Lunch Talks: Speakers and Catering

The majority of LSSO events will be lunch talks at the Law School. Lunch talk formats include:

  • In-person speaker & in-person audience
  • Fully remote events
  • Remote speaker & in-person audience

No special approval is required to hold a lunch talk at the Law School, but there may be times that an LSSO speaker will need an approval. Lunch talks start at 12:15 PM and should conclude promptly at 1:20 PM to allow room preparation for the next class. Please make clear to your speakers not to go past this time.

Speaker Approval Process

LSSOs interested in inviting ANY distinguished guest to the Law School, including alumni of the Law School or University, an elected or appointed government official (judge, senator, attorney general, etc.), or any other high profile person, must receive approval from the Dean of Students Office prior to extending an invitation. Requests will be reviewed by the appropriate departments and LSSOs should receive a response to their request within two weeks of submission. Please do not reach out to invite speaker until you have received approval.

A speaker request can be made by filling out the LSSO Speaker Request Form. Please note that speaker approvals are for a particular year. So if your speaker was approved last year, you will need to submit a new approval request for each new academic year.

Students will receive an email once a speaker is approved, LSSOs can reach out to the speaker to coordinate dates and make the room reservation in the Law School’s event scheduling system (EMS).

Please note that Dean Miles meets with most visiting judges and VIP speakers, as well as many elected officials and alumni, whenever his calendar allows. Once LSSOs receive approval for a judge, elected official, VIP, or high profile alumnus, you must confirm the speaker date with the Dean of Students Office well in advance so that we can coordinate with the Dean’s schedule.

VIP Speakers

LSSOs may invite VIP speakers. In addition to speaker approval, careful coordination with the Law School is required. Examples include: Senators, Solicitor General, high-level elected or appointed officials, cabinet members, some high-level business VPs or CEOs, etc. Some invitations may need to be made by the Law School directly (e.g., SCOTUS). Please reach out to Candace Mui,, for assistance or when in doubt.

Judge Speakers

When an LSSO finalizes a date and reserves a room for ANY JUDGE (even if virtual), please send one email to both Susan Staab, Senior Director of Judicial Clerkships,, and Sophie Johnson, Dean's Office Administrator, If his schedule permits, Dean Miles may want to meet with the judge and additional coordination may be need before or after the lunch talk.

Alumni Speakers

When you confirm and finalize your event details with your approved alumni speaker(s), please email both Maureen Horonzy, Senior Director of Alumni Relations at and Anna Jenkins, Assistant Director of Alumni Relations at in the Office of External Affairs with the event title, date, and names of the alumni participating. This is helpful so that the Office of External Affairs team knows when and in what capacity alumni are participating in student-led events at the Law School


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 a LSSO needs security for an event or has received indications that protestors may be present at an event, please indicate your request in the LSSO Speaker Request Form and contact Candace Mui at, as far in advance as possible so necessary arrangements can be made. The fee for security service will vary based on the details of your event and will be charged at a 4 hour minimum per hour, per security. This fee will be charged to the organization’s LSSO's account.


The Dean-on-Call is the university official responsible for providing support to students during an emergency and intervenes at times to de-escalate a situation between students and other members of the campus and/or community. The Dean-on-Call will work actively to preserve an environment of spirited and open discourse and debate, allowing for the opportunity to have all participants contribute to intellectual exchange and full participation in an event. In instances of disruptive behavior or violations of University policies, the Dean-on-Call will respond and provide direct instructions to stop disruption, if it is safe to do so. Students may request a Dean-On-Call via the LSSO Speaker Request form or email Candace Mui at

EMS Reservations for Lunch Talks

Once all distinguished guests or outside groups have been approved and confirmed by the Dean of Students Office, LSSOs may proceed to make their room reservation in EMS.

Please note: you should not promise a speaker a date if a room is not available on that date. If you find that the date you planned for is no longer available, you will need to work with your speaker to find an alternative date.

Catering at the Law School

Any catering during lunch hour (12:15 – 1:20 PM) must be ordered in EMS 7 BUSINESS DAYS in advance, not counting the date of the event (e.g., lunch talks, food for board meeting, etc.). Any catering requests made in less than this time period will not be fulfilled. LSSOs, and any outside group (e.g., firms), cannot independently order catering delivery to the Law School. It is the LSSOs responsibility to place catering in EMS 7 business days in advance, manage the food in the classroom corridors & clean up. The Dean of Students will receive a copy of the final catering bill from the event. Catering charges will be automatically paid using the LSSO's account.

Catering outside the lunch hour (e.g., morning, afternoon, weeknights) must be ordered in EMS 7 BUSINESS DAYS in advance (not counting the day of the event), OR the LSSO may purchase their own food (no alcohol) and submit a student reimbursement (limit $250 per transaction) within 2 weeks of the event. If catering is for a large event, or cost is beyond $250, then LSSOs must reach out to DOS in advance to discuss as additional support from DOS or Office of Events may be needed. 


If there is a cancellation, LSSOs must cancel the event in EMS as soon as possible AND also notify the Office of Events by emailing LawEvents@law.uchicago.eduFailure to cancel food orders in EMS and via direct email to the Events team may result in the organization being billed for the food order.

Students are not to contact any vendor directly. If there are any questions or issues, such as a vendor failing to supply utensils, etc., please contact the Office of Events at

If you have any changes for your catering order, then you must email Office of Events at at least 7 business days in advance, not counting day of event. Any requests less than this time is not guaranteed. 

Managing Food and Leftover Catering Items

  • Food served at lunch talks is strictly for students and guests attending your specific program. Non-attendees are not permitted to take food from the classroom corridors before the event begins.
  • Catering will be delivered prior to the start of lunch talks with a delivery window of 11:15AM – 11:30AM at the tables outside of your reserved room.
  • LSSOs should designate a Food Coordinator or another representative from your LSSO to receive and set up the food prior to the start of the lunch talk. It is the LSSO’s responsibility to ensure that students who take food from your table will attend your lunch talk.
  • LSSOs should not start the line for food until the classroom has mostly cleared out.
  • The designated Food Coordinator should continue to manage on-site catering logistics, including receiving delivery, set-up, food line management, and clean up.
  • After students and guests attending your program have received their food, LSSOs with leftover food are asked to please move any extra food to the Green Lounge.

Consistent with LSA guidelines, organizations that fail to oversee the food lines in this manner will be fined $50 from their budget allotment, up to $500 in total, for each violation as observed and reported to LSA.

Room Cleanup 

  • At the conclusion of an LSSO event, the room must be left clean and ready for class.
  • Touchscreen monitors are not to be moved for any reason from the desk where they are located.
  • No AV equipment, including desk or tripod speakers, may be moved during a lunch talk, and all AV equipment must be returned in original condition.

Groups that damage equipment, or do not return equipment to its original condition and set-up, will be fined if the equipment is not ready to use for the next class.