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Harvard Law School looks forward to the return of our on-campus activities. As always, the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff, as we pursue our vital mission of teaching, learning, research, and service, remains paramount. With those objectives in mind, and in accordance with Harvard University guidelines, HLS has adopted the following public health policies related to our on-campus operations. These policies will be updated as state, local, and University public health requirements change.

Last updated September 16, 2021

Building Access

Building Access

Subject to special arrangements discussed below, at this time, access to HLS buildings will be limited to HLS and Harvard community members in order to reduce the number of guests and non-community members on campus. All faculty, staff, students, and HLS visiting scholars/researchers will have access to HLS buildings via Harvard University ID card readers during normal business hours. After hours, weekend and holiday access to campus buildings differs; for details on building hours and access points, please consult the Campus Access page.

Special arrangements will need to be made for our guest speakers, clinical clients, and other official, approved visitors, per University and Law School protocols. Please see the visitor policy below for more information.

Visitor Policy

Visitor Policy

Who can visit?

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, HLS buildings are currently closed to the general public, and we are minimizing the numbers of visitors to campus at this time.

Authorized visitors are those whose physical presence is key to critical operations, research, teaching, or related activities—such as clinical clients, an authorized contractor, someone coming onto campus for a late-stage job interview, guest speakers for classes, or a speaker whose presence on campus will bring distinctive value relative to that of appearing remotely.

All visitors must have a faculty, staff, or student organization host at Harvard Law School.

What procedures do authorized visitors and their hosts need to follow?

All visitors must have an HLS host, who will be responsible for completing the steps necessary for visitor authorization. The host is also responsible for the visitor’s compliance with HLS’s health protocols and visitor procedures, including notifying the visitor of the University’s “COVID-19 Safety Awareness Training: Protection/Prevention Practices” and “Post-Travel COVID Testing and Quarantine Policy.”

All HLS student organization and journal hosts must contact the Office of Community Engagement, Equity, and Belonging (ceeb@law.harvard.edu) two weeks in advance of an event date to discuss whether a guest or speaker meets the authorized visitor criteria.

At least two business days prior to a visitor’s arrival, the host must complete the HLS Visitors Questionnaire, through which they will share information such as their name and contact information, the visitor’s name and contact information, and the date, time, length and purpose of the visit. After completing the form, the host will be provided with a checklist of steps they and their visitor must take to be in compliance with the University and HLS visitor policies.

In an emergency, a shorter notice period may be allowed.

Visitors are encouraged to receive a COVID-19 test on the day of arrival through a local health clinic or pharmacy at their own expense and report their result to their host. Additional policies related to the clinical program are under development and will be shared soon.

All hosts must arrange building access with all approved visitors and vendors and greet them at an agreed-upon entrance upon their arrival. Hosts and visitors must also comply with Harvard’s COVID-19 and other return to campus protocols (including but not limited to masking, dining, and distancing) prior to and while on the Harvard campus.

Because managing access to campus facilities is part of our effort to keep our community healthy, all members of the HLS community are urged not to allow people (other than authorized visitors) without a HUID card access to HLS buildings.

Classes, Meetings, and Events Policy

Classes, Meetings, and Events Policy

For the academic program (classes and clinic-related meetings)

Participants must adhere fully to all Harvard University COVID-19 safety protocols, including:

  • Wearing a mask;
  • Avoiding eating and drinking (except in a designated eating and drinking area, or when taking a quick sip with masks promptly replaced);
  • Unvaccinated persons should also make every effort to practice physical distancing when possible.

For all other meetings and events

Rooms for general meetings and events will be available for booking later this fall.

For indoor meetings and events sponsored and supervised by an HLS administrator, faculty member, staff manager, event coordinator, or official HLS student organization, journal or practice organization

Participants must adhere fully to all Harvard University COVID-19 safety protocols, including:

  • Wearing a mask;
  • Avoiding eating and drinking (except in a designated eating and drinking area, or when taking a quick sip with masks promptly replaced);
  • Unvaccinated individuals should continue to protect themselves while on campus by practicing physical distancing when possible.

Attendance will be limited to room capacity. Therefore:

  • We strongly urge the use of invitations with RSVPs so that the number of attendees can be confirmed prior to the event.
  • If the room is equipped for video conferencing, additional attendees can participate virtually (ITS can be consulted for technical help).

Gathering for eating and drinking is allowed only in designated areas or outdoors.

  • Designated eating areas include:
    • 2nd floor WCC Harkness Dining Rooms
    • 1st floor WCC Harkness Fireside Lounge and Gameroom
    • 1st Floor WCC: The Pub
    • 2nd Floor WCC: Student Organization Workroom
    • Jarvis Tent
    • Any outdoor areas
    • In accordance with University guidance, face coverings must be worn in designated eating areas until seated. Face coverings may only be removed when actively eating and drinking, and must be replaced as soon as you are finished eating, and before you leave the chair.
    • In accordance with University guidance, we will be allowing a “quick sip” exception in HLS classrooms, the library, and other non-designated eating areas. Masks must be promptly replaced. As a reminder, no consumption of food of any sort is permitted in classrooms, the library, or in other indoor areas that have not been designated as eating areas.
  • Grab-and-go meals may be offered as part of an event or meeting, but attendees must pick up their meals at the conclusion of the event and take them to a designated eating area.
  • Unvaccinated attendees should take steps to protect themselves when eating and drinking by remaining physically distanced from others when possible.

For indoor meetings and events that are not sponsored and supervised (such as student study groups, social gatherings, and informal lunches and breaks)

The same rules apply as for indoor meetings and events that are sponsored.

For outdoor meetings and events sponsored and supervised by an HLS administrator, faculty member, staff manager, or event coordinator, or official HLS student organization, journal or practice organization

  • Participants must adhere fully to all Harvard University COVID Safety Protocols.
  • Participants must be informed in advance if an event will include food and beverage and be reminded of physical distancing requirements during eating and drinking.
  • In accordance with University guidance, fully vaccinated persons should consider wearing a mask in crowded outdoor settings and for outdoor activities with close contact with others who may not be fully vaccinated.
  • Unvaccinated individuals are encouraged to practice physical distancing when possible.

For outdoor meetings and events that are not sponsored and supervised

The same rules apply as for outdoor meetings and events that are sponsored.

For gatherings held in residence halls and dormitories

  • There is a 10-person limit on the size of any gathering.
  • All attendees must wear a mask.
  • Hosts of all gatherings within residence halls and dormitories must monitor attendance and must cooperate fully with contact tracers in the event of a positive COVID-19 case.
  • Under no circumstances may fire safety or occupancy limits be exceeded.