Planning an Event
The Office of the Dean of Students encourages LSSO’s to create programs and events that foster a sense of community among groups and individuals to enhance a student’s overall experience at the Law School. LSSO’s should think creatively and thoughtfully throughout the program planning process, as they have the ability to provide students with a wide range of programming throughout the year. The Office of the Dean of Students is available to consult with LSSO’s on programming and events.
The Office of the Dean of Students provides guidance to LSSOs in planning events. This may include suggestions on topic selection, networking with other departments on campus, managing logistics, and inviting faculty, alumni, or other special guests. For guidance on LSSO programming, you may contact the Office of the Dean of Students to schedule an appointment. Additionally, the Office of the Dean of Students can assist with leadership issues, either one-on-one or collectively with executive boards or other groups of leaders.
Guest & Speaker Restrictions
If your student organization would like to invite a distinguished guest to the Law School, such as an alumni of the Law School or University, an elected or appointed government official (judge, senator, attorney general, etc.), or any other high profile person, you must receive approval from the Office of the Dean of Students and the Office of External Affairs in advance of extending the invitation. LSSOs interested in inviting a judge to speak at the Law School must also obtain approval from the Clerkship Committee in advance of extending the invitation. Other procedures for event registration are outlined below. The approvals described above and the procedures listed below must be completed prior to any invitations being extended.
Two offices within the Law School are able to help LSSOs network with alumni. First, External Affairs has access to an alumni database with current contact information for Law School graduates. Although there is information about some graduates’ practice areas, the database information is limited. For information from this database, please contact Alison Coppelman, Senior Director of Development at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Second, the Office of Career Services has information about where recent graduates are working and can be helpful in finding potential speakers and contacts.
Programming involving minors must be discussed with the Office of the Dean of Students prior to the event being scheduled to ensure compliance with University and other regulations. Please also note that programming that includes the presence of animals, outside of assistive pets, is not permitted in the Law School.
In order to promote a diversity of backgrounds, thoughts, and experiences students are encouraged to carefully consider to whom they extend invitations.
Event and Speaker Approval Process
All LSSOs wishing to hold an event at the Law School must follow the event request process outlined here. First, all LSSOs wishing to invite a distinguished guest must submit this request by filling out the form at https://goo.gl/forms/ZWur7FwBhiMdj5x92. This process will also enable your LSSO to request speaker approval. Upon submission, both the Office of the Dean of Students and the Office of External Affairs will be notified of your speaker request. If the event involves inviting a judge, the Office of Career Services will also be notified to coordinate with the Clerkship Committee. Your request must be submitted and approved prior to extending any invitations to speakers and guests. Therefore, submission should be done during the early planning stages. Once the necessary parties have had a chance to look over the speaker request, your organization will receive an email regarding the status of your event.
Space in the Law School is extremely limited requiring that all LSSO lunch events must be submitted to the Office of the Dean of Students each quarter through the event request process described above.
LSSOs may not submit a room reservation until the event request has been submitted and all speakers and guests have been approved.
If your event will not involve an alumni, distinguished guest, or law firm, or you have gotten permission for your speaker from the Office of External Affairs or the Office of Career Services as appropriate, you may submit your event via the online spreadsheet (https://goo.gl/forms/Q32H1dytNXcZikAA2) and immediately proceed to making your reservation on the master calendar (https://majority.uchicago.edu/mrm/) provided there is an available room.
Similarly, meetings and other events outside the lunch hour must be submitted through the event request process if an alumni, distinguished guest, or law firm is involved OR if catering is ordered. Once your event request is received and approved, you will receive permission to reserve a room.
If your event will not involve an alumni, distinguished guest, or law firm, or you have gotten permission for your speaker from the Office of External Affairs or the Office of Career Services as appropriate, you may submit your event via the online form (https://goo.gl/forms/Q32H1dytNXcZikAA2) and immediately proceed to making your reservation on the master calendar provided there is an available room.
Communications with Law Firms, Guests, and other Professionals
Remember that you represent the Law School in your dealings with attorneys, judges, alumni, law firms, and other professionals. Keep in mind that working professionals are accustomed to prompt responses to correspondence, so it is important to make sure that your organization’s members respond to email correspondence as soon as is reasonably possible, even if simply to acknowledge that your member received the message and will follow up with a more detailed response at a later date.
In addition, please remember to use a respectful and courteous tone in all written correspondence. Specifically, use salutations (Dear, To Whom It May Concern, etc.), titles (Professor, Judge, Ms., Mr., etc.), and closings (Sincerely, Best Regards, etc.). Also make sure that any outgoing correspondence is carefully proofread before it is sent out. Sloppily written emails can leave a guest or law firm with a negative impression of the writer and the Law School. For a sample email invitation to a guest speaker, please see the Appendix A.
Once a guest accepts an invitation to the Law School, remember to confirm the event with the speaker again at least 10-14 days prior to the date of the event. In that confirmation, be sure to inform the guest of any necessary logistical details (driving directions, where to meet a student organization’s members, parking arrangements, food accommodations, etc.). For a sample guest speaker logistics email, please see the Appendix B.
Finally, be sure to send the guest a written thank-you after the event. For a sample thank you email, please see Appendix C.
Failure to adhere to these communication guidelines not only may reflect poorly on the Law School and law students, but also may jeopardize opportunities for the Law School and/or LSSOs to work with a guest, law firm, or organization in the future.
LSSOs should exhaust their own budgets and all campus resources before seeking any external funding for events. In order to seek external funding from law firms or alumni, LSSOs must follow the procedures located on the student organization website and outlined by the Office of External Affairs at http://www.law.uchicago.edu/students/organizations/fundraising. To seek funding from bar prep companies or any other external source, LSSOs must receive approval from the Office of the Dean of Students at email@example.com. LSSOs are strongly encouraged to co-sponsor events with each other in order to combine their funding. LSSOs may not sponsor (or co-sponsor) more than one event at the same time. Additional information regarding funding can be found under Funding & Reimbursement.
Open versus Closed Events
Any LSSO that does not maintain a membership list must make all of its events open to all law students. If an LSSO chooses to maintain a list of members in good standing, the LSSO may hold members-only events if the members of the LSSO deem it appropriate in light of the format and purpose of the event. LSSOs must ensure that the number of members-only events is small relative to the number of events held by the group overall. Additionally, the Office of the Dean of Students will not provide funding for any organization event that is not open to all students. An LSSO may also restrict voting in elections for officers or board members to members in good standing. Membership lists must be submitted to the Office of the Dean of Students at the beginning of the Autumn Quarter for record keeping and a copy of the membership list must be saved on the LSSO Google Drive (https://goo.gl/MwIy7s) in the assigned student organization folder.
LSSOs that serve alcohol at Law School events take on great responsibility, not only to follow the law, but also to take appropriate precautions to prevent physical or emotional injury from drinking. Only moderate consumption of alcohol is permitted at LSSO events. If a student organization plans to serve alcohol at an event, then the leadership of the organization and any servers must complete UCARE training (more information on UCARE training is below). The organization also must designate a faculty or staff member to be present and responsible for any on-campus event at which alcohol is served and they must agree to be present throughout the entire time that alcohol is served. If your organization plans to serve alcohol at an organization event, regardless of whether the event is on-campus or off-campus, you must contact the Office of the Dean of Students for approval at least one week in advance of the event. Non-salty food and non-alcoholic drinks must be provided at all events at which alcohol will be served.
LSSOs that are also RSOs also must adhere to any applicable CLI alcohol policies. For additional information on CLI alcohol policies, LSSOs should contact their CLI advisor and review the information available at https://studentactivities.uchicago.edu/alcohol-policy.
Please note that the above requirements do not apply to student organization events taking place at commercial establishments where non-students serve alcohol (bars, pubs, etc.), so long as no student organization funds of any kind (LSSO funding, LSA funding, CLI funding, etc.) are spent on the alcohol.
LSSOs that plan to serve alcoholic beverages at their functions must have the organization’s leadership and servers complete alcohol risk management training (UCARE) offered online by the Student Care Center. Information about the online training is available at: https://wellness.uchicago.edu/ucare.shtml.
Office of Events
The Law School Office of Events makes arrangements for all large, more formal Law School events. On occasion, the Events Department may oversee student organization events (e.g., in the event of a visit by a major dignitary, a conference, or special event). On rare occasions, a student organization may wish to use an event caterer for events such as a reception, dinner, or a lunch with a high-profile speaker. The Office of Events is available to help you plan these events. Before contacting the Events Office, please discuss your event with the Office of the Dean of Students to determine if your event is one that needs support from the Events Office. You will also need to submit this event via the Event List on the LSSO Google Drive at https://goo.gl/forms/Q32H1dytNXcZikAA2.
As a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c) (3) of the tax code, the University is prohibited from participating in political campaign activities. Although the University may, consistent with its purposes, engage in and sponsor debate and discussion of political issues, the support of individual candidates, campaigns or parties is prohibited.
The University may not endorse any candidates, make donations to any politician’s campaign, issue statements for or against any candidate, or engage in any activity that would either support or oppose any candidate for public office. Furthermore, no political fundraising may occur on the University’s campus, in the name of the University, or through the use of University e-mail accounts. These prohibitions apply to all campaigns, including those at the federal, state, and local levels.
During election years, it is particularly important that LSSOs be mindful of the University’s policy regarding political campaign-related activities. If your student organization plans an event focusing on an election or working with an individual currently running for political office, please discuss it ahead of time with the Office of the Dean of Students.
Conferences and Student Travel
Any LSSO desiring to organize a trip (whether domestic or international) under the auspices of the organization (and therefore the Law School and the University) must speak with the Office of the Dean of Students about the applicable University and Law School policies and the source of funding for the proposed trip prior to making any travel arrangements. Please note that limits may be imposed on the number of trips for which a student organization may receive travel funding and that funding requests must be made in advance of travel. For more information on funding, please see the Funding, Budgets, and Reimbursement section.
Moot Court Competitions
The Law School hosts an internal event called the Hinton Moot Court Competition, named for Judge Edward W. Hinton (Professor of Law, 1913-36), which is open to all second- and third-year students (except those 3Ls who made it to the semifinals during their 2L year). Additional information on this competition can be found at http://www.law.uchicago.edu/studentorgs/mootcourt.
Students may participate in moot court competitions hosted by outside entities, as long as the competitions do not require the student participants to miss any classes, exams or otherwise interfere with their coursework. Students may not receive course credit or fulfill the Law School’s writing requirements for moot court competitions or similar activities, such as mock arbitrations. As a general rule, the Law School does not provide funding for outside moot competitions. There may, however, be special funds available from donors depending on the competition topic. If such funding is available, it is typically capped at $500 per team and may be used to cover registration costs. To learn whether funding is available, please contact the Office of the Dean of Students with your proposal.
Reserving a Room
Requests for room reservations for LSSOs are handled by the Administrative & Faculty Support Specialist in the Office of the Registrar. Students wishing to reserve a room must complete a room reservation at https://majority.uchicago.edu/mrm/. Students can also reserve conference rooms in the D’Angelo Law Library online at http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/law/using/conferencerooms.html. Room reservations that will require cleaning services outside normally scheduled hours (i.e., weekend programs where food will be consumed) may incur a charge.
Based upon a need to ensure room availability for make-up classes, a desire to attempt to ensure good attendance for events, and to ensure adequate supervision and assistance for events, several classrooms are blocked each day. These “Dean’s Holds” are released only in extraordinary circumstances, for make-up classes, or for faculty use.
Keep in mind that all LSSO events must be submitted to the LSSO Google Drive (https://goo.gl/forms/Q32H1dytNXcZikAA2) and all distinguished guests must be approved via the speaker request form (https://goo.gl/forms/uIGEJfWeLPtytnNS2) prior to completing a room reservation.
Calendar reservations for the autumn quarter will open on Monday, August 29 at 8:00am. Events submitted to the calendar prior to this date will be removed.
The Facilities Department handles all requests for facilities needs, including: moving tables and furniture; providing additional tables, chairs, poster stands, and garbage cans; managing the room temperature; and other responsibilities. If your organization has facilities needs for an event, please request the services through the room reservation system available online at https://majority.uchicago.edu/mrm/. For additional questions or requests, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Law School has basic audio-visual and IT equipment available some of which may require a rental fee. Charges in addition to the basic rental fee may be assessed, particularly if electricians are needed to set up or run the equipment. Please consult the Facilities Department to get an estimate of costs associated with any rental equipment. Additional information on IT needs may be found below under Technology Requests.
LSSOs are limited to ordering food from the Law School’s approved vendors. Caterers that are not listed in the MRM calendar are not permitted at the Law School. To place a catering order, you must complete the online order form available on the Law School’s room reservation website
Event requests must be made at least 3 business days in advance of your event (e.g., an order for Monday should be ordered by lunchtime on Wednesday).
Leftover Catering Items
Food served at events is strictly for students and others who are attending the program. Non-attenders are not to take leftover food from the classroom corridors, but instead must either attend the event or wait until food is moved to the Green Lounge for general consumption. Each student organization must designate one member to stand back and wait for facilities staff to take the food items to the Green Lounge. The designated student organization member must ensure that only those attending events take the food ordered for that event until the food is moved to the Green Lounge.
You must clean up the room after your event has ended. Specifically, it is important to return AV equipment in its original condition. Groups that do not return equipment to its original condition will be fined if the equipment is not ready for use for the next class. The touchscreen monitors should not be removed for any reason from the desk where they are located.
LSSOs can reserve a promotional table on weekdays from 10:00am – 2:00pm in the North Green Lounge. All food sales/giveaways must be approved in advance of the event. Please contact the Office of the Dean of Students to reserve a table.
LSSOs have many publicity options. The Law School’s Communications Office can assist LSSOs seeking to publicize their events (1) to the greater Law School community through the Law School website, and (2) to the University more generally, including through the News Office.
The Communications Office does not design or print posters, fliers, or brochures for LSSOs. For student designed posters, fliers, or brochures, the computer lab (located on the 3rd floor of the D’Angelo Law Library) contains a color printer for student printing.
Each Student Organization is eligible to receive a free Print Card that is preloaded with $37.50. This card enables student organization to print posters for their events. Print Cards are placed in each student organization folder at the beginning of each Autumn Quarter.
Questions regarding printing accounts should be directed to the Help Desk (email@example.com).
LSSOs interested in exploring the various publicity options may contact the Communications Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Law School Website
LSSOs may post their events to the Law School website, which allows the Law School community, alumni, and other interested parties to know in advance about LSSO events. LSSO events are available online at: http://www.law.uchicago.edu/events.
Law School Briefs
The Law School Briefs are a weekly bulletin of activities and announcements for the Law School community published each Monday by the Communications Office. If you wish to put something in the Briefs, please follow the instructions on adding a calendar event at: http://www.law.uchicago.edu/students/organizations/publicity. While creating a web “Event” page, please make sure to check the box stating that the event should be listed in the Law School Briefs, which is located directly underneath the “Location” field. Aside from personal emails, the Law School Briefs is the most effective way to notify Law School faculty, administrators, staff, and students of an event.
Bulletin boards in the lower level of the Law School are available either for LSA group notices or for general information directed at law students. Please remember to keep these notices current and in good order. LSA assigns the individual bulletin board spaces for LSA groups at the beginning of the year. Student groups are responsible for the upkeep of their bulletin boards, including removing announcements once an event has passed.
Announcements can be written on whiteboards located at the entrance to each classroom but not on the main whiteboards in the center of the classroom as those whiteboards are intended for the use of professors during class.
Students may not post signs in any unauthorized area of the basement or first floor, or in any area of the second through sixth floors of the Law School. LSSOs will be billed for any damage to Law School property caused by signage in unauthorized areas.
LSSOs must publicize all of their events using the LSA-Orgs listserv (email@example.com). LSSOs must post to this listserv at most twice: first, to announce the event in advance and, second, to remind students of the event close in time to the event occurring. All students are automatically enrolled in this listserv but may request to be removed from the listserv. For group-specific announcements, please email only group members.
A student organization may create a group-specific listserv that is only for announcements of interest to that group’s members. For example, students may create a separate listserv for discussions and intra-organization announcements, such as forwarding articles of interest. Go to lists.uchicago.edu for information about establishing a mailing list or lists for your student organization, but remember that all events, except for the limited number of events held for members only, must be open to all students and advertised to the LSA-Orgs listserv. Failure to adhere to this advertisement policy may cause your organization to lose its LSSO status (as well as its funding, tax-exempt status, and room reservation privileges).
LSSOs are encouraged to seek co-sponsors or share information with other student organization leaders through the LSA-OrgsLeaders listserv (firstname.lastname@example.org). The LSA-OrgsLeaders listserv is designed as a resource for student organization leaders to share information and to seek co-sponsors for events. The Law-Announce listserv should not be used to announce events.
The Law School has an active presence on Twitter, and the Law School’s Twitter account is maintained by the Communications Office. If you would like to have a student organization event advertised on the Law School’s Twitter feed, or if you would like to start a Twitter feed for your organization, please contact the Communications Coordinator at email@example.com.
An increasing number of LSSOs and individual class years have established groups on Facebook. Check out the Law School’s Facebook page for a list of these groups. If your LSSO is interested in starting a Facebook page for your organization, please contact the Communications Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
LinkedIn is a professional networking service. LSSOs interested in networking with graduates who were members of their student organization may want to start a LinkedIn page for the organization. If your LSSO is interested in starting a LinkedIn page, please contact the Communications Coordinator at email@example.com.
LSSOs may request special technology for an event (microphones, computer, or AV requests) through the room reservation system available online at https://majority.uchicago.edu/mrm/. Please note that there may be additional charges for certain services or for services requested after-hours (evening events during the week or weekend events). If you find that you experience technical difficulties during an event you may press the Help Button on the corner of the monitor in each classroom. You may not move the monitors under any circumstances. Doing so will disable the technology for the upcoming classes.
Please be sure to consider requesting audio recording to allow for your event to be podcast. More information on how to set up your event for recording can be found at http://www.law.uchicago.edu/studentorgs/plan/record. Clickers are also available at the VCA desk for student org or guest speaker use during power point presentations. Note that you will need to leave your Student ID to check out a recorder or clicker.
For additional information regarding special technology requests, please contact the Information Technology Office at 773-834-5300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. All IT requests should be submitted via the room calendar at least 3 business days in advance of your event.
On rare occasions, LSSOs host events for which additional security is necessary. Examples include when a speaker is high-profile (in which case they often travel with their own security) or when an LSSO expects that there may be protesters at the event. If your LSSO needs security for an event or has received indications that protestors may be present at an event, please contact the Office of the Dean of Students as far in advance as possible so necessary arrangements can be made. There is a fee for security service ($85 per hour, per officer), which will be charged to the student organization’s account.
Daily parking passes are available for speakers or guests participating in student organization events. The student organization requesting the parking pass will be charged $10 for each parking pass. To request a parking pass, email the Student Affairs Administrator with your student organization name, speaker name(s), and date of the event. Parking passes may be picked up from the Law School Receptionist at the VCA desk on the day of the event. Be sure to request parking passes for your guests at least two days prior to the event.
Speakers sometimes ask a student organization for permission to sell books before or after their programs. Book sales are strictly prohibited at the Law School for two primary reasons. First, for tax purposes, the Law School cannot engage in commerce. Second, the Law School is fortunate to have many speakers who wish to speak at the Law School, and they are generally welcome to speak at the invitation of a LSSO. The Law School seeks to prevent, however, speakers from pressuring students to host events on their book selling tours or pressuring students to purchase books. The Law School wants the focus to be on the free exchange of ideas rather than purchasing books. Thus, although an author who has recently written a book may speak about it at the Law School and may sign books, books cannot be sold at the Law School.
Cancelling or Rescheduling an Event
If you need to cancel or reschedule an event, please inform the Student Affairs Administrator and the Office of Events immediately. You must also delete the event from the Master Calendar and cancel the room reservation. Please be aware that failure to cancel food orders via direct email to the departments listed above will result in the organization being billed for the food order.