Graduation image

UNH Law's 45th and 46th Commencement Ceremonies
Saturday, May 22nd at White Park
Concord, New Hampshire

Class of 2020 Ceremony will begin at 10:00 a.m. 

Class of 2021 Ceremony will begin at 1:00 p.m. 

We hope you will find all the information you need about our Class of 2020 and Class of 2021 Commencement Ceremonies.

The ceremonies will also be live streamed at 

If you have additional questions or need more information, please contact


Commencement Speaker

Dahlia Lithwick, Senior Editor, Slate

Dahlia Lithwick is senior editor at Slate, writing the “Supreme Court Dispatches” and “Jurisprudence” columns since 1999.  She also hosts the award-winning biweekly legal affairs podcast “Amicus.”  In 2018 she received the Hillman Prize for Opinion and Analysis Journalism, being called “the nation’s best legal commentator for two decades…  With characteristic erudition and empathy, her [works] remind readers about the importance of maintaining both the rule of law and our shared humanity.”  Lithwick’s work has appeared in publications such as The New York Times, Harper’s, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, The New Republic, and Commentary. She is a frequent guest on “The Rachel Maddow Show” on MSNBC and has appeared on CNN, ABC, “The Colbert Report,” and “The Daily Show.”  Lithwick has also been inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She clerked for Procter Hug, Chief Justice of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Lithwick received a BA in English from Yale University and JD from Stanford Law School.

Commencement Honorary Degree Recipient

John Garvey, Professor Emeritus

John Garvey is the founding Director of the nationally acclaimed Daniel Webster Scholar Honors Program. In awarding the Gambrell Professionalism Award in 2015, the ABA stated the program “...stands as a national model of committed collaboration between law institutions, with the active involvement of University of New Hampshire School of Law, the New Hampshire Supreme Court, the New Hampshire Board of Bar Examiners, and the New Hampshire Bar Association.” Professor Garvey has received many awards for his pioneering work with the program, including the NH Bar Association’s E. Donald Dufresne Award for Outstanding Professionalism and the Award for Distinguished Service to the Legal Profession. He also received the NH Bar Foundation’s Frank Rowe Kennison Award for substantial contributions to the advancement of legal thought.

Garvey started his legal career as a Navy JAG. During his three years in the Navy, Lieutenant Garvey had a distinguished courtroom career and received both the Navy Achievement Medal and the American Bar Association Award for Professional Merit. Upon completing his military tour, Professor Garvey joined a prominent private firm in Concord, NH. During his 24 years at the firm, he devoted his time to a wide range of litigated matters, eventually becoming the chair of the litigation department in addition, he was one of the original principal attorneys in the Claremont case, which made a successful state constitutional challenge to New Hampshire’s method of funding the education of its children. As a result, Professor Garvey was a recipient of the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union “Bill of Rights Award.”

In addition to being an experienced trial lawyer, Professor Garvey is a well-known mediator and arbitrator with nearly 30 years of experience. He has been recognized by his peers for his mediation and arbitration skills by selection in both Best Lawyers in America and Super Lawyers - where selection is limited to 5% of all lawyers. He was selected by his Best Lawyers peers as Mediator of the Year in 2014 and 2017.

Commencement Speaker

Richard Wilder, JD '84, General Counsel and Director of Business Development at Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations

Richard Wilder is an alum of UNH Franklin Pierce Law and is General Counsel of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).  CEPI is a global partnership between public, private, philanthropic, and civil society organizations.  It has been at the forefront of global development and distribution of vaccines for COVID-19 and has partnered with the WHO and GAVI on COVAX, the effort to accelerate the development and manufacture of vaccines and to guarantee fair and equitable access for every country around the world.  These efforts are already having a significant impact; just last week Ghana became the first country to receive shipment of the COVAX vaccines.  These shipments are expected to be the beginning of the largest vaccine procurement and supply operation in history; the COVAX facility plans to deliver close to 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines this year to make sure that all citizens around the world, including those from low- to middle-income countries, have access to vaccines.

Honorary Degree Recipients

Philip S. Johnson, Founder and Principal of Johnson-IP Strategy & Consulting

Philip S. Johnson is the Founder and Principal of Johnson-IP Strategy & Consulting.  He previously served as Senior Vice President - Law Department and Chief Intellectual Property Counsel of Johnson & Johnson, having joined the corporation in January 2000 after 27 years in private practice. In this position, he managed about 110 patent and trademark attorneys worldwide. Phil is Chair of the Board of Directors of the American Intellectual Property Law Education Foundation, Vice President and President Elect of the Intellectual Property Owners Association, and a member of the Board of the Intellectual Property Owners Association Education Foundation (Past President). He is also a member of the Steering Committee of the Coalition for 21st Century Patent Reform, of the Association of Corporate Patent Counsel (Past President) and of PhRMA’s IP Focus Group (Chair Emeritus). Previously, Phil served as President of INTERPAT. Before joining Johnson & Johnson, Phil was a senior partner and co-chair of IP litigation at Woodcock Washburn in Philadelphia, where he specialized in intellectual property issues affecting major pharmaceutical, medical device and consumer product companies. Phil has served as trial counsel in over 100 patent cases, including over 50 resulting in reported decisions of the federal district courts and/or of the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals. Phil regularly testifies before both the House and Senate Judiciary Committees about patent law reform and, more recently, abusive patent litigation. Phil served as a member of Chief Judge Michel’s Advisory Council on Patent Reform and was recognized in the Congressional Record as a member of the Minority Whip’s “Kitchen Cabinet” for the America Invents Act. Thereafter, Phil served as IPO’s representative on the ABA-AIPLA-IPO committee of six experts (“COSE”) formed at Director Kappos’ request to propose to the USPTO implementing regulations for the PGR-IPR post-grant proceedings created by the AIA.

Phil co-authored “Compensatory Damages Issues in Patent Infringement Cases, A Pocket Guide for Federal District Court Judges,” published by the Federal Judicial Center, and has served that Center as a faculty member on its IP-related judicial education programming. Phil was also featured in the Landslide Publication March/April 2013 issue. The New Jersey Intellectual Property Law Association awarded Phil with its 2013 Jefferson Medal, presented on June 7, 2013. Phil received his Bachelor of Science degree, cum laude with distinction in biology from Bucknell University, and his J.D. degree from Harvard Law School, where his third-year advisor was now-Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.

Barry Currier, Retired Managing Director of ABA Section on Legal Education

Barry Currier is a legal educator. He recently retired from his role as the Managing Director, Accreditation and Legal Education at the American Bar Association Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar Dates. The Office of the Managing Director of the American Bar Association Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar manages the approval and accreditation of law schools in the United States. Previously, Currier was the President, Kaplan Legal Education and Dean of the Concord Law School. Currier was also a long-time faculty member at the U. of Florida College of Law, Dean/Professor at Cumberland Law School of Samford University, and Deputy Consultant on Legal Education for the American Bar Association. He attended the University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of Southern California Law School.

Saturday, May 22: Class of 2020 Commencement Ceremony, 10:00 a.m.- 11:30 a.m., White Park 

· Graduates must arrive no later than 9:00 a.m. and should plan on convening on the stairs of the law school. 

· Guests can plan to be seated in the tent around 9:30 a.m. 

· Students and guests are welcome to take photos at White Park or at the law school prior to 9:00 a.m. on Saturday morning or after the conclusion of the class of 2021 ceremony on Saturday afternoon. They are welcome and encouraged to come in their regalia on Friday to take photos as well. 

· Graduates and guests must depart White Park and the law school promptly after the conclusion of the ceremony

Thursday, May 20: Class of 2021 Champagne Toast, 5:00 p.m. Courtyard behind the Jury Box and via Zoom. This event is RSVP only. Invitations have been sent out via email. 

Saturday, May 22: Class of 2021 Commencement Ceremony, 1:00 p.m.-2:30 p.m., White Park 

· Graduates must arrive between 11:45 a.m.-12:00 p.m. and should plan on convening on the stairs of the law school. Please do not arrive early as we will be concluding the class of 2020 ceremony. 

· Guests should not arrive until 12:30 p.m. Please communicate to your guests not to arrive early. 

· Graduates and guests can plan on taking photos at White Park or the law school after the conclusion of the ceremony. Please do not come early to take photos with your friends or family. You are also welcome and encouraged to come in your regalia on Friday to take photos as well.

9:00 a.m. Class of 2020 students arrive and class photo is taken 

2020 Graduates and guests are able to take photos at the law school and park prior to 9:00 a.m. 

9:15 a.m. Class of 2020 guests can be seated in the tent 

10:00 a.m. Class of 2020 procession and ceremony begins. 

11:30 a.m. Class of 2020 ceremony concludes, and students and guests must depart from the law school and White Park 

11:30 a.m. Staff will clean and disinfect all chairs in student and guest seating. 

12:00 p.m. Class of 2021 graduates can arrive and class photo is taken 

12:30 p.m. Class of 2021 guests can be seated in the tent. 

1:00 p.m. Class of 2021 ceremony begins. 

2021 and 2020 Graduates and guests are able to take photos at the law school and park at the conclusion of the Class of 2021 ceremony.

Commencement Ceremony Regalia

J.D., Masters and L.L.M. Students

The tams, gowns and hoods are rented by UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law and must be returned immediately following the commencement ceremony. A representative from the rental company will be at the entrance to White Park to collect them. You may keep the tassel but must return the gown, hood and tam. If your tam, hood and gown are not returned, you will be charged the purchase price.

Financial Aid Information – Exit Interview/Debt Counseling

Students must complete their Federal Student Loan exit counseling(s) by Friday, May 7, 2021 at:

Students who do not complete the required exit counseling by this date will not receive their diploma during the Commencement Ceremony. Questions? Please contact Sharon Eaton in the Financial Aid Office.


Several area hotels offer rooms at a discounted rate for guests who mention UNH Franklin Pierce Law when they make their reservations. Please go to to see the list.

Individual Graduation Portraits-An Option

Our graduation photographer is offering to take a graduation portrait of you in your cap and gown (head and shoulder shots) outside on campus on Thursday, May 20. There is no cost for taking the photograph, your only expense is when you buy the photograph - which you can view online before purchasing. When you get your photo taken you will receive a printout with all the information. There is no need to sign up, just show up with your cap and gown in on the scheduled day. More information will be available via email in the spring semester.


Class of 2020: Plan to arrive at UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law no later than 9:00 a.m. in your tam and gown.

Class of 2021: Plan to arrive at UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law no later than 12:15 p.m. in your tam and gown.

Class photos

More information to come!

In Case of Rain

Don't let your tam and gown get wet! The fabric dye may bleed when wet and could damage your clothing. If it is raining, bring your tam and gown in the plastic bag provided.


Pre-assigned pod seating will be available for each graduate and their quests. Graduates and their guests may only sit at their assigned pod. Due to social distancing requirements graduates will only have 2 or 3 seats available at their given pod for guests. The location of your pod will be given at the rehearsal.

Guests with Seating Accommodations

Please let Lauren Berger ( know if you have a guest who uses a wheelchair or needs special seating arrangements for your pod.

Unfortunately, strollers are not allowed under the tent, per direction of the Concord Fire Marshal. There is plenty of room to leave them outside of the tent. Please plan accordingly.


Due to University COVID guidance, guests will be unable to access the law school building. Portable toilets will be available in White Park. Please plan accordingly.


Parking will be available at White Park for the day. Additionally, students and guests are welcome to park in the two UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law parking lots on Washington St. and Rumford St. Please see the map for detailed information.

Handicapped parking spaces are available in front of the Rines Building and behind the Buck Building. In addition, there will be designated handicapped spots along the fence by the White Park entrance at the corner of White and Washington Streets.


A professional photographer will be documenting the commencement ceremony. They will be taking photos of the class, of graduates receiving diplomas, as well as numerous candid photos. These will be made available to you via email during the summer.

Pod Seating

Pod seating will be assigned to keep graduates and their guests together during the ceremony. All pods will be spaced 6 feet apart, to keep social distancing. In order to maintain these safety guidelines, we must limit capacity of people inside the tent. We ask that anyone standing outside the tent practices social distancing.


  • Face masks are required for entry, exit, and use of restrooms, and while seated consistent with city of Concord protocol which requires a face covering in public areas.  We will have spare masks available. If you are unable to wear a face mask, please consider accessing commencement through our online platform.
  • Bottled water will be provided for guests and graduates at their seats.
  • Individually packaged cupcakes will be provided for guests and graduates at their seats for a post-ceremony celebration.
  • Hand sanitizing stations made available throughout the tent.

Remote Participation

We will be offering virtual participation for graduates and guests that are unable to attend the ceremony in person.


We ask that you follow travel protocols and restrictions as issued by the CDC. Please see the CDC travel recommendations here. If you are traveling from outside of NH, we encourage you to follow the NH DHHS travel guidance here.

COVID-19 Symptoms

We ask any student or guest experiencing COVID-related symptoms to participate in the virtual commencement and avoid coming in person. Please see symptoms here. If you initially confirmed in-person presence but need to switch to virtual participation, please contact Lauren Berger (  immediately.

Live Streaming Information

We will be live streaming both the 2020 and 2021 Commencement Ceremonies on Saturday, May 22nd. To view the event please visit . The ceremonies will both be recorded and be available to view on the UNH Law YouTube page in the days following the events.

JD, LL.M., and Master’s degree Candidates

You will receive your diploma during the ceremony provided you have completed your Financial Aid exit counseling and cleared any financial and/or academic obligations. If you are not planning to attend the commencement exercises, you must complete the Financial Aid exit counseling (see Sharon Eaton with questions) and make arrangements with the Registrar's Office to pick up your diploma or have it sent to you by certified mail, which requires a signature upon delivery.

JD/LLM Degree Candidates

JD/LLM degree candidates who have completed all degree requirements by graduation day will be asked to stand twice (once for each degree) but only walk up only once (for the JD degree) during the ceremony. You will receive both diplomas at the commencement ceremony.

Mailing address

Diplomas not picked up during the Commencement Ceremony will be mailed to you shortly after graduation. Please provide the Registrar’s Office with a mailing address where someone will be available to sign for the package. Any second mailings are at the students' expense.

UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law Alumni Network

UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law has a new Alumni Network Community which can be accessed at Stay in touch and join the UNH Franklin Pierce Law Alumni Network.

Career Services

As a graduate you are entitled to use the resources of the Career Services Office, such as individual career development counseling, resume and cover letter review and access to our job postings on the Career Services web page.

We can also request reciprocity for you from another law school, which if granted, will enable you to use select resources in their Career Services Office. Keep us informed of your status and current contact information. If we learn of opportunities that we think would interest you, we will contact you.

E-mail Access

Your UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law e-mail account is a permanent cloud account. It is yours for life.

Free Library Access

Following graduation, alumni may enjoy a free year of library membership for the period extending from their graduation date until June 30th of the following year, after giving the membership coordinator a permanent address and phone number.

Benefits of membership include checking out circulating materials, and on-site access to many online resources. At the end of the first membership year, a renewal notice will be sent. At that time, alumni can elect to continue their membership for a fee.

Membership rates are scaled for the first five (5) years of practice. After five years, alumni are charged the sole practitioner fee and may purchase individual memberships, even if they work in a firm of two or more attorneys. An alumni membership may not be used by anyone other than the alumnus.

Access to the collection is always available to alumni, regardless of membership status, however, services are reserved for fee-paying members.

Bar Applications

We encourage you to complete your bar applications early. Please drop off bar application forms in the Registrar’s Office, leaving sufficient time for early completion.

You may drop forms with the Registrar’s Office prior to graduation or you may email the forms to:

If you are taking the New Hampshire Bar, do not be concerned about the requirement asking you to submit two certified copies of your diploma. UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law has an agreement with the New Hampshire Supreme Court which allows us to submit a copy of our graduation list to them directly, shortly following commencement. This takes care of the requirement if you have been conferred the degree.


UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law only processes transcripts for a bar application.

UNH Durham is the key contact for future transcripts. For either request, you may use the link below:

Please allow five to eight business days for the processing.

Rank letters

Class rank letters will be mailed to you. Rank letters will be mailed to your “Current Mailing” address from Webcat. It is your responsibility for maintaining an up-to-date, accurate mailing address. If you are moving after graduation and know the address, please update your address prior to graduation or as soon as applicable.

A rank letter is supplied to you for your use, as a policy, the law school does not rank, officially. Please save the original letter for your records.


If you need any documents notarized, please see any of the following people at UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law: Jon Cavicchi, and Kathy Fletcher.

Contact Us

If you have questions pertaining to the Commencement Ceremony please contact:

Lauren Berger Assistant Dean for Students (603) 513-5171