Skip to content

HLS Event Scheduling Update

The event management system (EMS) is now open for Summer bookings on campus. Study rooms and small conference rooms may also be reserved through express reservations.

Booking Policies & Ordering Services

Space on the Harvard Law School campus is in high demand and availability can be limited. In order to ensure that all HLS event sponsors have an equitable dispensation of space, please reserve space that match your event’s size, dates, and times as closely as possible when booking an event.

Full service reservations requiring service orders (catering, audio-visual, etc) must be booked a minimum of 96 business hours in advance of the event time (2 weeks for larger conferences or events booked in the Milstein Conference Center). Depending on staffing and complexity, requests after these windows may not be accommodated.

Booked event times should match the start and end time of your event (not including any load-in/out times) and spaces cannot be used outside of the event times provided on your EMS confirmation. All services (including setup by custodial, a/v, catering, HVAC), are arranged based off the actual event start and end times booked in the EMS WebApp. Any HLS calendar publicity is also based on the event start and end times.

If you require additional setup time for your purposes, please book the correct event time and reach out to the Office of Event Scheduling and Support to discuss options for setup and teardown times.

Visit our Book a Space page for more information about booking space through the EMS WebApp.

Cancellation Policies

Space cancellations may be made up to 72 business hours in advance of the event time through the EMS WebApp. Within 72 business hours of the event time, the Office of Event Scheduling and Support must be notified in writing about any cancellations, along with any service providers (catering, audio-visual, etc) contracted to support your event.

There is typically no charge for space cancellations, but there may be fees for late service cancellations. Please reach out to Information Technology Services and Harvard University Dining Services directly for more information about their cancellation policies.

Co-sponsored Events

HLS faculty, departmental, and student organization event sponsors may choose to co-sponsor events in conjunction with non-HLS organizations. To qualify for HLS community booking privileges for co-sponsored events, the following criteria must be met at all times:

  • The HLS event planner must be the point-of-contact for all communications with the Office of Event Scheduling and Support regarding the event logistics. OES will not communicate with representatives from a non-HLS co-sponsoring organization.
  • The HLS event planner must be present on-site for the duration of the scheduled event.
  • The HLS event sponsor (faculty or department) must provide their Harvard University 33-digit billing code for all charges associated with the co-sponsored event.
  • If the HLS event sponsor is a student organization, they must petition the Office of Community Engagement, Equity, and Belonging for permission to co-sponsor an event with a non-HLS affiliated group.

If the above criteria cannot be met, please refer the non-HLS organization to the Office of Event Scheduling and Support at 617-495-3129 or, or direct them to our  Harvard University and External Client room rental information.

While event spaces on campus are primarily intended for use by Harvard Law School community members, space can be rented by other Harvard Schools or external organizations. Non-HLS groups rent space with different sets of restrictions and fees than the HLS community. Please refer to our Harvard University Affiliate Policies & Guidelines or our External Client Policies & Guidelines for more information.

Filming & Photography

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

High-Profile & Controversial Events

High-profile events include:

  • A visit to HLS by a head of state, a Supreme Court Justice, or another high-ranking public official
  • A visit by a prominent or controversial figure
  • An event with active co-sponsors, especially an event co-sponsored with any Harvard school or an outside organization

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 make sure to indicate the details when submitting your room request in the EMS WebApp and review the Protest and Dissent Guidelines in the Handbook of Academic Policies. 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 a smoothly as possible.

Catering & Alcohol

Harvard University Dining Services Catering

Harvard University Dining Services catering is required in the following locations:

  • Milstein Conference Center on the 2nd floor of Wasserstein Hall
  • 2nd Floor Terrace outside of the Milstein Conference Center
  • All Caspsersen Student Center spaces, including the Pub
  • Kumble Plaza
  • Belinda Sutton Quadrangle and Caspersen Patio


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

  • HLS Pub and 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.

In accordance to MA state law, student organizations cannot advertise an “open bar,” “happy hour,” or pictures/drawings of alcoholic beverages on advertisements.

Grills and Sternos

For barbecues, only HUDS is permitted to operate grills on campus.

Sternos may not be used unless HUDS staff are hired to supervise their use.

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 and holidays) 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.

Youth Program Registration & Minors

All youth programs involving minors under the age of 18 who are not accompanied by a parent or guardian must be registered with the Harvard Youth Protection Office. All requirements of the Youth Program Registration process must be completed by the Harvard event sponsor, and, once received, the TSO approval email should be forwarded to the Office of Event Scheduling and Support at

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

Registration is not required for minors under the age of 18 who are accompanied by their parent or guardian while on campus.

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.

Crowd Managers Responsibilities:

  • 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

License applications must be submitted to the City of Cambridge License Commission 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.

Please note the HLS license application process differs from the Harvard College process listed on the City of Cambridge License Commission website. Before contacting the License Commission, please make sure to obtain a signed application form from the Office of Event Scheduling and Support.

Licenses must be picked up by the individual listed on the form provided by OES. 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 accepted methods of payment.

Licenses are at the expense of the HLS event sponsor reserving the space. Failure to obtain appropriate licenses will result in 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
  • Visit the City of Cambridge website for additional guidance on raffles

Insurance and 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.

Additional OES Costs

The Office of Event Scheduling and Support does not charge for space or room setups. Unusual event needs will be charged to the billing code provided by the HLS event sponsor; in the case of student organizations, payments owed will be paid via check /debit card from your org bank account. Additional event charges (not including a/v or catering) might include the following:

  • Rental orders for equipment not stocked by OES
  • Work orders for services provided by Harvard University Trades (e.g. electrical work)
  • 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

Audiovisual and catering orders should be arranged with Information Technology Services and Harvard University Dining Services directly.

Health and Safety

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 public health policies related to our on-campus operations which can be viewed on the 2021-22 COVID-19 Information page. These policies will be updated as state, local, and University public health requirements change.

Additional information specific to events is addressed in the Frequently Asked Questions section of the HLS Community Event Resources.