehension known by the applicant to have arisen in connection with his or her application.” (SCR 40.06(3))

4.7.2   Securing an Application.

Information and Filing Instructions, along with the application packet, are available on the Wisconsin Supreme Court Board of Bar Examiners’ website:

The application is generally available in October for the following year (for 2019 grads the diploma privilege application will be available in October 2018).

4.7.3   Immediately Review the Application.

You are strongly urged to review the Character and Fitness Certification application at your earliest convenience. The first reason for this is so that you can acquaint yourself with the nature of the information being sought (much of which may oblige you to consult personal records, documents, papers, or contact third parties for required information). The second reason is to identify any questions you might have about the application and how you should proceed in light of these questions. BBE staff members typically visit the Law School each autumn in order to answer law students’ questions. You are urged to take advantage of these visits by the BBE staff, who are also available by phone to answer questions about the application. DO NOT DELAY in beginning to assemble the information you will need to complete the application.

Special Note:  Some applicants will be required to provide an additional FBI check.  The FBI checks may take 15 weeks or more to process.  Those students wanting to participate in the group swearing-in or wanting to be admitted to the bar soon after graduation may wish to plan accordingly with regard to when the application is submitted, to allow time for the FBI check, if required.  The following applicants will be asked to get an FBI check:  those who have lived or worked in Arizona or California; non-citizens; and those who have lived in a foreign country.  Other applicants may also be asked to provide an FBI check. 

Here are some web-sites that may prove of use in the assembling of required information:

If you have questions about the application or the application process, contact the BBE Admissions at (608) 266-9760.

4.7.4   Application Fees

When you examine your application, note that there are varying fees, depending on one's graduation month and when one files the application. Per SCR Chapter 40, Appendix BA14.05, a late fee will be assessed to the following applicants for bar admission on the diploma privilege:  May graduates who have not filed an application by the preceding December 15; August graduates who have not filed an application by the preceding March 15; and December graduates who have not filed an application by the preceding July 15.

4.7.5   Application Deadlines

Please read the following paragraphs carefully. Although the formal deadline to file your Character and Fitness Certification application is based on when your degree is conferred (and degree conferral occurs at approximately the same time as graduation), if you wish to participate in the large-group swearing-in ceremony (see 4.8), your application should be filed approximately six months prior to the date of the swearing-in ceremony. This may seem early to you, but the Board of Bar Examiners requires 3 - 6 months to complete the character and fitness examinations for a great many applicants for admission. Submitting your application early also avoids the application late fee (see 4.7.4 above).  (If you will not be available for the large-group swearing-in ceremony, the BBE will send you the appropriate bar admission certification documents; you are then expected to either participate in the Supreme Court's regularly-scheduled monthly swearing-in ceremony, or to make your own arrangements regarding a private swearing-in.)

Applications may be submitted following the actual conferral of the degree. As a rule, for May graduates, the application deadline is the preceding December 15, late applications are accepted until July 1; for December graduates, the deadline is the preceding July 15, late applications accepted until February 1; for August graduates, the deadline is March 15, late applications are accepted until October 1. (If the final deadline falls on a weekend the BBE may choose to extend the deadline). Of course, if you wait as long as the final applicable deadline to file your application, you will still have to wait some months while your application is processed.

Importantly, if you miss the vital final deadline altogether, you will have forfeited the opportunity to apply for Diploma Privilege and will have to sit for the Wisconsin Bar Examination.  See also Rule BA 14.04(b) of the Rules of the Board of Bar Examiners contained in the Appendix to Chapter 40 of the Wisconsin Supreme Court Rules, for a very limited exception to the July 1 deadline.

According to the Board of Bar Examiners (BBE), filing is completed on the date a properly executed application and applicable fees are received at the BBE office. Finally, once an application is timely filed, an applicant does have up to one year to complete the application process before losing the Diploma Privilege opportunity altogether.

Applicants are responsible for having a transcript sent to the BBE. Transcripts are ordered from the University Registrar through the Student Center or at  The Law School will certify the graduate's law degree directly to the BBE.

4.8  Diploma Privilege: State Bar of Wisconsin & Swearing-in Before the Wisconsin Supreme Court

Wisconsin, like a number of other states, is an “integrated bar.” This means that to hold a Wisconsin license to practice law you must belong to the State Bar of Wisconsin. Graduates of the Law School are generally admitted to the State Bar of Wisconsin by being sworn-in before the Supreme Court of the State of Wisconsin, usually at a group swearing-in shortly after graduation.

The Board of Bar Examiners (BBE), to which you will make your application for admission to the bar pursuant to the Diploma Privilege, will communicate with you about the details of your swearing-in before the Wisconsin Supreme Court. For May graduates, the group swearing-in is typically held in late May or early June. For December graduates, the group swearing-in is typically held sometime in January (this is usually a combined session with Marquette University Law School December graduates). For August graduates, the BBE typically makes arrangements for individual swearing-ins in approximately late September.

The BBE will not confirm you for swearing-in before the Wisconsin Supreme Court until your application has been finalized and the relevant character and fitness certification completed. Please note: The Dean’s Certificate is sent automatically to the BBE for all graduates eligible for diploma privilege. It is sent about one week before the scheduled swearing-in ceremony.

4.9  Admission to the Bar of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin

Information on admission to the Federal District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin is provided to graduating students shortly before the end of the spring semester. Once you have been admitted to the State Bar of Wisconsin by virtue of being sworn-in before the Wisconsin Supreme Court, you can be admitted to the Western District. While the process is made easy for you, you must nevertheless complete the online application, take the oath, and pay the fee online before you can legally practice before this court. The Western District does not require an in-person swear-in; it is all done online although the Court has traditionally held a ceremonial swearing-in for May graduates on the same day as the Wisconsin Bar Admission Group Swearing-in ceremony. If you are interested in being admitted before the Western District, the application is available at:

For information about admission before the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, see 4.10 below.

4.10  Admission to the Bar of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, Other Federal Courts, U.S. Supreme Court

Some graduates may desire to be admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin in Milwaukee instead of—or in addition to—the Western District Court in Madison. As is the case with the Western District, before you can be admitted to practice in the Eastern District, you must first be admitted before the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Applications and information regarding admission before the Eastern District are available online at You should submit the required materials directly to the court in Milwaukee.  You must have an attorney already admitted to practice before the Eastern District complete the required Affidavit in support of your admission. If you have any questions regarding admission before the Eastern District, please direct them to the court clerk's office at (414) 297-3372.

A brief note about other federal courts: All federal courts have their own rules for admission. Most are easily met and can be done by mail, but most also require that your admission be moved by someone who is already a member of that court. Contact the clerk of the federal court where you are interested in practicing to obtain rules and applications.  The UW Law Alumni Association and/or the Office of Career and Professional Development may be able to help you find someone in another state to move your admission.

Admission to the bar of the U.S. Supreme Court requires that you practice three years before applying; the website is:

4.11  Diploma Privilege: Other Swearing-In Options

If you are unable to make the scheduled group swearing-in, you can be sworn in at the Wisconsin Supreme Court's next monthly admission ceremony. If you wish to be sworn-in to practice as a Wisconsin attorney but must leave the state permanently before the group swearing-in date for UW Law graduates, you can still be sworn-in to the Wisconsin Bar. There are two avenues for this, neither of which is easy—so if at all possible, it's best to get sworn-in at the group ceremony (or, alternatively, at the Supreme Court's regularly scheduled monthly swearing-in ceremony).

4.11.1  Out-of-State Swearing-In.

The procedure for an out-of-state swearing-in to the Wisconsin Bar is somewhat involved. A brief explanation follows and further information is available from Mr. Paul Swart, Assistant Deputy Clerk, Supreme Court/Court of Appeals Clerk's Office, (608) 261-4308.

Supreme Court Rule 40.02(4) provides that the oath may be administered by any person authorized by that jurisdiction to administer the attorney’s oath for bar admission. If you wish to have such a person administer the oath, you must provide a copy of the rule from that jurisdiction which provides authority for that person to administer an attorney’s oath, along with a letter including the proposed date and time as well as the name and address of the individual administering the oath. This should be submitted at least 10 days in advance of the scheduled date.

Along with the letter and the copy of the rule, you need to send the original Memorandum-Certificate (Board Certification) issued by the Wisconsin Board of Bar Examiners, the completed Certificate Mailing Address Form (both of these items will be sent by the BBE) and proof of payment for the specified amount. The above items must be mailed or emailed to Mr. Swart at the Supreme Court Clerk's Office, [email protected], P.O. Box 1688, Madison WI 53701-1688 (phone first to verify mailing address). The street address for Fed Ex or Overnight Mail is as follows: 110 E. Main St., #215, Madison, WI 53703.

Upon receipt of the above items (letter, jurisdiction rule, memo/certificate, mailing form and check), Mr. Swart will send acknowledgment directly to the individual who will administer the oath along with required paperwork.

One variation of this: if you wish to be sworn in by another state's Supreme Court Justice (or member of the highest court in another jurisdiction) or a judge in the U.S. District Court, U.S. Court of Appeals or U.S. Supreme Court, you need not send the copy of the jurisdiction's rule on oaths mentioned above. You will need to schedule a date and time to be sworn in with the Justice/judge. Mr. Swart will need to receive written notice (letter including date and time as well as name and address of individual administering oath) at least 10 days in advance of the scheduled date, along with the documents (certificate/form/payment) already mentioned above.

4.11.2    Early Admission.

The decision to seek Early Admission must not be approached lightly. Early Admission is granted in rare instances when the law graduate can demonstrate that extraordinary and compelling circumstances, such as medical exigency or military obligation, warrant this special consideration. Early Admission cannot occur until after the official degree conferral date.  The group swearing-in is often within two weeks of the official degree conferral date, and it generally takes a week or so after the degree conferral date for the early admission request to be processed by the Supreme Court; therefore, early admission may only be a week or so before the group swearing-in.

The first step is to submit to the Dean of the Law School (via the Law School Registrar) a written Petition with supporting documentation outlining in detail the basis for the need. The Petition should be submitted no later than the last day of classes (this is a firm deadline: no exceptions). Of course, one's application with the BBE must also be complete. Additionally, the student MUST mark all final exams and final papers with the notice that, in addition to being a graduating 3L, the student is also seeking Early Bar Admission.

If the Petition is approved, the Dean of the Law School will write a letter to the Chief Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court requesting permission for the graduate to be sworn-in early. The letter will include the reason and a statement that all requirements for admission have been met. That letter will be forwarded to the Chief Justice for approval or denial.

If approved by the Chief Justice, the BBE may issue your certification as soon as possible following conferral of the J.D. degree. Once certified by the BBE (applicants should contact the BBE with any questions regarding the timing of the certification itself), the graduate may schedule an appointment to be sworn in either privately or in a monthly group admission.

4.12  Bar Admission in States Other Than Wisconsin

4.12.1 Introduction

Generally, graduates who intend to practice outside of Wisconsin will need to take a bar exam in the state where they intend to practice and apply for admission to the bar of that state. Almost every state except for Wisconsin also requires applicants to have received a passing score on the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (the MPRE), which is administered three times a year, in March, August and November.  Information about the MPRE is available from the National Conference of Bar Examiners at

As stated above with respect to Wisconsin, no matter where you choose to be admitted to the bar, you must fill out the appropriate forms, get records certified and forwarded to courts, and you MUST observe deadlines. Admission to the bar requires you to pay attention to details. Remember that there are fees involved, so plan ahead for these fees and for a bar review course if applicable.

While the Law School will automatically certify your degree to the Wisconsin BBE, graduates taking other states' bar exams must submit a request in writing to the Law School Registrar to have degree certification sent to states other than Wisconsin. 
The National Conference of Bar Examiners and American Bar Association publish the “Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admission Requirements” (PDF).

4.12.2  Important Note regarding New York Bar Admission Requirements

The New York State Board of Law Examiners has specific rules applicable to students who wish to sit for the New York bar examination.  One such rule provides that Law study must be completed in no fewer than 24 months and no more than 60 months (5 years) after commencement of law study (note that this is one year less than the 6 years allowed under UW Law School Rules).  There are numerous other requirements of which students who plan to sit for the New York bar exam should be aware.  They can be found at  You are urged to review these rules very carefully no later than the beginning of your second year of law school, if you plan to sit for the New York bar exam after you graduate. 

The New York bar is one of over 30 jurisdictions that now administer the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE), which consists of the Multistate Bar Examination, the Multistate Performance Test, and the Multistate Essay Examination (for more details about the UBE, please see NCBE's website).  The UBE is administered on the last Tuesday and Wednesday of February and July.  An application to sit for the July New York bar exam must be filed in April.  An application to sit for the February New York bar exam must be filed in November. 

An extremely helpful resource is the New York State Board of Law Examiners' New York State Bar Exam Information Guide (PDF)

New York's unique requirements that must be met before a person can be admitted to the New York bar are as follows:

  1. You must achieve a passing score on the UBE.

  2. You must complete an online course in New York-specific law, known as the New York Law Course (NYLC), an online, on demand course which reviews important and unique aspects of New York law.  It consists of approximately 15 hours of recorded lectures.  You must complete the NYLC up to one year prior to or three years after passing the UBE.

  3. You must take and pass an online examination, known as the New York Law Exam (NYLE), which is a 50 item, two hour, open book, multiple choice test administered online and which tests important New York rules.  The NYLE is offered four times a year.  You must complete the NYLE up to one year prior to or three years after passing the UBE. 
  4. You must take and pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE).

  5. If you commenced law school studies after August 1, 2016, you must comply with the new Skills Competency Requirement (PDF) set forth in Section 520.18 of the Rules of the Court of Appeals. You do not have to satisfy this requirement before you sit for the bar exam in New York, but it must be satisfied before you can be admitted to practice in the State of New York.

    An applicant for admission may satisfy the skills competency requirement by completing one of five pathways contained in Rule 520.18.

    Pathway 1 allows an applicant to satisfy the skills competency and professional values requirement by submitting a certification from the applicant’s law school confirming that (1) the law school has developed a plan identifying and incorporating into its curriculum the skills and professional values that, in the school’s judgment, are required for its graduates’ basic competence and ethical participation in the legal profession, and has made this plan publicly available on the law school’s website; and (2) the applicant has acquired sufficient competency in those skills and sufficient familiarity with those values.

    Pathway 2 permits an applicant to satisfy the skills competency and professional values requirement by submitting proof that the applicant completed 15 credits of practice-based experiential coursework designed to foster professional competency training. Up to 6 of these 15 credits can be earned in law school certified non-credit-bearing summer employment programs, provided those employment opportunities are certified by the law school and satisfy certain other criteria.

    Pathway 3 provides that any applicant who has successfully completed the Pro Bono Scholars Program, pursuant to section 520.17 of the Court’s Rules for the Admission of Attorneys and Counselors at Law (see 22 NYCRR 520.17), will be deemed to have satisfied the skills competency and professional values requirement.

    Pathway 4 allows an applicant to satisfy the skills competency and professional values requirement upon completion of a post-graduate, six-month apprenticeship in the United States, or in a commonwealth or territory of the United States, or in a foreign country, under the supervision of an attorney authorized to practice in the jurisdiction where the work is performed. The apprenticeship can be paid or unpaid. The supervising attorney is responsible for certifying that the apprenticeship satisfied certain criteria.

    Pathway 5 provides that an applicant who has been authorized to practice law in another state, or in a U.S. territory or commonwealth or a country outside the United States, and has practiced in that jurisdiction full-time for one year, or part-time for two years, will meet the skills competency and professional values requirement.
  6. You must comply with the 50-hour pro bono service requirement. Pursuant to 520.16 of the Rules of the Court of Appeals, applicants who successfully pass the bar examination in New York State must demonstrate that they have performed 50 hours of qualifying pro bono service before applying for admission to practice. Based on successful passage of the bar examination, any applicant who seeks admission to practice in New York after January 1, 2015, must satisfy the 50-hour requirement. Further information about this pro bono requirement may be found here:

If you have participated in a clinical course, externship or judicial clerkship as a law student, you may have already satisfied the 50-hour requirement. (See “What Sort of Work Qualifies as Pro Bono Work” below). If you want to use one or more of those courses to satisfy the 50-hour requirement, you and your supervising attorney must complete two affidavits: One that is called a “Form Affidavit as to Applicant’s Compliance with the Pro Bono Requirements, Including Certification by Supervisor;” and a second called “Form Affidavit as to Applicant’s Law Related Employment and/or Solo Practice.” There is no reason to wait until you are applying for admission to the New York State Bar to complete these affidavits – we recommend that you have your supervisor(s) complete these forms at the end of your externship or clerkship. This will avoid your having to search for supervisors who may have forgotten you or who have left their jobs. Here are links to the two forms:

  1. Affidavit of law-related employment to the NY State Bar (PDF)
  2. Affidavit as to compliance with pro bono requirements (PDF)

Do not fill in the Department to which you are seeking admission yet, unless you know for sure the area of the State in which you will be working or living. Also, you may not have your “BOLE” number yet (your number for the bar exam), so leave that blank as well.

Keep these affidavits in a file so that you have them when you need to fill out the forms necessary for bar admission after you have taken the bar exam – you will not be using them until after the bar exam, but it’s a good idea to get them now so you don’t have track down supervisors at some point in the future.

What Sort of Work Qualifies as “Pro Bono Work” Under Rule 520.16?
Eligible pro bono work can be performed any time after you commenced your legal education, and can be performed anywhere that is convenient for you. The work must be law related (i.e., the work must involve the use of legal skills and law-related activities that are appropriate for lawyers-in-training not yet admitted to practice, and you must avoid the unauthorized practice of law).

Your pro bono work must be performed under the supervision of (i) a member of the law school faculty, including adjunct faculty, or an instructor employed by a law school; (ii) an attorney admitted to practice and in good standing in the jurisdiction in which the work is performed; or (iii) in the case of a clerkship or externship in a court system, by a judge or an attorney employed by the court system.

Finally, the types of projects that meet the requirement are: (i) work performed in the service of low-income or disadvantaged individuals who cannot afford counsel and whose unmet legal needs prevent their access to justice; OR (ii) work that involves the use of legal skills for an organization that qualifies as tax-exempt under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3); OR work that involves the use of legal skills for the court system or federal, state or local government agencies or legislative bodies.

It seems clear, therefore, that students who complete 50 hours of work through externships such as the Judicial Intern Clinical Program; the Wisconsin DOJ Clinical Program; LAIP; the Innocence Project; the Family Court Clinic; the Immigrant Justice Clinic; the Prosecution Program; the Defender Program; an externship at any U.S. Attorney’s Office; and a large number of other placements will be deemed to have satisfied the requirement of 50 pro bono hours. See, in particular, Question 12 on page 9 of the “Frequently Asked Questions” about the Pro Bono Requirement (PDF) to determine whether any clinical or externship courses you have completed, or are contemplating, will satisfy the requirement. The fact that you received academic credit or a stipend or grant in connection with your participation in a law school clinic or externship does not disqualify the work.

Please also see the Current Opportunities available through the UW Law Pro Bono Program, or contact the Pro Bono Program directly at [email protected], for additional information about other pro bono activities that may satisfy the New York requirements. 

Creating a Greeting Card Message for Graduation. There are (For law school) I am so happy to see your dream of graduating law school come true! It is such a.

Congratulations, Class of 2017: Michelle Obama Tells Graduates, 'Barack and I Are So Proud'

law school graduation wishes

Graduation Day is a special event where a student finally graduates or receives an academic degree. In America, graduation is often described as a “rite of passage”. It can also be called as a Move-Up, Step-Up, Recognition, or Promotion Day. During this time, parents and students feel a certain sense of pride once they receive the public confirmation of their many years of hard work and commitment towards their studies.

For the students, it is an amazing feeling to survive all the sleepless nights, difficult exams and school activities after many years. For the parents, on the other hand, the paying of tuition fees, projects, and programs has finally come to an end and they can finally see their child create their own career and become an adult. It speaks a lot about achievement, hard work, and dedication.

As this memorable event unfolds, you start to think about your future and you plan on what your next steps should be. Some decide to get on a vacation to give themselves a chance to relax after their long years of stress in school. Others hunt jobs right away determined to earn their own salary and establish a career. No matter what your plans are after graduation, there is one thing that will not change; life goes on. You may no longer have to read books or listen to a professor inside a room full of other students anymore, but you will be facing real-world problems and learning new life lessons. You will be able to use what you learned in school, but you will find out that courage and perseverance are what you will mostly need to face all of life’s challenges.

We would like to congratulate you on your graduation by giving these motivational graduation quotes. We hope you do your best out there and we wish you luck on your next adventure!

Graduation Quotes

1. It always seems impossible until it’s done. – Nelson Mandela


2. And this is the part where you find out who you are.


3. What feels like the end is often the beginning.


4. Your time as a caterpillar has expired. Your wings are ready.


5. Take pride in how far you have come and have faith in how far you can go.


6. Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.


7. I’m quite ready for another adventure.


8. Follow your passion. It will lead to your purpose.


9. Dreams don’t work unless you do.


10. The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.


11. The difference between school and life? In school, you’re taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you’re given a test that teaches you a lesson.


12. The best is yet to come.

13. I want to thank Google, Wikipedia, and whoever invented copy and paste.


14. Wherever you go, go with all your heart. – Confucius


15. Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.


16. I thank you for your part in my journey.


17. My daughter, I wish you the strength to face challenges with confidence, along with the wisdom to choose your battles carefully. I wish you adventure on your journey and may you always stop to help someone along.


18. Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all. – Aristotle


19. You’ve got a new story to write. And it looks nothing like your past.


20. Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.


21. The best view comes after the hardest climb.


22. Whatever you do, do it well.


23. You know the future is really happening when you start feeling scared.


24. What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals. – Henry David Thoreau


25. Don’t just fly. Soar.


26. Work for a cause, not for applause. Live life to express, not impress. Don’t strive to make your presence noticed, just make your absence felt.


27. Whenever you find yourself doubting how far you can go, just remember how far you have come. Remember everything you have faced, all the battles you have won, and all the fears you have overcome.


28. Avoiding failure is to avoid progress.


29. Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.


30. Kill them with success and bury them with a smile.


31. If you have the courage to begin, you have the courage to succeed.

32. Courage doesn’t mean you don’t get afraid. Courage means you don’t let fear stop you.


33. Stay humble, work hard, be kind.


34. Don’t stop until you’re proud.


35. I work so hard so I never have to be at the mercy of someone else’s choices, power trip, or kindness.


36. You’ve always had the power my dear, you just had to learn it for yourself. – Glinda


37. You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.


38. God has planted greatness in you. Let today be the beginning of a great adventure as you step into the gifts he’s given you.


39. The aim of education is the knowledge, not of facts, but of values. – William S. Burroughs


40. We don’t stop going to school when we graduate. – Carol Burnett


41. The idea of winning a doctor’s degree gradually assumed the aspect of a great moral struggle, and the moral fight possessed intense attraction for me. – Elizabeth Blackwell


42. God wants us to know that life is a series of beginnings, not endings. Just as graduations are not terminations, but commencements. Creation is an ongoing process, and when we create a perfect world where love and compassion are shared by all, suffering will cease. – Bernie Siegel


43. Life is the most exciting opportunity we have. But we have one shot. You graduate from college once, and that’s it. You’re going out of that nest. And you have to find that courage that’s deep, deep, deep in there. Every step of the way. – Andrew Shue


44. All real education is the architecture of the soul. – William Bennett


45. God will not look you over for medals degrees or diplomas, but for scars. – Elbert Hubbard


46. You are educated. Your certification is in your degree. You may think of it as the ticket to the good life. Let me ask you to think of an alternative. Think of it as your ticket to change the world. – Tom Brokaw


47. A graduation ceremony is an event where the commencement speaker tells thousands of students dressed in identical caps and gowns that ‘individuality’ is the key to success. – Robert Orben


48. For good nurture and education implant good constitutions. – Plato

49. You know what has made me the happiest I’ve ever been? Seeing my son and daughter graduate from college. More than wanting them to be educated, I wanted them to be nice people. To see that they have become both is just a wonderful thing. – Gil Scott-Heron


50. No graduation speaker will ever tell you that the future is anything but uncertain. It never is. But graduations need not only be obsessed with looking ahead; a graduation can be a day on which we turn back and trace our steps to see how we ended up where we are. – Taylor Mali


51. The doer alone learneth. – Friedrich Nietzsche


52. Some people drink from the fountain of knowledge, others just gargle. – Robert Anthony


53. It is virtually impossible to compete in today’s global economy without a college degree. – Bobby Scott


54. I went to my son’s graduation this weekend, and I heard a great quote I’ve never heard before from Albert Einstein. It was that the greatest danger to the world is not the bad people but it’s the good people who don’t speak out. – Hamilton Jordan


55. I think about the milestones from my childhood and what it will be like to watch our kids go through them. Taking Riley to her first day of school was a whirlwind. I can’t imagine what middle school is going to be like, and high school, and graduation. – Stephen Curry


56. Mentors provide professional networks, outlets for frustration, college and career counseling, general life advice, and most importantly, an extra voice telling a student they are smart enough and capable enough to cross the stage at graduation and land their first paycheck from a career pathway job. – Gerald Chertavian


57. Never go to your high school reunion pregnant or they will think that is all you have done since you graduated. – Erma Bombeck


58. My mother was keen that I complete my graduation and never ever wanted me to be in the movies, as my father had made five films that lost money. One of the films he made was ‘Agneepath,’ which was hugely hyped but underwhelming at the box office, and I remember that my dad had to sell my grandmother’s flat to pay off the loan. – Karan Johar


59. I woke up on May 15, 1991, the day of my Barnard graduation, and I said to myself, ‘By the end of today you will decide what you want to do with the rest of your life.’ – Alexandra Guarnaschelli


60. I always wanted to have my own album released before I graduated from high school. – Christina Aguilera


61. Bullying is something every kid in public, parochial, or private school has witnessed by graduation. While unfortunate, it is part of growing up. – Pat Buchanan


62. At 20, I realized that I could not possibly adjust to a feminine role as conceived by my father and asked him permission to engage in a professional career. In eight months I filled my gaps in Latin, Greek and mathematics, graduated from high school, and entered medical school in Turin. – Rita Levi-Montalcini


63. I grew up very differently than a lot of other people in my hometown in Mississippi. But I can’t imagine my life any other way. I flew home and surprised my best friend at his graduation, and I remember turning to my mom and saying, ‘My graduation was so much cooler than this.’ I had Melissa Joan Hart give my commencement speech. – Taylor Spreitler


64. For a man to attain to an eminent degree in learning costs him time, watching, hunger, nakedness, dizziness in the head, weakness in the stomach, and other inconveniences. – Miguel de Cervantes


65. It makes little difference how many university courses or degrees a person may own. If he cannot use words to move an idea from one point to another, his education is incomplete. – Norman Cousins


66. So in my uncertainty, I went to graduate school and there it all happened. – Ted Nelson


67. Graduation speeches force you to reflect. They are about consciousness. Nothing is better than consciousness. – Bruce Eric Kaplan

68. Being considerate of others will take your children further in life than any college degree. – Marian Wright Edelman


69. From kindergarten to graduation, I went to public schools, and I know that they are a key to being sure that every child has a chance to succeed and to rise in the world. – Dick Cheney


70. I learned law so well, the day I graduated I sued the college, won the case, and got my tuition back. – Fred Allen


71. I don’t look to find an educated person in the ranks of university graduates, necessarily. Some of the most educated people I know have never been near a university. – John Keegan


72. To serve in the modern military – or to be the uncle, parent or sibling of one who does – is to treat the necessary service and sacrifice of war with a sacred honor. In my community, we pile into cars and drive hundreds of miles to watch our children’s graduation from basic training. – J. D. Vance


73. If you’re picking your best friend based on what kind of clothes she wears or how popular she is, chances are you aren’t going to stay in touch after graduation. – Renee Olstead


74. Really, the potential for, first of all, any college graduate today is enormously good. These are good times for anyone with a college degree today, particularly African Americans. With a college degree today, you really breach the unemployment rate. – Alexis Herman


75. For many, graduation marks the end of formal student life – the end of long spring breaks and of thinking that a 10 A.M. class is far too early. – Alexa Von Tobel


76. I’m not retiring. I am graduating. Today is my graduation day. Retirement means that you’ll just go ahead and live on your laurels and surf all day in Oceanside. It ain’t going to happen. – Junior Seau


77. If a student takes the whole series of my folklore courses including the graduate seminars, he or she should learn something about fieldwork, something about bibliography, something about how to carry out library research, and something about how to publish that research. – Alan Dundes


78. High levels of homeownership have been shown to foster greater involvement in school and civic organizations, higher graduation rates, and greater neighborhood stability. – Ben Bernanke


79. One of the first times I ever performed in front of a big group of people was at my kindergarten graduation. I did, like, a Michael Jackson impersonation as, like, a five year old. I had the suit and blazer, the glove and the fedora, and I just performed a whole Michael Jackson song. I’m sure it was ‘Smooth Criminal.’ – Chance The Rapper


80. Our promise to our children should be this: if you do well in school, we will pay for you to obtain a college degree. – Ruth Ann Minner


81. I commuted to the prestigious Hibiya High School from my uncle’s home in Tokyo. During the high school years, I developed an interest in chemistry, so upon graduation, I chose to take an entrance examination for the Department of Chemistry of the University of Kyoto, the old capital of Japan. – Susumu Tonegawa


82. Everybody wants you to do good things, but in a small town, you pretty much graduate and get married. Mostly you marry, have children and go to their football games. – Faith Hill


83. All my graduation money went to paying for bartending classes so I could have a side gig. I bartended for two months before I was supposed to move to New York and then two months later I got the job as an understudy in ‘Sister Act’ and haven’t looked back since. – Patina Miller


84. Even though I disagree with many of the changes, when I see the privates graduate at the end of the day, when they walk off that drill field at the end of the ceremony, they are still fine privates; outstanding, well-motivated privates. – R. Lee Ermey


85. Everyone has a right to a university degree in America, even if it’s in Hamburger Technology. – Clive James


86. It might be said now that I have the best of both worlds. A Harvard education and a Yale degree. – John F. Kennedy


87. The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. – James Madison


88. Having a college degree gave me the opportunity to be well-rounded. Also, the people I met at the university, most of them are still my colleagues now. People I’ve known for years are all in the industry together. – Jon Secada


89. Catholic school graduates exhibit a wide variety of qualities that will not only help them in their careers but also in their family and community lives. – Joe Baca


90. Yeah, I spent about 20 years in a dorm room. It took me a while to graduate. – Douglas Wilson


91. I’ve told my children that when I die, to release balloons in the sky to celebrate that I graduated. For me, death is a graduation. – Elisabeth Kubler-Ross


92. When I was in school, my mother stressed education. I am so glad she did. I graduated from Yale College and Yale University with my master’s and I didn’t do it by missing school. – Angela Bassett


93. I think young writers should get other degrees first, social sciences, arts degrees or even business degrees. What I like about graduation speeches is that they’re an opportunity for someone to make sense of their lives and to impart that wisdom to someone else. It’s like a sanctioned self-help moment. – Bruce Eric Kaplan


94. Upon graduation, believe it or not, I had no job. I had no interviews. I had no prospects. I had no worries. What I did have, I had passion. I had enormous passion. I had a passion for financial markets. I had fallen in love with financial markets. – Gary Cohn


95. I took three years off. I differentiate myself from the industry. Found my identity – sort of. I haven’t graduated yet. I’m not legitimately educated yet, but maybe one day. – Claire Danes


96. My daughter finished high school the same month I got my master’s degree. I’m glad I didn’t know when I gave birth to her at 21 what it would cost in terms of time, money and sacrifice to bring her to that graduation day. – Regina Brett


97. You are graduating from college. That means that this is the first day of the last day of your life. No, that’s wrong. This is the last day of the first day of school. Nope, that’s worse. This is a day. – Andy Samberg

98. My personal advice is to go to school first and get a liberal arts education, and then if you want to pursue acting, go to graduate school. – Jillian Bach


99. When nearly a third of our high school students do not graduate on time with their peers, we have work to do. We must design our middle and high schools so that no student gets lost in the crowd and disconnected from his or her own potential. – Christine Gregoire


100. On this outward and physical ceremony, we attest once again to the inner and spiritual strength of our Nation. As my high school teacher, Miss Julia Coleman used to say: ‘We must adjust to changing times and still hold to unchanging principles.’ – Jimmy Carter


101. It is soooooo necessary to get the basic skills, because by the time you graduate, undergraduate or graduate, that field would have totally changed from your first day of school. – Leigh Steinberg


102. College graduates should not have to live out their 20s in their childhood bedrooms, staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life. – Paul Ryan


103. If someone comes to you with, ‘It’s my kid’s graduation,’ you don’t tell them, ‘Sorry, you can’t go to that.’ You just don’t do that. You figure out some other way. – Bob Iger


104. It’s not how much you spend, it’s how you spend it. We have been putting a lot of money into education in the state of Nevada, and it’s gotten us to 50th in the country in graduation rates. We needed more accountability in our system. – Brian Sandoval


105. I’m not impressed by someone’s degree… I’m impressed by them making movies. – Richard King


106. Adults tell students that it gets better, that the world changes after school, that being ‘different’ will pay off sometime after graduation. But no one explains to them why. – Alexandra Robbins


107. It doesn’t matter that your dream came true if you spent your whole life sleeping. – Jerry Zucker


108. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. You can’t get there by bus, only by hard work and risk and by not quite knowing what you’re doing, but what you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover will be yourself. – Alan Alda


109. As you start your journey, the first thing you should do is throw away that store-bought map and begin to draw your own. – Michael Dell


110. It’s hard not to be afraid. Be less afraid. – Susan Suntag


111. You will never see a U-haul behind a hearse. You can’t take it with you. – Denzel Washington


112. You’ll find out that nothing that comes easy is worth a dime. As a matter of fact, I never saw a football player make a tackle with a smile on his face. Never. – Woody Hayes


113. And now go, and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here. -Neil Gaiman


114. When people tell you not to believe in your dreams, and they say “Why?”, say “Why not?” – Billie Jean King


115. That diploma you hold in your hands today is really just your learner’s permit for the rest of the drive through life. Remember, you don’t have to be smarter than the next person, all you have to do is be willing to work harder than the next person. – Jimmy Iovine


116. Pursue whatever it is that you want to do with your life. It is the only secret to happiness that I know except for maybe true love, that and maybe having the amazing health insurance plan that our congressmen have. – Lewis Black


117. You get to make your own luck. 80% of success in your career will come from just showing up. The world is run by those who show up…not those who wait to be asked. – Steve Blank


118. Your education is a dress rehearsal for a life that is yours to lead. – Nora Ephron


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Here’s What to Write in a Graduation Card to Your Favorite New Adult

law school graduation wishes

Graduations offer us an opportunity to pat our friends and loved ones on the back for persevering to complete studies or training of some kind. Your girlfriend will appreciate a message of encouragement and love on her graduation day.

Here are some beautiful and reassuring wishes to send to her as you both celebrate the remarkable occasion of her graduation from school.

  • My head just got swollen, and I can’t stop talking about you to my friends. Congratulations, my one and only love for being the overall best graduate. May God’s blessings continue to be showered upon you.
  • Congratulations! I saw your success from afar. You are an inspiration to me, and I know I can do it too because you are by my side. May all your dreams come true in incredibly spectacular ways.
  • I have no doubt our future is going to be great. You have proven to me you are for real. Now what next? Maybe our wedding plans. Congratulations, my sweet love! May beautiful achievements like this graduation continue to accompany your life.
  • Congratulations, sweetheart! Thank you for making both of us proud. I made the right pick. May you never stop shinning.
  • Your graduation today makes me believe that dreams are to be worked at. You never stop pushing, and I now see the result. Keep making me proud everywhere you go. Congratulations.
  • So you are really smart! I thought you only blabbed to get my attention. Congratulations! You are my woman and my forever love. I’m so proud to be with you.
  • Not only are you an extremely beautiful woman but you are also remarkably intelligent. I am truly blessed by the heavens to have you in my life. Congratulations. I love you. Stay blessed.

I’m so proud of you!

  • Congratulations, my one and only sweet love. You did it in an absolutely outstanding way! May you never stop accomplishing remarkable things.
  • Sweetheart, I am encouraged by your success today to give life my best shot. From today, you are my mentor. Warmest congratulations to you for teaching me it is possible. May your life never stop glittering.
  • It is all over now! And you have won for yourself a bright future. Congratulations to you, my love. I can’t wait to see you shine brighter than the sun.
  • I am highly elated on this beautiful day because the love of my life has achieved a great feat. No one else could be happier than me. Keep on shinning, baby. Congratulations!
  • Congratulations, dear darling! Keep flying all the way to the top. I am your number one fan…today and forever. I know from the bottom of my heart that your prosperity in life will know no bounds. I love you.
  • I have never doubted your great potentials, and today it is confirmed. Congrats!
  • Baby, you are the best graduating student, and I couldn’t be prouder. I can’t stop boasting about you. Congratulations!
  • As you go out there, be who you truly are, a hardworking and determined young woman. But hey, tell all the guys you meet that I say you are taken. Congratulations! I love you.
  • What a joy it is to see you graduating in such an outstanding way! Congratulations my best friend and the love of my love.
  • Congratulations, dearest girlfriend. I am going to celebrate you for a longtime because greatness awaits you out there.
  • Your graduation day is definitely one of the happiest days of my life. I’m more than proud to have such a phenomenal girl like you in my life. May the smile that beautifies your face today never fade. Congrats, baby.

Congratulations. Stunning and Smart!

  • Congratulations for not allowing anything to water down your dreams. I love you, my sweetie pie. Never stop having faith in your dreams, for I believe you have the power to achieve all of them.
  • Baby, I send you heartfelt congratulatory wishes on your graduation today. May God be with you as you go out fully to contribute your worth to the world. Well done.
  • Your dreams of becoming a graduate have now become a wonderful reality. I can’t put into words how highly elated and proud I am to be your boyfriend. Big congrats to you, darling!
  • Congratulations on graduating, my dear! I know you will make it very big in this lifetime. May God always walk with you and bless you.
  • Your graduation today is the beginning of another wonderful phase of your life. I can’t wait to share that awesome life with you. Congratulations, my love.
  • Sending very hearty congratulations to the apple of my eye. Sweetheart, just like my love for you has no limits, may your successes in life after this amazing graduation also have no limits. So proud and glad to call myself your boyfriend.

I’m so proud of you!

  • What a great warrior queen you are! You made it in such a grand style! No words in the dictionary are profound enough to tell you how utterly proud I am of you. Congratulations, sweetheart!
  • You gave this day a hot chase, and girl, you run and won well. Congratulations! May all you do after today be blessed by God. Congratulations to you again, my love.
  • Special congratulations to you for being the best. Keep being the hero that you are, and know that when you succeed in anything, you fill my heart with incredible joy.
  • Babe, I am humbled by your success. The future looks promising for us as I am learning from you and getting closer to my own dreams each day. Congratulations, my love.
  • The qualities of an achiever are written all over you. With my prying eyes, I made the perfect choice. Congratulations on your graduation, sweetheart.
  • You are being crowned today for winning a race that seemed impossible to many. I have always believed in your determination. Never stop winning for us, baby. Congratulations, and l love you.
  • Your graduation is surely an outstanding achievement, sweetheart. Congratulations, and may your hard work continue to produce unequalled rewards.
  • I could go on and on and list all the hurdles you went through to clinch this amazing victory. Words will never be able to express how elated I am about your success. Congratulations.
  • Special hearty congratulations to you for being the best. Keep being the hero that you are, and know that when you succeed in anything, you make me smile. I pray you keep succeeding all the days of your life.
  • Congratulations for crossing another great mile! The amazing thing is you never stop winning. Congratulations, my wonderful first class graduate girlfriend!

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Use these graduation card messages to help you know what to write in a These will work as high school or college graduation wishes.

I’m So Proud Of You | Graduation Wishes for your Girlfriend

law school graduation wishes

In a blink of an eye, your wonderful daughter, kid brother, or sweet cousin is all grown-up and walking across the big stage to receive their diploma. Of course, you’ve planned the perfect party, but if you just can’t seem to find the right words to let them know how proud you are, these simple, heartfelt messages will help you get started. Paired with an unforgettable gift, and it truly will be the best day ever.


  • "Caps off to you, graduate!"
  • “Congratulations! This is only just the beginning. You’re a star in the making!”
  • “Congratulations on your big day! Know without a doubt that you were made for great things.”
  • "Congratulations! We are so proud of you."
  • "Congrats, you did it!"


  • “You’re on your way to seek new vistas, dream new dreams, embark on who you are. Remember to embrace life with passion and keep reaching for the stars.”
  • “The road ahead will have its share of obstacles, but you’re incredibly ambitious and strong to overcome anything that comes your way.”
  • “Chasing a dream requires hard work, passion, and many sacrifices. We can’t wait to see you accomplish everything your heart desires.”
  • “Nothing can stop you now. Your next adventure awaits, and we’re excited to see where it leads you.”
  • “Today is only the first of many amazing moments and I know life has many more in store for you.”

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  • "Never stop growing, exploring, learning, and challenging yourself.”
  • “School may be over, but life’s lessons are yet to be learnt. Keep an open heart and mind. Happy graduation!”
  • “The journey of life brings both challenges and chances. May you snatch the chances and beat the challenges. Congratulations on graduating.”
  • “Graduation isn’t the end of a tough journey. It is the beginning of a beautiful one. Start each day believing in yourself and watch the magic happen.”
  • “Before you act, listen. Before you react, think. Before you criticize, wait. And, before you quit, try.”


  • “From when you were little to this very day, you continue giving us reasons to hold our heads up in pride. Congratulations on your achievement!”
  • “It seems like just yesterday you were just starting school and now, you’re receiving your diploma. It’s been a joy to watch you grow and achieve so much these past four years."
  • “It's true what they say, time flies, but I'm glad we've created incredible memories together that I'll cherish forever. Congratulations, graduate!”
  • “I closed my eyes for but a moment and suddenly you stood where my baby used to be. I may not carry you now in my arms, but I will always carry you in my heart. Congratulations on this special achievement.”
  • “Know what makes your graduation extra special? It’s having watched you grow up, sharing amazing memories with you, and knowing all the challenges you’ve worked through to get to this day. You did it, kid.”


  • “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.” —Henry David Thoreau
  • “Take pride in how far you’ve come. Have faith in how far you can go. But don’t forget to enjoy the journey.” —Michael Josephson
  • “Now go, and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for you being here. Make good art.” —Neil Gaiman
  • “Go forth and set the world on fire.” —St. Ignatius Loyola
  • “There is no excuse to wait a day to do what you want to do and to change the way that you want to change." —Sophia Bush

Selena BarrientosSelena Barrientos is the news writer at covering entertainment, interior design, and travel.

WATCH THE VIDEO ON THEME: 2018 Columbia Law School Graduation Ceremony

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law school graduation wishes
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