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HLS Class Recordings

Timing & Process, AY 23-24

The Handbook of Academic Policies (HAP) sets out the approved reasons for which Harvard Law School may audio-record classes for absent students. Please consult the HAP for additional policy information surrounding class recordings.

This page describes the process and timing requirements for class recording requests for academic year 2023-2024.

Please note that this page may be updated during the academic year to reflect any necessary changes to timing and processes.  

Timing of Student Recording Requests  

Staff require lead time to approve and set up recordings. Requests made later than the deadlines noted below will not be able to be accommodated. Please do not submit retroactive recording requests to the Services Hub. They cannot be approved.

Recording requests for the following reasons must be submitted by 5:30pm one full business day ahead of the class. For example, if you require a recording for an 8:00AM class on Monday, your recording request must be in by 5:30PM on the Thursday prior.

  • religious holidays
  • make-up class conflicts
  • military service
  • professional examinations (i.e. taking the bar and MPRE)
  • extraordinary educational opportunities (i.e., moot court competition)
  • clinical hearings

Recording requests for the following reasons must be submitted no later than three hours in advance of the class:

  • birth of a child
  • death of a close personal relation
  • significant personal or medical emergency

When Will A Recording Be Posted

Most recordings will be processed and posted within 2 business days from the time of recording – this excludes Saturdays, Sundays, and University holidays.

If your approved recording has not been posted to Canvas within 3 business days, you may follow up with for assistance.  

Recordings will be posted on the Canvas course website under the Assignments or Course Media tabs. These will be available for student listening for 2 weeks from the date of posting.

Students are responsible for listening to recordings within the 2-week availability window, as recordings cannot be reposted.

Process for Student Recording Requests and Recording Access  

Requests should be submitted through the Class Recording Request on the HLS Services Hub (HarvardKey login required).  

PLEASE NOTE: Prior to submitting the recording request form, please make sure that the Class Name, Class Time, Building, and Room information you have entered is correct. Submission of inaccurate information may result in denial of your request or inability to process your request.

Please provide as much information as possible, including medical documentation, if applicable, in the recording request form. This will assist us in processing your request quickly. Recording requests may be denied if information is missing from your request.

Once a recording request has been submitted, the Registrar’s Office or the Dean of Students Office will review the request to determine if the student’s individual circumstances qualify the student as eligible to receive a recording. 

If a student the recording request is approved, the Registrar’s Office or Dean of Students Office will notify the instructor about the request and ask for instructor permission to record. Please note that instructors have the discretion to prohibit class recordings.

Denied Recording Requests

Should a recording request be denied, that class will not be recorded. Therefore, finding class notes from that day will be one of the best ways to catch up on what you may have missed.

In addition to asking friends and peers for notes, we encourage you to utilize your study groups to get caught up with missed content. In addition, we encourage you to reach out to your instructor or their assistant for class materials (if available), or, to attend office hours.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How should I notify my professors of my absence?

    Students are responsible for notifying their faculty about class absences. Faculty are not automatically notified about your absence when you submit a recording request.

    If your recording request has been approved, please feel free to use the template below to notify instructors of your absence.

    Dear Professor NAME,

    Due to REASON, I will be unable to attend NAME OF CLASS on DATE(S). The Dean of Students Office has approved a recording for this absence in accordance with the Handbook of Academic Policies. 

    Thank you,


    Please note: Instructors cannot approve class recordings, only absences. Not all approved absences qualify for class recordings.

  • What should I do if I feel sick but am not experiencing a medical emergency?

    If you are not feeling well, you should reach out to a medical provider and follow their guidance. Medical questions should be directed to your primary care provider or HUHS Urgent Care (617-495-5711).

    Documentation from a medical provider is required to receive recordings requested due to medical emergency or illnesses – especially where a medical provider has advised you to stay away from campus.

    Please attach medical documentation to the Class Recording Request Form in the HLS Services Hub, or you may email documentation to

  • What should I do if I have tested positive for COVID-19?

    Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 should manage their isolation independently by referring to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance.

    Recording requests must comply with the timing guidelines outlined above. Students who have tested positive for COVID should request class recordings on the Services Hub and indicate the start and end date of their 5-day isolation period with each request. If necessary, recordings will also be released to students who require further isolation (past day 5), as determined by CDC guidelines.

  • What information is needed for requests related to clinical hearings?

    For clinical hearings, your request must indicate:

    1. The type of clinical conflict, including:
      1. The role they expect to play in the court hearing or administrative proceeding, OR
      2. The ordinary office hours for the clinical placement and attestation of schedule from OCP or clinical director
    2. Explanation as to why the conflict is unavoidable/means taken to reschedule or arrange coverage
    3. Confirmation that they have alerted their clinical instructor/supervisor of the unavoidable conflict
  • I received an email saying my recording request was completed, but I don’t see my recording on Canvas?

    The Services Hub sends an automated email out to the requestor once the class the student requested has finished being recorded. However, there is still processing and posting processes that need to occur before the recording can be made available for listening.

    You will be notified via Canvas once your recording is available – make sure that you have turned on the “course content” notification for your courses so that you will receive this notification.

  • Can I share the class recording with others?

    No. Class recordings are for your individual use only.

    Students may not record, stream, reproduce, publish, or further distribute outside the course any course content, including assessments, problems, answers, video clips, screenshots, and slides presented during class.

    Further, no person is permitted to post, distribute, or otherwise make available any recordings produced by the HLS Information Technology Services (ITS) Department, which includes all class recordings posted in Canvas.

  • What if my recording request was denied or could not be completed?

    Class notes will be one of the best ways to catch up on what you may have missed!

    In addition to asking friends and peers for notes, we encourage you to utilize your study groups to get caught up with missed content. In addition, you may reach out to your instructor or their assistant for class materials (if available), or, to attend office hours.

  • How can non-HLS students who are cross-registered or enrolled in a jointly-listed course request class recordings?

    If you are cross-registered in an HLS course or are enrolled in a jointly-offered course hosted on the HLS campus, email to request a recording.

    Please include the following information in your request:

    *If your request is related to medical circumstances, please include documentation with your email.

    Please note that the timing of recording requests must adhere to the guidelines outlined in the “Timing of Student Recording Requests” section.

  • Are HLS course auditors eligible for class recordings?

    No. Recordings are not available to students auditing a course, only to students who are officially enrolled in HLS courses.

Request a Class Recording

HLS students may request a class recording in the HLS Services Hub.