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Events at HLS

Harvard Law School offers a wide range of services and resources for members of the Harvard Law School community who are planning events on campus. On these pages, you'll find event an event planning checklist and information on how you can access the HLS resources and services you need.

Note:  If you are not affiliated with Harvard Law School and would like to host an event on the HLS campus, please contact the Office of Events Scheduling and Support. Please note that there are limitations on when outside groups can reserve space at the Law School.

Key things to think about before you finalize event plans

  1. Planning and Preparation Time
    Be sure to allow enough time to plan and publicize your event. Publicity materials should be ready several weeks before your event; arrangements for most other services, including catering and technology services, should be requested at least two weeks before the event. High-profile events, and events requiring invitations, registration or other special arrangements, always need extra planning and preparation time.
  2. Space
    Make sure the space you reserve and the services you order will work for the size and needs of your event. For example, having fewer than 40 people in your audience generally allows you to use an unamplified room; if you expect more than 40 people, you will need a larger room, with amplification.
  3. Timing
    Timing for your event depends on several factors. Late fall term (November) and late spring term (April-May) are busy times for conferences. Other times in the academic year are also exceptionally busy, and it may be difficult to secure on-campus space or hotel accommodations. Before scheduling your event, be sure to check the HLS Calendar and other University calendars to see if there are other competing events at the same time.
  4. High-Profile Guests/Events
    If your event will include high-profile speakers or guests, or if you're expecting a large audience, special arrangements may be necessary. 

If you are inviting high-profile speakers or guests, or if your event is especially newsworthy, please let the Office of Communications know about your event as soon as possible. Recording and reporting on events requires special permissions which will take more time to procure.


Event Planning Checklist 


Event Plan

   • Event size and scope

   • Date(s) and times

   • Key sponsors, participants and audiences

   • Room reservations



Publicity and Permissions

   • HLS Calendar listing

   • Campus video screens

   • Online publicity

   • Printed materials (invitations, posters)

   • Photography

   • Permissions


   • Media Services

   • Information Technology Services


   • Restaurant Associates

   • Alcohol (license and/or security) 

On-Site Planning

   • Number of attendees

   • Room setup

   • Staffing 

   • Event materials (program, agenda, directional and/or informational signage)

   • ADA accessibility

   • Rain location (if applicable)

   • Parking for guests

   • Sustainability

High-Profile Guests/Large Events

   • Special arrangements for high-profile guests

   • Security

   • News coverage

Off-Site Arrangements

   • Hotel rooms

   • Transportation

   • Parking


Print a copy of this checklist (PDF).



Event Planning

As you begin to make the necessary arrangements for your HLS event, it may be helpful to use this more detailed outline in your planning. Once you've assembled this basic information, you can access many HLS resources, including room reservations, catering, media services and communications help. In some cases, you may need the facts and figures described below in order to initiate requests for these services.

Event Plan

Event title

Event date(s)

Event time and schedule (e.g., lecture 4 -5 p.m., reception 5-6 p.m.)

Key participants

  • Speaker(s) or panelists 
  • Host/moderator
  • Special guests (donors, honorees, etc.)

Type of event/room(s) needed

  • Registration table
  • Lecture or talk
  • Panel discussion
  • Breakout session
  • Meeting
  • Film screening or performance
  • Audience participation (small group discussions, Q&A, etc.)
  • Meal(s) or refreshments (during the presentation, or in a separate space?)
  • Party or reception
  • Book signing
  • Videoconference or teleconference 
  • Other (organization fair, etc.)

Estimated number of attendees

Event sponsor(s)

  • Faculty member, office, department, or group sponsoring the event
  • Project owner(s) -- critical for complex or multi-sponsor events

Budget and billing codes

  • Budget
  • Billing code(s), credit card or other form of payment


Is the event by invitation only?

Will attendees need a ticket?

Should guests RSVP? How and to whom?

Should attendees register online?


 Consider the following potential costs:

  • Speaker fee
  • Additional staffing costs (e.g., security and police detail)
  • Media Services (labor and/or equipment)
  • Catering (food, rentals, linen, labor, water for speakers)
  • Program materials and gifts (printing costs, speaker gifts, awards or recognition gifts)

Publicity and Permissions

How will you publicize your event?

  • HLS Calendar listing/campus video screens
  • HLS social media
  • Other online publicity (on sponsor's website, etc.)
  • Invitations
  • Posters
  • Media advisory (for high profile events)

Will you need special permission or releases?


Media Services

  • Laptop/projector (for PowerPoint or web access)
  • DVD player and monitor/screen (for video presentation)
  • Sound playback (CD or MP3)
  • Microphones (for the speaker(s) and/or the audience)
  • Recording (video or audio only)
  • Podcast or live webcast
  • Teleconferencing or videoconferencing
  • Other computer needs

Information Technology Services

  • Wireless access for participants/guests



  • Breakfast/lunch/dinner
  • Hors d'oeuvres/cocktails
  • Refreshments (coffee break, snacks, etc.)

Will you use Restaurant Associates (required at some HLS venues) or an outside vendor?

Will you serve alcohol?

On-Site Planning

Room setup and meeting supplies 

  • Room arrangement (classroom-style, hollow rectangle, conference table, round tables, etc.)
  • Extra tables (for food, materials, etc,) or chairs
  • Meeting supplies (table linens, flipchart, coat racks, extra recycling bins, sign holders, etc.)
  • Water for speakers


  • Event organizer(s)
  • On-site staffing (runner, registration table staff, etc.)

Event materials

  • Name tags
  • Tent cards (to identify speakers or panelists)
  • Program or agenda
  • Handouts or other printed materials


  • Recycling/composting arrangements

High-Profile Guests/Large Events

  • Special arrangements for high-profile guests
  • Security
  • Parking

Off-Site Arrangements

  • Accommodations for participants and guests (hotel rooms, meals and transportation)
  • Parking
Last modified: September 02, 2014

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