Planning an Event

A. Advising

The Office of the Dean of Students provides guidance to student organizations in planning events.  This may include advice on selecting topics, networking with other departments on campus, and potential faculty, alumni, or other special guests to invite to participate.  For guidance on LSSO programming, you may contact the Dean of Students or Associate Director of Student Affairs.  For assistance in planning the logistics of your event, you may contact the Student Affairs Administrator. For assistance with leadership development issues, the Associate Director of Student Affairs or Associate Director of Student Affairs and Programs can be used as a resource to help students one on one or collectively with executive boards or other groups of leaders.

B. Judges and Other Distinguished Guests

If your LSSO is inviting a distinguished guest to the Law School, such as an alum of the Law School, an elected or appointed government official, a judge, or other VIP, you must inform the Dean of Students or Associate Director of Student Affairs in advance of extending the invitation to speak. They will then secure appropriate permissions from necessary Law School and, where appropriate, University offices.  You also must notify the Dean of Students or Associate Director of Students Affairs if the invitation is accepted. This will allow, if available, the Dean of the Law School to welcome your guest.  It will also allow the Office of the Dean of Students to consider awarding supplemental funds for the event, if necessary, and consider measures to assist you with attendance, security, or other potential issues.  If you are granted permission to invite a judge to speak or otherwise participate in a LSSO event, please also inform Professor Hutchinson, the clerkship advisor, as well as Lois Casaleggi and Susan Staab from Career Services, in advance of extending the invitation. Be sure to also follow the procedures to secure supplemental funding for events with judges.[1]

C. Including Faculty

The best resource available to LSSOs is the Law School faculty.  As you plan an event, please consider whether a Law School faculty member can be included as a speaker, commentator, or panel member.  Student organizations have consistently found that events including Law School faculty are among the strongest student organization events.  If you are interested in discussing how to include faculty in your event, please contact the Dean of Students or Associate Director of Student Affairs.

D. Communications with Guests, Law Firms, 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 practicably 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 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 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 student organizations to work with a guest or a law firm/organization in the future.  

E. Guest Restrictions

Programming involving minors must be discussed with the Associate Director of Student affairs prior to the event or program 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. 

F. Parking Passes

Daily parking passes are available for speakers at student organization events for $10.  Parking passes may be requested from the Law School Receptionist at the VCA desk.  Be sure to request parking passes for your guests in advance of the event (at least two business days prior to the event), as parking passes are not always immediately available at the desk.  The student organization requesting the parking pass will be charged $10 for each parking pass.  Any student organization requesting a parking pass should notify the Student Affairs Administrator for billing purposes. 

G. Inclusion Policy

Membership in any LSSO must be open to all law students.  LSSOs are not required to maintain lists of members in good standing but may choose to do so.  An LSSO may require the payment of nominal dues or impose a modest participation requirement as a condition of membership, but no other restrictions are permitted.  Any condition of membership must be administered fairly and reasonably.  (Please also keep in mind that membership in all LSSOs that are also RSOs must be open to all University students.)

The Law School is a place for the open exchange and debate of ideas.  In this spirit, the Law School prefers that LSSO events, especially on-campus events, be made open to all law students.  Open events must be advertised on the LSA-Orgs listserv sufficiently in advance of the event to give everyone an opportunity to attend. 

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 that group holds 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.   This policy will remain in effect for one year, after which time it will be evaluated. Membership lists and requirements are subject to review by the Office of the Dean of Students.

Although violation of any University or Law School policy can lead to an organization losing its LSSO status, organizations must be especially careful to abide by the inclusion policy.  Please note that organizations that provide funding to LSSOs, including LSA and the University (for organizations that are RSOs), may impose additional requirements beyond those stated here regarding the use of funds for student events.  This policy does not affect any rule established by LSA, the University, or any other source of funds regarding the use of those funds.

H. Elections

Eligibility for LSSO leadership must also be open to all law students and cannot be limited in any manner.  Student organizations are strongly encouraged to hold in-person elections.  Student organizations that do not wish to hold in-person elections should seek permission from LSA prior to holding an election and must ensure equal access to elections.    

I. Special Events

1. Political Activities

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. Further, 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 student organizations 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 Dean of Students or the Associate Director of Student Affairs.

2. Conferences

Students are often invited to participate in conferences as representatives or members of their student organizations.  As a general rule, the Law School does not provide funding for students to attend student organization conferences.  The exception to this rule is when the conference is academic in purpose and the student is attending as a presenter rather than as a participant.  In these cases, there may be funding available for student attendance.  If available, the funding is typically capped at $500 per student and is awarded only after the student provides proof that s/he has exhausted all other funding possibilities (the Center for Leadership and Involvement, Student Government Funding Committee, Graduate Council Travel Fund and LSA may have funding available).  Upon return from the conference, the student is required to: (1) submit his or her presentation materials to the Office of the Dean of Students for review and (2) share his or her conference presentations with his or her Law School colleagues through a lunchtime event or other presentation.  For questions about receiving funding for a conference, please see the Dean of Students or the Associate Director of Student Affairs prior to making any travel arrangements.

3. Student Travel

In addition to the conference funding described above, the Law School recognizes the educational value of student travel and therefore strives to make travel financially possible for all of its students.   Any student interested in obtaining funds for travel may submit a request to the Dean of Students and/or the Associate Director of Student Affairs.  The Law School will only consider funding student travel if the primary purpose of the proposed trip is educational and bears a relation to the student’s future legal practice or the study of law in general.

 In addition, any student(s) or student organization(s) seeking travel funds must meet each of the following criteria: 

(a)   Each student must contribute financially to the cost of the proposed trip.  A student is expected to contribute at least 10% of the costs of the trip (including transportation, lodging, and any applicable registration fees) or $75, whichever amount is greater.

(b)   The proposed trip does not require the student to miss class or reschedule exams.  This requirement will not be waived under any circumstances.

(c)   Before any Law School funds for travel will be approved, the student or student organization must demonstrate efforts to secure funding from the following alternate funding sources:

  1. CLI,
  2. The Student Government Finance Committee (SGFC),
  3. Graduate Council Travel Fund; and
  4. LSA.

(d)   If the purpose of the trip is to attend a conference, the conference must be academic in purpose and the student must attend as a presenter rather than as a participant.   Upon return from the conference, the student is required to: (1) submit his or her presentation materials to the Dean of Students for review and (2) share his or her conference presentation with his or her Law School colleagues through a lunchtime event or other presentation.

If a student or student organization meets these enumerated criteria, the student or student organization must meet with the Dean of Students and/or the Associate Director of Student Affairs in advance of travel to discuss their funding proposal.   If approved, the Law School may contribute up to $500 per student towards the travel costs.  If appropriate, prior to approving travel funds for any student or student organization, the Dean of Students and/or the Associate Director of Student Affairs may:  (1) refer student(s) or student organization(s) to External Affairs for fundraising outside of the Law School; and/or (2) require student(s) or student organization(s) to take efforts to raise travel funds within the Law School.

Please note that limits may be imposed on the number of trips for which a student or student organization may receive travel funding and that funding requests must be made in advance of travel.   

4. Law School Student Organization 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.  As travel by University student organizations requires coordinating with multiple departments in the University, any LSSO desiring to organize a trip must contact the Office of the Dean of Students as early as possible in the planning stages for the proposed trip.  Individual students and student organizations may not, under any circumstances, seek funding from law firms or law-related organizations, including bar preparation companies, without prior authorization from the Office of the Dean of Students. 

5. Moot Court Competitions

a.     Hinton Moot Court

The Hinton Moot Court Competition, named for Judge Edward W. Hinton (Professor of Law, 1913-36), is open to all second- and third-year students (except those 3Ls who made it to the semifinals during their 2L year). The competition provides students the opportunity to develop skills in writing and appellate advocacy. Moot Court participants advance through three rounds. The Moot Court Competition is conducted by the Hinton Moot Court Board, which is made up of semi-finalists and finalists from the previous year.  The Hinton Moot Court Board is advised by Professor Hutchinson, a faculty committee, and the Office of the Dean of Students. Under certain circumstances, semi-finalists in the competition may receive Law School academic credit. See the Student Handbook for details.

The Fall Round

The focus of the preliminary round is on oral argument, and no brief writing is required at this stage. After studying the briefs and record of an actual case and participating in several practice arguments with student judges, each competitor must argue both sides of the case to panels of local alumni attorneys.  Approximately 12-14 students advance to the semi-final round during Winter quarter.

The Winter Round

Students who advance to the semi-final round must brief and argue a new case. A panel of faculty members judges the semi-final arguments and selects the four best advocates on the basis of their written and oral advocacy skills to advance to the final round during Spring quarter. Semifinalists are recognized as winners of the Mulroy Prize for Excellence in Appellate Advocacy.

The Spring Round

The four finalists work in teams of two on another new case (typically one pending on the United States Supreme Court’s docket). A panel of distinguished judges, usually federal appellate judges, presides at the final argument before the Law School community. The winning team is awarded the Hinton Cup; the runners-up are awarded the Llewellyn Cup.

b.     Other Moot Court Competitions

Students often participate in moot court competitions hosted by other law schools.  Students may participate in outside moot court competitions, so long as they do not require the student participants to miss any classes or 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 Dean of Students or the Associate Director of Student Affairs.

6. Book Sales

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 stops 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.

J. Logistics

1.     Law School Student Organization Mail Folders


Each LSSO has a mail folder where mail directed to organizations and other items are placed, and every LSSO is expected to check its mail folder weekly.  The mail folders are located in the Student Services Suite on the 3rd floor of the Library Tower.  Please check in with the Student Affairs Administrator or the Administrative & Faculty Support Specialist for the location of the mail folders.    

2.     Tax-Exempt Status

 All official University-recognized student organizations (including LSSOs and RSOs) qualify as tax-exempt organizations under Section 501(c)(3) of the tax code.  A copy of the letter required by most establishments to demonstrate proof of tax-exempt status at the time of purchase is placed in each LSSO’s mail folder at the beginning of each academic year. 

3.     Events Office

The Law School Events Office makes arrangements for larger, more formal Law School events.  On extremely rare occasions, the Events Office may oversee student organization events (e.g., in the event of a visit by a visiting major dignitary).  Before contacting the Events Office, please discuss your event with the Student Affairs Administrator to determine if your event is one that can be supported by the Events Office.

4.  Reserving a Room

Requests for room reservations for student groups 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 form online at Students can also reserve conference rooms in the D’Angelo Law Library online at  Room reservations that will require cleaning services outside normally scheduled hours (i.e., weekend programs where food will be consumed) may incur a charge for cleaning services.

Please avoid scheduling your event at a time that conflicts with another event.  Please also consider academic deadlines and make-up classes as you select your event date. 

You may review the Master Calendar online at:

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, two classrooms are blocked each day.  These “Dean’s Holds” are released only in extraordinary circumstances or for make-up classes.  If you believe your situation qualifies, please see the Associate Director of Student Affairs or the Dean of Students.  Failure to check the room calendar prior to extending an invitation to a speaker does not rise to the level of extraordinary circumstances required to lift a Dean’s Hold. 

Book rooms well in advance to avoid conflicts.

5. Cancelling or Rescheduling an Event

If you need to cancel or reschedule an event, please inform the Student Affairs Administrator as far in advance as possible so that she may delete the event from the Master Calendar and cancel the room reservation.  Please also be sure to cancel any facilities, food service, or technology requests.  Please note that failure to cancel food orders will result in the organization being billed for the food order.

6. Ordering Food

Student organizations have two routes by which they may order food.  First, an individual student may place a food order and seek reimbursement by submitting the receipt.  Following this approach allows a student to place an order with a vendor with whom the Law School does not have an account, but means that the student has to await reimbursement, a process outside of the Law School that may take up to 8 weeks.  If you order food from a non-Law School vendor, you must request tables and garbage cans via the online room reservation system and you should still order beverages from the Law School.  (See below.)

Second, a student organization may order food through the Law School by completing the online order form available on the Law School’s room reservation website, which is located at: Ordering food through the Law School means that the student organization (rather than the individual student) is directly billed for the event.  By ordering your food through the Law School, your group is limited to ordering from the Law School’s approved vendors. 

The approved vendors for 2015-2016 are listed below.

Frequent Lunchtime Vendors

BJ’s Bakery and Market (Southern-Style Cooking)

Blue Plate (Boxed lunches)*

Catering Out the Box (Boxed lunches)*

Cedars (Mediterranean)

Corner Bakery (Sandwiches and bagged lunches)

Food for Thought (Sandwich platters or boxed lunches)*

Jimmy Johns (Sandwiches)

Pizza Capri (Italian buffet)

Sit-Down Café (sandwich platters)

The Snail (Thai)

Z and H (Sandwiches)*

*Note that these restaurants tend to be more costly than the other vendors ($10-12 per person versus $6-8 per person).

Requests to order food from these vendors through the Law School must be made at least 3 business days in advance of your event (e.g., an order for Thursday should be ordered by lunchtime on Monday).

Regardless of whether you are ordering food from a Law School vendor or not, student organizations should order beverages (soda and water) from the Law School, as the Law School only charges 55 cents per beverage—a price far lower than what the organization would be charged by an outside restaurant or caterer.   

Event Caterers*

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.  Caterers that bill the Law School directly and have handled such events in the past include:

Amazing Edibles (moderately priced)

Blue Plate Caterers (high-end, therefore rarely used by student groups)

Food for Thought (high-end, therefore rarely used by student groups)

Limelight Caterers (high-end, therefore rarely used by student groups)

Paramount Events (high-end, therefore rarely used by student groups)

Tri-Star Caterers (moderately priced)

Requests to order food for these vendors through the Law School must be made at least 1 week in advance of your event. 

Regardless of the vendor you use, be sure to request serving utensils, napkins, plates, and silverware for your event.  The Office of the Dean of Students does not provide plates, etc., for student organizations.  If an approved Law School vendor fails to supply these items as requested, please inform the Office of Events staff. 

Scavenging – Note that there is a new policy this year regarding left over food from lunch time events. Food served at such events is strictly for students and others who are attending the program in question.   Students are no longer to take leftover food from the classroom corridors, but instead should wait until food is moved to the Green Lounge for general consumption. Each student organization must designate one member to stand back with the food and wait for facilities staff to take the food items to the Green Lounge. The designated student org member is not to allow those not in attendance to take food from the classroom corridors.

7. Room Cleanup

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 AV machines should not be removed from the desk where they are located for any reason.

8. Facilities Requests

The Facilities Office handles all requests for facilities needs, including moving tables, providing additional tables, chairs, moving furniture, providing extra garbage cans, etc.  If your organization has facilities requests for an event, please request the services through the room reservation system available online at  For additional questions, please contact Bob Harstad, the Facilities Manager, at or 773-702-9572.  If you are ordering food directly through a vendor (and not through the food ordering system), you must request garbage cans and a table for your food set up.  Do not expect tables to be located and set up immediately before your event; make sure requests are submitted through the room reservation system well in advance of (and at least 24 hours before) your event. 

The Law School has basic equipment available (speakers, etc.).  Special equipment may be rented from the University for a 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 Manager to get an estimate of costs associated with any rental equipment.

9. Technology Requests

Organizations may request special technology for an event (microphones, computer, or AV requests) through the room reservation system available online at  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 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 with as much advance notice as possible.  Please do not count on IT being available at 12:10 p.m. to hook up a laptop, etc., for a lunchtime event when no prior request has been made. 

10. Publicity

a. Communications Office

Student organizations have many publicity options.  The Law School’s Communications Office can assist student organizations 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 posters, fliers, or brochures for student organizations. For student designed posters, fliers, or brochures, however, the computer lab contains a color printer available for student use (including student organizations). The pricing for color printing is:

  • One-Sided 8.5 x 11 Color Print $0.25
  • Double-Sided 8.5 x 11 Color Print $0.50
  • One-Sided Large Format 11 x 17 Color Print $0.75
  • Double-Sided Large Format 11 x 17 Color Print $1.50

Questions regarding printing accounts should be directed to the Help Desk (  

In addition, the Communications Office can assist student organizations interested in putting together a website or using social media to promote their organizations or specific events.    

Student organizations interested in exploring the various publicity options described above may contact the Communications Coordinator, at   

b. 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:

Detailed instructions about posting your student organization’s event are available at:

c. 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 publicizing events at: 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.    

d. Posting Signs

Bulletin boards in the lower level of the Law School are available either for LSA group notices or for general information geared towards 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, but keep your announcements small, as whiteboards are intended to be used by professors during class.  Announcements that encroach too far into writing space for professors will be erased.

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.  Student organizations will be billed for any damage to Law School property caused by signage in unauthorized areas.

e. Listservs

LSSOs must publicize all of their events using the LSA-Orgs listserv.  Student organizations may post to this listserv 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-club announcements, such as forwarding articles of interest.  Go to 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).

Student organizations are encouraged to seek co-sponsors or share information with other student organization leaders through the LSA-OrgsLeaders listserv.  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.  First, there are far fewer people on Law-Announce than on the LSA-Orgs listserv, so posting to Law-Announce does not increase the audience for an event. Second, posting an event to Law-Announce irritates fellow students.  Due to the number of students who complain about the LSSO messages being sent to both the Law-Announce and LSA-Orgs listservs, chronic abusers risk losing the privilege of sending messages to the Law School’s listservs. 

f. Mail folders

Student organizations also may stuff student mail folders to announce events.  Folders are color-coded to reflect class year.   

g. Twitter

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

h. Facebook

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  

i. LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a professional networking service.  Student organizations 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   

11. Security

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 either the Dean of Students or the Associate Director of Student Affairs as far in advance as possible so necessary arrangements can be made and financial responsibility assigned.

12. Student Organization Event Planning Checklist

This checklist is intended as a guide for law school student groups planning events.  Your event may include details not included in this checklist.

Name of Event:                                                                                          




Initial Planning

  • Do you have the resources to make this event happen?
  • Are there other student organizations with whom you may partner for this event?


Person responsible:                                                            

  • Consider inviting a faculty member to be included in the event (e.g., commentary after the talk, introducing the speaker and providing context, or sitting on a panel).
  • Consider emailing other student organizations that could co-sponsor your event and help bear costs or send an email to the LSA-Orgsleaders listserv for that purpose.
  • Consider the best structure for the event (lunchtime talk, afternoon talk and reception, panel or single speaker, etc.).
  • Will the program address professionalism or diversity issues?  If so, confer with the Dean of Students or the Associate Director of Student Affairs to determine whether additional funding or publicity might be available.
  • You may seek guidance on programming questions, speaker ideas, etc., from the Dean of Students or the Associate Director of Student Affairs.
  • Invite potential speakers. (See, Appendix A for a sample invitation.)


Person responsible:                                                            

  • Create budget including estimated expenses (food, supplies, etc.) and income (LSA, RSO, or other funding).
  • Confirm with the organization’s treasurer to make sure your budget is adequate.
  • If paying a travel stipend (up to $750 from the host student organization’s funds) to your speaker, request that the speaker complete a W-9 form.  Return the W-9 to the Student Affairs Administrator.


Person responsible:                                                            

If you need additional funding, consider contacting:

  • LSA

Distinguished Guests (Judges, Alumni, Elected Officials, Etc.)

Person responsible:                                                            

  • Request permission from the Office of the Dean of Students in advance of issuing an invitation.  Notify the Office of the Dean of Students if the guest accepts the invitation.
  • Request supplemental funding from the Law School if appropriate.
  • Arrange a visit with the Dean if appropriate and if he/she is available via the Dean’s Executive Assistant, Dawn Hinko. 

Logistics (Scheduling, Food, Facilities, & Technology)

Person responsible:                                                            

  • Choose a date. Check the online calendar about potential conflicts.
  • Request a room reservation online at:
  • If you are using one of the Law School’s vendors, complete the online food order form on the room reservation system ( ) at least 2 business days in advance of your event or make food arrangements using another vendor.
  • Request any technology needs (overhead projection, microphones, PowerPoint set up, etc.) via the online room reservation system ( /).
  • Request any special facilities needs (coat racks, additional chairs, garbage cans, etc.) via the online room reservation system (  Remember to do this regardless of the food vendor selected. 
  • Please Note: You will receive email confirmation of all services requested through the room reservation system.  If you have not received a confirmation of services within 72 hours of your event, it is imperative that you follow up immediately to verify that your request was received.
  • Submit the receipt along with any other required paperwork to the LSA treasurer within two weeks of the event.


Person responsible:                                                            

  • Contact the Office of the Dean of Students if security may be necessary.

Publicity and Advertising

Person responsible:                                                            

  • Announce the event on the whiteboards.
  • Send out a maximum of two messages on the LSA Orgs  listserv.
  • Make and post signs in designated, permitted areas.
  • Submit your event for inclusion on the Law School’s Event Calendar for additional publicity.
  • For ideas on publicizing your event or to have the event listed on Law School social media sites, contact the Law School Communications Office.


Person responsible:                                                            

  • Purchase necessary supplies for your event (paper plates, napkins, cups, etc.) if you are not ordering them from the food vendor.

Before the Event

Person responsible:                                                            

  • Confirm room reservation, food orders, special facilities requests, and technical support.
  • Confirm event speaker and parking, technology needs, or any other speaker needs.  (See, Appendix B for a sample confirmation email.)

Day of Event

Person responsible:                                                            

  • Arrive early to set up and meet your speaker.
  • Recruit a volunteer to arrive early to confirm any food orders or special technology or facilities requests.
  • Recruit a volunteer to stand with leftover food until facilities arrives to move it to the Green Lounge.
  • Recruit a volunteer to stay after event to clean up or otherwise return the event space to its original state.

After the Event

Person responsible:                                                            

  • Send a thank you note to your speaker and any volunteers.  (See, Appendix C for a sample thank-you email to a speaker.)
  • Submit all receipts to the LSA Treasurer along with a completed reimbursement form within two weeks of the event.

[1] Student organizations interested in inviting a judge to speak at the Law School are encouraged to speak with Lois Casaleggi, as the Office of Career Services may be able to provide additional funding for events featuring judges.