Saturday, May 11th, 2024 at 1:00 PM
UNM School of Law, Back Patio

Keynote Speaker

Chief Justice C. Shannon Bacon 

justice bacon

Justice Bacon was appointed to the New Mexico Supreme Court on January 25, 2019, after being recommended by a nonpartisan Judicial Nominating Commission.  She took the oath of office on February 4, 2019.  Prior to her appointment, Justice Bacon served as a district court judge on the Second Judicial District Court and as the Presiding Civil Judge.  While serving on the district court, Justice Bacon presided over thousands of cases including complex civil litigation, class actions, adult guardianship and conservatorship cases, real estate and contract disputes, election issues, domestic and children's court cases, and appeals.  Justice Bacon was also the Bernalillo County Water and Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District Judge.

Justice Bacon currently serves as the vice-chair on the Conference of Chief Justices and Conference of State Court Administrators Committee on Legal Education and Admissions Reform (“CLEAR”), and serves on the National Conference of Bar Examiners’ Justices Advisory Group,  the New Mexico Supreme Court’s Equity and Justice Commission, the New Mexico Access to Justice Commission, the New Mexico Working Interdisciplinary Networks of Guardianship Stakeholders, the New Mexico Supreme Court Judicial Recruitment and Retention Commission, the Supreme Court’s Regulatory Reform Commission, and the National Judicial College Dividing the Waters.  Prior to joining the Supreme Court, Justice Bacon served on numerous commissions and committees.  She served on the New Mexico Supreme Court Adult Guardianship and Conservatorship Steering Committee (Chair) and Rules Committee, the Access to Justice Commission, the Bernalillo County Pro Bono Committee (Co-chair), the Supreme Court Personnel Rules Committee (Chair), the Supreme Court Rules of Evidence Committee (Chair), and the District and Metropolitan Judges Association (President).  Justice Bacon has also served on non-profit boards that address the needs of youth experiencing homelessness for more than a decade.

Justice Bacon has been honored for her work and is the recipient of the 2022 Albuquerque Bar Association’s Distinguished Service Award, the 2020 Felipe Quintana Memorial Award of Excellence, and the 2015 Albuquerque Bar Association’s Outstanding Judge Award.  She has also been named the 2024 New Mexico Woman of the Year by USA Today.

Commencement Overview

We are pleased to resume in-person commencement exercises.  This commemorated celebration is held once a year at the School of Law at the end of the Spring Semester. Although Juris Doctor and Master of Studies in Law Degrees are conferred three times per year, at the conclusion of the Spring, Summer, and Fall semesters, graduating students of any semester are welcome to participate.

Graduates and their guests may also choose to attend the Main Campus Commencement Ceremony, which will take place at 9:00 AM on Saturday, May 11, 2024 in the University Arena (aka the Pit). Attendance at this ceremony is optional.


Tams, gowns, and hoods, required dress at graduation, may be purchased through the UNM Bookstore. For more information, including cost, visit the UNM Bookstore  webpage. The SBA has a limited number of tams and gowns available to loan. Information about the opportunity to borrow regalia will be provided to you by SBA officers.

Honor cords for magna cum laude, summa cum laude and cum laude are not worn at UNM School of Law because honors are based on all grades, including those for spring of the graduating year which do not become available until after graduation.


A professional photographer will capture photos of the event. Family members are welcome to take photos but are asked to please refrain from blocking the view of audience members and professional photographers.

Commencement Exercises

Honors and Awards Ceremony

The Honors and Awards ceremony along with the SBA Woody Awards will take place on the North Lawn of the Law School on Friday, May 10, 2024. Awards presentations begin at 2:00pm. All students and faculty are permitted to attend in-person.


Specific details of the processional will be emailed to expected graduates.

Upon arrival you will be given a name card with your full name printed on it.  You will carry your hood and your name card with you in the processional.  The processional of students is led by the SBA President followed by graduates.  You may walk with and sit with whomever you choose. 

Keep in mind the temperature tends to be a little warm by mid-May and you will be wearing black robes, we suggest you wear something fairly light underneath. Graduates are asked to be especially careful in selecting their shoes for the occasion because you will be walking across the grass area which may be soft and wet.

All graduates and faculty participating in the ceremony must wear regalia.

When it is time for the hooding to begin, the SBA President will take their position with the faculty hooders. As you move to the “stage” you will first hand your name card to the faculty member who is reading names. You will proceed to shake hands with the SBA President, then hand your hood to whichever faculty member is available. If you are not comfortable being hooded by a professor, place your hood over your head yourself. The final step is to stand with the Deans and have your photo taken before returning to your seat.

There will be staff directing the process and it is important to follow their direction to ensure that the ceremony moves smoothly and that photographers are able to capture each graduate as they are hooded and as they stand with the Deans.

Guests and Spectators

Graduates may invite as many guests as they wish and no tickets are required.