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As always, the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff, as we pursue our vital mission of teaching, learning, research, and service, continues to remain paramount. To maintain good public health outcomes during Spring Term 2022, it is important that every member of the HLS community review, understand, and closely follow the University’s updated COVID-19 protocols and expectations and HLS’s related public health policies for our on-campus operations.

While public health guidance is expected to continue to evolve and the University will update its protocols and guidance accordingly, the FAQs below provide answers to many of the most common questions. Please check back regularly, as this information will be updated further as state, local, and University public health requirements change.

Thank you for your patience and flexibility and for doing your part to help safeguard the health of our community and ensure a successful semester for everyone.

You can find additional resources on our 2021-2022 COVID-19 Information page.

Last updated on March 29, 2022.

Health, Safety, and Wellbeing

Health, Safety, and Wellbeing

Are students, staff, and faculty required to be vaccinated and boosted?

Yes. Harvard University is requiring that every person with an on-campus presence be vaccinated and that they receive a COVID-19 booster. Booster verification is required within 30 days of eligibility.

  • If you have already received a booster, you may submit your information to HUHS through the patient portal (see instructions).

Exemptions will be permitted, by submission of a formal request, for medical or religious reasons. As noted by the University, unvaccinated individuals may be subject to additional public health measures above and beyond what is required of vaccinated individuals.

  • If you already have an approved exemption for the vaccine, you do not need to submit additional information for a booster exemption.

For more information on Harvard’s vaccine and booster requirements, please visit Harvard University’s COVID-19 Vaccine Information page.

Is Harvard University offering COVID-19 boosters?

Yes. HUHS is offering COVID-19 vaccine booster clinics for patients and staff. Please see the HUHS booster clinic schedule for more details. You can book an appointment by logging into the HUHS Patient Portal (click on appointments, click schedule an appointment, and select COVID-19 Vaccination).

For vaccine booster appointments elsewhere, whether in or outside of Massachusetts, please see additional scheduling options.

For the latest information on Harvard’s vaccine-related efforts and to stay up to date, please visit Harvard University’s COVID-19 Vaccine Information page.

Do I have to wear a mask on campus?

As of March 14, general use face coverings are optional in most indoor spaces at Harvard Law School. Limited exceptions include:

  • In Harvard University Health Services facilities
  • Individuals who are completing isolation or quarantine should continue to wear masks when indoors for the full 10 days following their positive test or close contact, according to existing University protocols.

All members of the HLS community are strongly encouraged to carry a mask with them at all times while on campus in case it may be needed unexpectedly.

Can I ask someone I am meeting with to wear a mask if I prefer they do so?

Subject to certain specified exceptions—including healthcare facilities, public transit, University buses and shuttles, and while completing isolation or quarantine— face coverings are optional in all indoor spaces. Any member of our community who wishes to continue taking advantage of the extra level of personal health protection offered by face coverings is free to do so. You may also express a preference for face coverings when meeting with others, but it is ultimately up to each individual to make their own personal health decision.

I currently live on campus. Am I required to take regular COVID-19 tests?

Yes. Students who live in campus-based residential housing are required to test on a regular cadence through May 10, 2022. Residents may continue to test on an optional basis after that time.

Am I required to take regular COVID-19 tests if I don’t live on campus?

Although regular testing continues to be mandatory (through May 10, 2022) for students living on campus, non-residents are no longer required to test. The University urges anyone with symptoms or a known exposure to test, however. Students who wish to continue to test on an optional basis may continue to do so.

Where do I pick up and drop off the test kits?

Test kits and collection bins are available near the Hark South entrance and at the back Langdell entrance (between Langdell and Areeda). Completed tests will be collected at 3 p.m. on weekdays and Sunday mornings at approximately 9:45 a.m. Please ensure your completed test kit is activated and in one of the collection bins at least 15 minutes prior to the designated pick-up times. However, you can drop a completed test kit in a collection bin at any time, and it will be collected during the next scheduled pick up.

As we approach the end of the term, Harvard will reduce the number of COVID-19 test kit collection bins across the entire University campus, including here at Harvard Law School. At the end of the day on Monday, May 9, the University will remove the collection bin located in Langdell Hall. And on May 29, the Sunday after commencement, the University will remove the collection bin located in the Harkness Commons.

As of May 30, Harvard will maintain a total of five bins across the University. For members of our community who wish to continue optional COVID-19 testing, the nearest collection bin to the Harvard Law School campus will be located at the Science Center. In addition, bins will also be located at the Smith Campus Center, the main Harvard University Health Services office in the Smith Campus Center, the Science and Engineering Complex in Allston, and the New Research Building in Boston’s Longwood Medical Area. Except for Saturdays, test kits will be collected from each bin at 9 am.

Why do the test kits sometimes look different?

Harvard utilizes two different labs in its testing procedures, and depending on availability, you may notice that your test kits are not always the same. Both tests are equally effective and include instructions in each kit. Both tests should also be activated and managed through the Color system. If you have questions about test kits or your testing cadence, please email dos@law.harvard.edu.

What do I do if I am feeling ill?

If you are feeling unwell:

  • Step 1: Log into Harvard University’s Crimson Clear and complete the health attestation, and await instructions from the HUHS COVID Response Team (usually between 24-48 hours).
  • Step 2: Request audio recordings of your classes via the HLS Services Hub (if you are not feeling well enough to make those entries, please let the Dean of Students Office know by emailing dos@law.harvard.edu and they will arrange for audio recordings on your behalf).
  • Step 3: Stay off campus or, if living in an HLS dorm, remain in your room unless you have been directed by HUHS to come to campus for the sole purpose of dropping off a COVID test in one of the collection bins located near several building entrances. (Test collection bins have been placed near the Hark South entrance and at the back Langdell entrance between Langdell and Areeda). Please immediately depart campus or return to your HLS dorm room as soon as you have deposited your test and refrain from coming to campus for any other reason until you have been cleared by the HUHS Response Team to do so.

During this period you should continue to request next day recordings by 6 p.m. each night until you hear from the HUHS Response Team that you are cleared.

If you are determined to be COVID positive and are instructed to isolate, you can submit a recording request for each of your classes for the duration of your isolation period through the HLS Services Hub. For more details on what steps to take and what to expect if you get a positive test, see “What happens if I get a positive COVID test result?”

What happens if I get a positive COVID test result?

  • If you took a COVID test through Harvard’s testing program and a positive result is detected, Color will notify you, HUHS, and the law school.
  • HUHS will then contact you via your Harvard email to share information about what it means to be positive and explain next steps, including isolation and notifying your close contacts. Contact tracers rely on email for most communication, so please check your Harvard email for instructions about next steps.
  • An HLS staff member will be in touch to discuss specifics for supporting you during your isolation period.
    • If you are on campus, we will help with food and supplies.
    • If you are feeling well, you should request audio recordings of your classes via the HLS Services Hub (if you are not feeling well enough to make those entries, please let the Dean of Students Office know by emailing dos@law.harvard.edu and they will arrange for audio recordings on your behalf).
    • You will also be responsible for notifying your professors of your absence period — DOS will provide language so that you do not need to craft a specific message for each class.
  • If you receive a positive test result through a non-Harvard test (outside of Color), you should report your positive result through Crimson Clear and return or stay home. If you receive an email from Crimson Clear indicating that you are not authorized to access Harvard facilities, let DOS know right away while you await further instructions from HUHS.
  • Please see Harvard’s Exposure, Quarantine, & Isolation page for more information on isolation protocols.

What do I do if I have been notified that I am a close contact or I think I have been exposed to COVID-19?

If you think you were exposed to COVID-19, use the following set of HUHS guidelines to determine whether or not you need to quarantine and other health measures you should take.

Please see Harvard’s Exposure, Quarantine & Isolation page for more information.

What happens if I’m a student out of compliance with vaccination or testing requirements?

In accordance with University policy, unless they can demonstrate that they are eligible for a medical or religious exemption, students who do not provide the Harvard University Health Services-required documentation of COVID-19 vaccination and/or decline, refuse, or fail to be tested for COVID-19 at the cadence specified for them by HUHS may be placed on an involuntary leave or, at the school’s discretion, may face other consequences including, but not limited to, exclusion from participation in certain school or University activities, an instruction not to enter upon University property, the loss of access to University housing, or denial of registration.

How can I stay up to date on the University’s COVID-19 efforts and what I can do to help keep myself and the Harvard community healthy?

Visit Harvard University’s COVID-19 website for regular updates and its related Health & Wellbeing page.

Building Operations

Building Operations

Who can access HLS buildings?

Subject to the exceptions for special arrangements discussed below, access to Harvard Law School buildings, including the HLS Library, remains limited to HLS and Harvard community members. All faculty, staff, students, and HLS visiting scholars/researchers will have access to HLS buildings via Harvard University ID card readers. Please contact the Facilities Management Office at 617-495-5521 or facmgmt@law.harvard.edu should you have any difficulties with building access.

Special arrangements can be made for visitors. Please see the visitor policy and procedures for more information.

May members of the general public come to campus?

In an effort to reduce the number of non-community members on campus at this time, HLS buildings are currently closed to the general public.

Special arrangements can be made for visitors. Please see the visitor policy and procedures for more information.

Where can I eat and drink on campus?

Harvard University has phased out its limitations on eating and drinking so food consumption is no longer restricted to designated eating areas. Eating is not permitted in classrooms when classes are in session, however, though quick sips are allowed.

Unvaccinated attendees should take steps to protect themselves when eating and drinking by remaining physically distanced from others when possible.

May I take a sip of a drink?

Yes. While eating is not permitted in classrooms when classes are in session quick sips are allowed.

Gatherings & Event Space

Gatherings & Event Space

Are students able to reserve spaces for social and in-person gatherings, including for student organizations?

Yes. Students, faculty, and staff may reserve spaces for gatherings and events through our Events Management System (EMS). In addition, students can reserve study and conference rooms through express reservations. Students will be able to reserve spaces through the last day of classes, while faculty and staff may do so through the end of the term, May 13, subject to space limitations during exams.

What policies and guidelines apply to the use of study and conference rooms booked through express reservations?

The express nature of these bookings means that rooms cannot be reserved more than seven business days in advance of a meeting or event and they are not available for HUDS catering or other event-related services. .

What policies and guidelines apply for reserving spaces for events through EMS?

When reserving spaces for events, students, faculty, and staff should:

  • Book judiciously: In order to allow for maximum use by the entire community, please book only the spaces on the dates and times you absolutely need. Excessive booking will not only hinder the ability of others to book space, but may result in a denial of the request.
  • Follow COVID-19 safety protocols: Those planning and attending indoor events must abide by all University and HLS public health policies. Please see the Events & Gatherings Policies for more information.
  • Plan ahead when incorporating a meal component: Meals may be offered as part of an event or meeting, but event organizers should consider providing a socially distanced seating section for those who prefer to keep their distance while eating.
  • Exercise diligence with outside catering: While Harvard University Dining Services (HUDS) catering service (which provides hot and cold food, beverages and set-ups directly from the Hark kitchens and is bookable through EMS) is our strongly preferred vendor, food deliveries from outside restaurants or services may be delivered, but only on the following conditions:
    • Deliveries: Due to traffic conditions and space constraints on Massachusetts Avenue and Everett Street, all outside restaurant and food service deliveries must be made to the parking lot at 28 Everett Street (behind the Gropius Complex between Perkins and Richards Halls). Recipients of those orders must meet the delivery drivers there promptly; the drivers are not authorized to enter HLS buildings.
    • Table set-ups and utensils: When utilizing outside food service, table(s) should be ordered through EMS to ensure there is a place to set up the food and beverages and to ensure our Facilities team is aware of the booking to assist with post-event cleaning. It is important that outside catering orders include all necessary utensils, serving dishes, napkins, etc., as HUDS is not required to provide those items for meals provided by off-campus vendors.
    • Clean up: Event organizers are responsible for the removal of any remaining food items following the event.

For more information, please visit the Events Scheduling and Support website.

Can I serve food at my event?

Yes. Faculty, staff, and students may serve food during on-campus events and gatherings and may do so in spaces other than the areas previously designated for eating and drinking. Meals may also now be served in concert with event programming, rather than being held separately. Event organizers should consider providing a socially distanced seating section for those who prefer to keep their distance while eating.

May I use the extended lunch hour to host events?

Yes. However, any event hosted on campus during the lunch hour should be limited to 30 to 45 minutes to allow time after the event ends for lunch pick up (if applicable) and to clear and clean the room before the next instructional period begins.

May I bring in guest speakers for my student organization events?

Yes. Although access to HLS buildings will generally be limited to HLS and Harvard community members in order to reduce the number of guests and non-community members on campus at this time, visitors and guests hosted by individuals, departments, and student organizations are welcome on campus, provided that all of the campus safety requirements outlined below are strictly followed.

Prior to Arrival

Event organizers, departments, and individual hosts are responsible for sending visitors this notification, which outlines Harvard University and HLS’s safety protocols and expectations for their visit.

By virtue of their decision to attend any of our on-campus events or activities, visitors attest and agree to the following:

  • I am fully vaccinated against COVID-19 using a vaccine authorized by the FDA or WHO and have received my booster (if eligible); or
  • I qualify for exemption based upon age, a medical contraindication, or firmly held religious belief.

HLS guidelines also encourage visitors to:

  • Take a COVID test within 24 hours before coming to campus; and
  • Refrain from coming to campus if they receive a positive COVID test result or if they are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g., fever, chills, muscle/body aches, sore throat, new cough, congested or runny nose, fatigue, headache, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, loss of taste or smell, or any gastrointestinal symptoms).
  • All visitors are also expected to report a positive COVID-19 test result or clinician diagnosis to HUHS via email at clear@huhs.harvard.edu immediately if they have been on campus within 48 hours of symptom onset or receive a positive COVID-19 test result.

May I use school funds to host official visitors? (Updated)

Yes, as long as all visitor procedures and public health requirements are met. Please see the Visitor Policy for information.

May HLS funding be used for meal-related events off-campus? (Updated)

Yes. HLS funds may now be used for off-campus events held indoors at restaurants or other venues with the understanding that all participants must adhere to local public health policies and food service must take place after the business portion of any gathering has concluded.

HLS nonetheless continues to strongly encourage community members to organize and host events and plan meals on campus as often as possible because we have a highly vaccinated population and environmental safety controls in place in our spaces, and because some members of our community may not feel as safe engaging in off-campus events as they would if the events were taking place on campus. Please be considerate of your colleagues’ comfort levels and thoughtful in your planning of off-campus events in indoor locations.

Early Interview Program & Public Interest Interview Program & LL.M. Job Fair

Early Interview Program & Public Interest Interview Program & LL.M. Job Fair

Will recruitment programs like the Early Interview Program (EIP) and the Public Interest Interview Program (PIIP) and the Overseas-Trained LL.M. Interview Program (“LL.M. Job Fair”) be offered in-person or virtually?

These programs will be offered virtually in the 2021-2022 academic year, as previously announced. Visit the Office of Career Services and the Office of Public Interest Advising websites to learn more about these programs and the resources that are available to help you prepare.

Housing

Housing

Can HLS students take advantage of other Harvard housing?

Yes. HLS students can also apply for housing through Harvard University Housing (HUH), which is operated separately from HLS Housing and which offers a range of housing options. If you are interested in applying for HUH housing, please visit the Harvard University Housing website. As always, there is no cost to apply for HUH housing and no obligation to commit until you have selected a unit and signed a lease. Students can view and select currently available units now.

May I have visitors in HLS housing?

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, no visitors will be permitted to stay in HLS housing at this time. This policy is designed to protect the health and safety of all residents, as well as the broader HLS community.

Do I have to wear a mask in HLS housing?

As of March 14, general use face coverings are optional in most indoor spaces at Harvard Law School, including HLS housing. Limited exceptions include:

  • In Harvard University Health Services facilities
  • At indoor gatherings and events that exceed 250 people.
  • Individuals who are completing isolation or quarantine should continue to wear masks when indoors for the full 10 days following their positive test or close contact, according to existing University protocols.

Anyone who prefers to continue wearing a mask indoors may of course do so, and their personal health decisions should be supported and respected by every member of our community. All members of the HLS community are also strongly encouraged to carry a mask with them at all times while on campus in case it may be needed unexpectedly.

Can I eat in common areas?

Yes. Residents are free to eat in the common areas, such as lounges and kitchens.

Are there specific event policies for HLS housing?

Yes. There is a 10-person limit on the size of any gathering inside an HLS housing facility. Hosts of all gatherings 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.

Where can I find more information about the policies that pertain specifically to HLS housing?

Please consult the HLS Housing Handbook for additional information.