College of Law Commencement

Spring 2024 Commencement and Hooding

Spring commencement is one of our favorite times at the College of Law as we celebrate the accomplishments of our students.
This year’s ceremony will take place:

May 16, 2024
Thompson Boling Arena
8:30 a.m.

Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals Presiding Judge Camille R. McMullen
will be the keynote speaker for Commencement 

Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals Presiding Judge Camille R. McMullen

A 1996 graduate of the College of Law, Judge McMullen has amassed an impressive list of career accomplishments, as both a lawyer and judge. After graduation, she served as a law clerk for the Honorable Joe G. Riley Jr. of the very court over which she now presides. Following her clerkship, Judge McMullen gained extensive experience as a prosecutor at both the state and federal levels. She served as an Assistant District Attorney in Shelby County’s major felony unit for four years and then as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee.

In 2008, Judge McMullen moved from counsel’s table to the bench, when she was appointed by then-Governor Phil Bredesen to the Court of Criminal Appeals, becoming the first African-American woman to serve on a Tennessee appellate court. Her appointment in 2023 as the Presiding Judge was similarly historic in that she is both the first woman and the first African American to lead this 12-member appellate court.

Apart from her distinguished professional career, Judge McMullen has been active within the bar and the community. She is a Fellow of the Memphis Bar Foundation and a Master in the Leo Bearman, Sr. American Inn of Court, as a well as a member of the National Association of Women Judges, the Tennessee Lawyer’s Association for Women, and the Tennessee Commission on Continuing Legal Education, among other things. In addition, Judge McMullen serves on the Memphis Chapter of the International Women’s Forum and has been a Board Member for both Girls Inc. of Memphis and the Children’s Museum of Memphis.

Most importantly, however, Judge McMullen is a consummate professional, embodying all that is admirable about our very special calling. She is a wonderful role model for judges, lawyers, and law students, and we are so fortunate to be able claim her as our alumna.

Details for Graduates


  • Information on registering for commencement is sent to each graduate’s official UT email address after they apply for graduation. It is critical that graduates check their university email to stay updated and meet all deadlines. 
  • Students who have a religious or cultural conflict with their assigned ceremony could contact for rescheduling options. 

Graduates will receive an email when registration opens.

All ceremonies will be webcast live on the commencement website.

Cap, gown, and hood

Information regarding how students may acquire a cap and gown for the ceremony is forthcoming.


Graduates should arrive at the lower level Media entrance of Thompson Boling Arena 30-45 minutes prior to the start of the ceremony. A staff member will be at the entrance to direct you to the area that graduates will line up for the procession.


Each participating graduate may bring guests. There are currently no plans to require guest tickets for the spring ceremonies and there is no limit to the number of guests per graduate. Graduates will be contacted if anything changes. The ceremony will last approximately two hours.

Parking and Arena Entry

Graduate and guest parking is available in the G10 (garage next to Neyland Stadium-enter either off Neyland or Phillip Fulmer Way) and G5 (top level of garage near Andy Holt Tower across street from Neyland Stadium) parking garages.

Graduates should enter the venue at the lower level Media entrance near G-10 garage. Orange and white balloons will mark the entrance.

Guests should enter the arena at the upper level gates.


  • Sign language interpreters are present for each ceremony and featured on multiple screens. 
  • Graduates needing special accommodations are to contact so we can connect you with the appropriate services.
  • Accessible parking is available.
  • The accessible entrance for guests is located on Phillip Fulmer Way. Guests will then take the elevator to the concourse level.
  • Closed captioning is provided for the webcast.

After Commencement

BOPP serves as the official commencement photographer. They work with a company called Grad Images to provide online proofs of the photos. A link will be sent to each participating graduate to view and purchase the photos once they are ready. Graduates have the option to include an additional email address to receive the link on their registration form.

Contact the records office at with any questions.

Security Information

The arena’s large-event security protocol will be enforced. Guests will be required to pass through standing metal detectors upon entry, and may enter the arena with only one clear plastic bag no larger than 12 inches by 6 inches by 12 inches.

The only other items ALLOWED in the arena are:

  • Small clutch purses no larger than 4.5 inches by 6.5 inches
  • Mobile phones
  • Binoculars, cameras, and video cameras (without cases)
  • Diapers and non-medically necessary items for babies and young children (must be carried in a clear bag)
  • Medically necessary items that must be carried in a specific bag, sized proportionately to its contents.

The following items are PROHIBITED inside the arena:

  • Non-clear bags of any size
  • Diaper bags
  • Backpacks ( of any size)
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Cans, bottles, coolers
  • Outside food, snacks, beverages
  • Open umbrellas
  • Selfie sticks
  • Unmanned aircraft
  • Large bags or parcels, including backpacks and purses
  • Weapons, including pocket knives
  • Hoverboards, electric scooters, segways
  • Artificial noisemakers
  • Large travel strollers
  • Smoking, including e-cigarettes, is prohibited inside the arena at all times.

2023 Commencement Ceremony