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Booking Policies

Space is limited during the academic year. In order to accommodate HLS activities, we typically are not able to offer space to non-HLS groups further than one week ahead of the desired event date. For dates outside of the academic year, we are able to review availability during the winter for the following summer.

Ordering Services

Event times must fall within our hours of event operation. Event times should match the start and end time of your event. All services and the HVAC will run off of the event time, and event spaces cannot be used outside of the event times provided on your agreement.

Fees, Deposits & Cancellation Policies

Hourly room rates are charged for event time, predetermined setup and breakdown time based on the space booked, and any additional setup time requested. Harvard University Affiliate clients receive a 15% discount. The Office of Event Scheduling and Support may also charge for any additional requests, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Rental orders for equipment not stocked by OES
  • Work orders for services provided by Harvard University Trades
  • Extra custodial time needed to clean a room damaged in the course of an event
  • Extra staff time needed to support a large scale event outside of our usual hours of operation

To secure space at the Law School, a signed copy of the space confirmation and the 33-digit Harvard University billing code must be filed with the Office of Event Scheduling and Support.

Audiovisual and catering orders must be arranged with Information Technology Services and Harvard University Dining Services directly. All services will be charged to the 33-digit Harvard University billing code filed with OES at the time of booking.

Although no deposit is collected prior to the event date, Harvard University Affiliate clients are still subject to cancellation fees. Cancellations at least 21 days prior to the event will be charged 50% of the room rate, those within 21 days will be charged 75% of the room rate. For clients booking multiple rooms, please note that cancellation policies apply individually to each room you have reserved (i.e. If you cancel room A, that 50% deposit is still charged, the amount does not then count toward the payment of room B that you are still renting).

There may also be fees for late service cancellations.  Please reach out to Information Technology Services (617-495-0722) and HUDS ( or 617-495-5538) for more information about their cancellation policies.

Required Service Providers

All audiovisual and catering services must be ordered from our in-house service providers.


Alcohol must be served by licensed bartenders from the following service providers:

  • HLS Pub: Contact Joseph Dagnello at
  • All other locations, including outdoor venues: HUDS

When alcohol is served at an event, food must also be provided for the duration of bar service. Lack of sufficient food may result in bar closure.

When alcohol will be served to 100 or more event attendees, the Harvard University Police Department must be notified. Request a HUPD Event Detail online.

Filming & Photography

All photography and recording on the HLS campus must be approved in advance by the HLS Office of Communications. Request recording permission online.

High-Profile & Controversial Events

High-profile events include:

  • A visit by a head of state, a Supreme Court Justice, or another high-ranking public official
  • A visit by a prominent or controversial figure

If a speaker will be accompanied by personal or governmental security, the Harvard University Police Department and the Office of Event Scheduling and Support must be notified in advance. Request a HUPD Event Detail online or call the HUPD Detail Office at 617-495-0832. Notify the Office of Event Scheduling and Support at

For events with controversial speakers or subject matter, please review the HLS Protest and Dissent Guidelines. If you anticipate protest or dissent at your event, please notify the Office of Event Scheduling and Support at We will work with you and any other relevant offices to ensure your event runs as smoothly as possible.

Youth Program Registration & Minors

All youth programs involving minors under the age of 18 who are not accompanied by their parents or guardians must be registered with the Harvard Youth Protection Office. Registration is not required for minors under the age of 18 who are accompanied by their parent or guardian while on campus.

All summer camps must be in compliance with the Massachusetts regulations governing summer camps, which includes all programs that self-identify as camps.

All requirements of the Youth Program Registration process must be completed by the Harvard University Affiliate event sponsor, and, once received, the TSO approval email should be forwarded to the Office of Event Scheduling and Support at

Rain Plans

Outdoor events are required to have rain plans in case of inclement weather. They should be developed with your OES event coordinator.

When forming a rain plan, there are three options to consider:

  1. Book an additional indoor space for the event to move to if needed
  2. Book an alternative date for the event to be rescheduled
  3. Cancel the event outright if the weather is poor

Once your rain plan is determined in advance, the final step is to make the rain call and communicate your final decision to the Office of Event Scheduling and Support.

Rain calls must be made by 4pm the day prior to your event (excluding weekends) to ensure that your event runs smoothly. If a rain call is not made within the appropriate timeline, charges may apply for setup completed in the unused space.

Crowd Managers

Per the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, a crowd manager is required for any event classified as a performance or any event where there will be live or recorded music and dancing.

Crowd managers can be anyone from the event sponsoring organization who is 21 years of age or older and has completed the Department of Fire Service’s online Crowd Manager Training. First-time crowd managers will need to create a new account, and training is available at any time. Crowd manager certificates should be filed with the Office of Event Scheduling and Support at at least three business days prior to the event date.

The number of crowd managers required will depend on the size of the event, but we recommend having at least two certified crowd managers to ensure that your event runs smoothly.


  • Reading and understanding the Crowd Manager Guidelines for HLS.
  • Completing the DFS online Crowd Manager Training and filing the certificate with the Office of Event Scheduling and Support at least three business days prior to the event date.
  • Completing the Fire and Building Safety Checklist no more than 2 hours prior to the event and filing it with the Office of Event Scheduling and Support.
  • Making an announcement at the beginning of the event to show event attendees where the room exits are located.
  • Maintaining clear egress paths throughout the event.
  • Making sure room capacity is not exceeded at any time during the event.

City of Cambridge Licenses

City of Cambridge license applications must be submitted by the Thursday two weeks prior to the event date. The Office of Event Scheduling and Support recommends planning to submit your application at least three weeks in advance to ensure that your event runs smoothly.

Before contacting the Cambridge License Commission, please make sure to obtain a signed form from the Office of Event Scheduling and Support; licenses must be picked up by the individual listed on this form. Proof of identification (Massachusetts State ID or passport only) is required.  Payment by check made payable to the City of Cambridge is accepted; paying with cash may necessitate a separate trip to City Hall.  We recommend calling the City of Cambridge for more information on their latest acceptable methods of payment.

Licenses are at the expense of the program/organization reserving the space.  Failure to obtain appropriate licenses will result in the cancellation of your event or the appropriate element thereof.

Please review the requirements for City of Cambridge licenses:

One Day Entertainment License

  • Required when there is an admission charge for an event with entertainment
  • Not required for events that have a program fee (e.g. conferences)
  • Not required for events that have a suggested donation

One Day Alcohol License

  • Required when alcohol is served at an event with an admission charge, when there is a cash bar, or when alcohol is served at an event which is open to the general public
  • Not required for events that have a program fee (e.g. conferences)
  • Not required for events that have a suggested donation

One Day Vendor’s License

  • Required for the sale of goods on the HLS Campus
  • Not required for the sale of books in the City of Cambridge

Raffle License

  • Raffles involve the sale of tickets or entries for a random drawing
  • Gambling and games of chance, including raffles, are prohibited in the City of Cambridge, but an organization can obtain a license that provides special dispensation to hold a raffle
  • Door prizes and drawings where no cash is involved are permitted without a license and not considered games of chance

Insurance & Workers’ Comp

While rare for HLS and Harvard University Affiliate events, general liability insurance and/or proof of workers’ compensation coverage may be required if you are working with an outside service provider or unusual equipment. For more information, please contact the Office of Event Scheduling and Support.