Robing Information

Cap & Gowns - FAQ

Cap & Gown Rental Information

All graduates are required to wear the authorized University at Buffalo School of Law academic regalia provided for you by the cap and gown vendor.

Rental orders will be taken Monday, January 18 through Friday, February 17, 2017, at the University Bookstore. The orders are taken in the merchandise section of the Bookstore. You can also place your order by phone by calling the Bookstore: 716-636-6290. You will need to have a tape measure handy as you must be measured for the cap (tam).

The cost for J.D. and LL.M. regalia rentals is $73.00 + tax.

The University Bookstore will accept cash or check payable to the University of Buffalo. They also accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express credit cards. Please remember that the rental fee is non-refundable.

Late fees will be applied to each order after the scheduled order deadline of Friday, February 17. If your order is received after the deadline, the book store will not be able to guarantee the correct hood color and a late fee may be applied. Please note that you must return the gown, hood and tam (hat), as it is only rented. The tassel is yours to keep.

If you wish to purchase a cap and gown, please consult with the Bookstore. The purchase price is around $750.

The Law School cannot accept any regalia orders.

Cap & Gown Pickup

You may pick up your cap and gown from the University Bookstore. The dates will be provided when you place your order.

Cap & Gown Return

Graduates are to return their regalia to the University Bookstore by June 2, 2017. The tassel is yours to keep.

Dress Code & Shoes

There is no formal dress code for Commencement. Most graduates wear business-like attire under their robes. It is recommended that dress shoes or low heels be worn because you will walk up stairs to the stage and down stairs after being hooded. Regalia should be wrinkle free.

Q: How do I know if it is the right academic attire?

A: Be sure to mention the "Law School" when ordering so you are given the correct academic attire. The gown (robe) is black with long sleeves and velvet stripes on the sleeves. The hood is velvet. You will also have a tam hat (like a French beret) instead of a mortarboard (which is why they need your head measurement) and a thick deep purple tassel with the year '17 on it (the tassel is the only part of the attire you are permitted to keep).

Q: What if I am a dual or collaborative degree candidate?

A: If you are graduating from the Law School and another Graduate program (e.g., Library Science – MLS, Management – MBA, Social Work – MSW), you will need to purchase only the hood for the other ceremony. You would wear your Law School doctoral robe and tam for that ceremony and carry your Master's hood to be "hooded" at the ceremony. You may also purchase a tassel for that Department or School. You may wish to discuss this issue with the Bookstore staff.

Q: What if I don't want to rent a cap and gown?

A: There is an alternative. Traditionally, Buffalo Public Interest Law Program (BPLIP) offers the opportunity to donate toward its scholarship fund in lieu of renting a cap and gown.

Students who donate will receive a special cord to wear on their lapel. A note in the graduation program section on Academic Costume explains the cord. You can still donate and wear the cord even if you order and wear your cap and gown.

Please contact Dawn Skopinski for more information. If you decide to take this option and still want a tassel as a keepsake, the Bookstore does sell tassels separately – you must order by the February 13 deadline.

Q: How can I signify my participation in a student organization?

A: Any students participating in a student organization will be able to purchase, at a discounted price, cords to wear during the ceremony to signify their involvement in one or all of their student organizations during their time at the Law School.

In the Spring, your student organization(s) will distribute information for optional participation. Cost will be approximately $3 per cord. Information about the cords will be published in the commencement program, so we need to ensure a standardization of colors and quality. Cords are pre-ordered in bulk by the Director of Special Events to ensure quality and the lowest possible cost for all students groups. Only these cords (or BPLIP cords) can be worn during the ceremony.