Planning an Event

The Office of the Dean of Students encourages LSSOs 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. LSSOs should think creatively and thoughtfully throughout the program planning process, as they can provide students with a wide range of programming throughout the year. 


The Office of the Dean of Students provides guidance for program planning.  This may include suggestions for topic selection, networking with other departments on campus, managing logistics, and inviting faculty, alumni, or other special guests. 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. Please contact Candace Mui at if you have advising questions or would like to schedule an appointment.

Guest Approval Process

LSSOs interested in inviting any of the following guests must receive approval from the Office of the Dean of Students prior to extending an invitation:

  • Alumni 
  • Elected or appointed government officials (e.g., judges, senators, attorneys general, etc.)
  • Law firm representatives or high profile individuals (e.g., CEOs, public figure, etc.)

To request approval for any of the above guests, complete the form: Requests will be reviewed by the appropriate departments and LSSOs should receive a response to their request, and instructions on next steps, within two weeks of submission.

Events that do not include any of the parties listed above may proceed directly to making a room reservation in EMS.

Off-Campus & Non-Standard Event Requests

Any off-campus or non-standard event request (e.g., any LSSO event outside the law school (including buildings on-campus), evening gala, retreats, socials, conferences, etc.) requires submitting a off-campus & non-standard form for approval. Please note that a non-standard event is an event is any event that is not a typical lunch talk event at the Law School. For example, if an LSSO would like to host an event in the Green Lounge, this is considered a non-standard event and would require LSSOs to complete an off-campus & non-standard event form. 

Off-Campus & Non-Standard Event Form

  • Must be submitted at least 2 weeks in advance—3-4 is preferable.
  • Large event requests must be submitted at least 3-4 weeks in advance.
  • Events involving out-of-town travel must be submitted 6 weeks in advance.

Alumni Outreach

The Office of External Affairs manages the Law School Alumni Community Directory that provides alumni, students, and faculty with alumni contact and practice information as well as former Law School student affiliations. For a link to access the online directory, directory training tools or any additional questions please contact the Office of External Affairs at

The Office of Career Services has information about where recent graduates are working and can be helpful in finding potential speakers and contacts. Students can reach out to for information. 

Programs Involving Minors

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 policy and other regulations.

Programs Involving Animals

Programming that includes the presence of animals, outside of assistance pets, is not permitted in the Law School.

Open versus Closed Events

LSSOs that do not maintain a membership list must make all 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. LSSOs may use a quarter of their LSA funding for members-only events. LSSOs are expected to track their use of funds for members-only events to submit to LSA upon request. A LSSO may also restrict voting in elections for officers or board members to members in good standing. LSSOs with membership lists must be saved on the LSSO Drive in the assigned student organization folder at the beginning of the autumn quarter.   

Alcohol Policy

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 an LSSO would like to serve alcohol at an event, regardless of whether the event is on-campus or off-campus, the following actions must be taken at least two weeks in advance of the event:

  1. Anyone serving alcohol at an on-campus event must complete the University’s online Alcohol Risk Reduction Education program, UCARE. Once complete, please send the certificate to the Office of the Dean of Students at
  1. An LSSO Alcohol Event Request Form must be submitted to the Office of the Dean of Students. This form requires the names of the UCARE certified servers and a faculty or staff member who will supervise the event, unless it is being held at a commercial establishment with a liquor license. 

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 complete information on CLI alcohol policies and to review, LSSOs should contact their CLI advisor and review the information available at

The above requirements do not apply to LSSO 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.         

A complete description of the University Alcohol Policy is available in the Student Manual of University Policies and Regulations, which is available online at

A synopsis of that policy follows: All members of the University community are responsible for being familiar and complying with the requirements of federal and Illinois statutes and Chicago ordinances regarding the consumption, possession, and sale of alcohol and other drugs. The University expects each member of the community to be responsible for his or her own conduct and the consequences of that conduct.

The University recognizes both alcohol and drug abuse as potential health, safety, and security problems. The University expects faculty, students and staff to assist in maintaining a University environment free from the effects of alcohol and other drugs.

The University prohibits all students and employees from the unlawful manufacture, possession, use, distribution, sale, or purchase of alcohol and other drugs on University premises or as part of any University activity, and from working under the influence of alcohol or illicit drugs. The only exception to this provision applies to moderate consumption and/or possession of alcohol on University premises at approved functions (e.g., receptions) by those legally permitted to consume or distribute alcohol. Such functions must comply with all applicable University guidelines.

Alcoholic beverages may not be served at any event at which undergraduates are present unless prior written approval has been obtained at least two weeks in advance from the Center for Leadership and Involvement or the Office of the Dean of Students.

All areas of the University that wish to serve alcohol in a University public area (common rooms, lounges, quads, etc.) at an event at which graduate or professional students are likely to be in attendance must, at least one week in advance of the event, consult with the Office of the Dean of Students and the unit responsible for the particular space allocation, and must designate a faculty or staff member to be present and responsible for the event. Recognized graduate and professional LSSOs must obtain written authorization to hold such events through the Center for Leadership and Involvement or the Office of the Dean of Students.

All areas of the University which will serve alcoholic beverages at a function when students will be present must have the servers or a responsible event representative of the function successfully complete alcohol risk management training (UCARE) offered by Health Promotion and Wellness and be present the entire length of the function (details at

Sufficient amounts of non-alcoholic beverages must be available at all functions where alcohol is available. Further, appropriate quantities of non-salty food must be served at all such events. There may be no reference to the availability of alcohol in any publicity, including electronic notices, for a University event. University officials or agents of the University have the authority to prohibit attendees from bringing alcoholic beverages to a function or into a building, including events held in outdoor areas such as the Laird Bell Law School Quadrangle.

Office of Events

The Law School Office of Events makes arrangements for all large, more formal Law School events. On occasion, the Office of Events 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. Before contacting the Office of Events, please make an appointment to discuss the event with the Office of the Dean of Students.

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 political 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 a LSSO 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 LSSO may receive travel funding and that funding requests must be made in advance of travel. For more information on funding, please see the Budgets & 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

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.

Event Logistics

Room Reservations

Space in the Law School is extremely limited therefore it is important to make room reservations as early as possible and to remove reservations on rooms that are longer needed. LSSOs should not leave holds on rooms in excess of one week.  

Once all distinguished guests or outside groups have been approved and confirmed by the Office of the Dean of Students, LSSOs may proceed to making a room reservation on the Law School’s scheduling calendar, EMS. Log into EMS using your UChicago e-mail address & password:

LSSOs are able to book Law School classrooms only on their own.  Those interested in booking larger event spaces such as the Auditorium, Courtroom, of Green Lounges, etc. should reach out to the for permission.

Conference rooms in the D’Angelo Law Library can be reserved 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, several classrooms are blocked each day.  These “Dean’s Holds” are released only in extraordinary circumstances, for make-up classes, or for faculty use.  

Room reservations scheduled outside of standard Law School hours (i.e., weekend programs) may incur extra fees for cleaning services or a security fee if the building needs open early/late. Please work with the Office of the Dean of Students to arrange these events.

LSSO calendar reservations can be made in EMS beginning August 23, 2021.  Calendar reservations are subject to availability. Event requests and reservations must be made at least 1 week in advance of the event. So if your event is on a Monday, make sure that your event is reflected in the EMS calendar at least on the Monday before.

  • LSSOs can host events starting on Monday, September 20, 2022.
  • The last day to host an LSSO event is Friday, April 29, 2022.
  • Events may not be held over holidays or breaks listed in the academic calendar.
  • Please note that lunch talk events start from 12:15 PM – 1:20 PM

Event Format

The following are approved formats for LSSO lunch talk events starting in the 2021-2022 year.

  • In-person: Both the speaker and audience will be in-person
  • Remote Speaker: Speaker will be remote via Zoom, with a live in-person audience
  • Virtual: Both speaker and audience are virtual (e.g., Zoom)

Please keep in mind that the Law School is making plans to resume back to in-person events at the start of the 2021-2022 academic year. However, the approved modalities may change depending on the evolving city, state, and University COVID-19 health and safety guidelines and policies.

Dean's Holds

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. 

After Hours

Room reservations scheduled outside of the standard business hours of 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM will incur extra fees for cleaning and security. Please work with the Office of the Dean of Students to arrange these events. The cleaning fee is $49.20 per hour for evening and weekend requests.

No Events Dates

Some dates may not be available for LSSO events due to major Law School events. We encourage you to wait until you receive and review the “No Event Dates” list before offering up dates to possible speakers. Please contact the Office of Dean of Students if you have questions about No Event Dates.

Facilities Requests

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. LSSOs can request facilities services through the the Law School’s scheduling calendar, EMS. Log into EMS using your UChicago e-mail address & password:

Technology Requests

LSSOs may request special technology for an event (microphones, computer, or AV requests) through the EMS calendar. IT requests should be submitted via the room calendar at least 3 business days in advance of the event. There may be additional charges for certain services or for services requested after-hours (evening events during the week or weekend events). LSSOs experiencing technical difficulties during an event should press the Help Button on the upper right corner of the monitor in each classroom. Monitors may not be moved under any circumstances.  

Consider requesting an audio recording to allow for the event to be shared at a later date. More information on how to set up an event for recording can be found at

Presentation clickers are available to rent at the first floor front desk. To check out a clicker, students must leave their student ID with the first floor desk receptionist until the clicker is returned.

For additional information regarding special technology requests, contact the Information Technology Office at 773-834-5300 or email  


LSSOs are limited to ordering food from the Law School’s approved vendors. Caterers that are not listed in the EMS calendar are not permitted at the Law School.  To place a catering order, enter your event on the EMS calendar: The bill will be automatically paid using the student organization’s LSA funds. Event requests and final guest count must be made at least 1 week in advance of the event (e.g., an order for Monday should be ordered by lunchtime on the Monday before). If there are any changes to your catering order (e.g., increasing lunch boxes), then these changes should be made at the same time as your final guest count (at least 1 week before your event starts).

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

Leftover Catering Items

  • Food served at events is strictly for students and guests attending the program. Non-attenders are not permitted to take leftover food from the classroom corridors.
  • Each LSSO must designate at least one member (usually the Event Coordinator) to stand with the catering. The designated LSSO members must ensure that only those attending events take the food ordered for that event.
  • 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. Specifically, all food must be removed from the room and chairs must be put back in their original positions Touchscreen monitors are not to be moved for any reason from the desk where they are located and all AV equipment must be returned in original condition. Groups that do not return equipment to its original condition will be fined if the equipment is not ready to use for the next class. If an LSSO checked-out a presentation clicker, please make sure to return that back to the first floor front desk.

Cancelling or Rescheduling an Event

Catering orders must be canceled at minimum of 48 hours in advance of the event. If an event is canceled or has been rescheduled, LSSOs must:

  • Cancel the event in EMS as soon as possible.
  • Send an email of your cancellations or reschedule to immediately.
  • If you have any changes to your final guest count, which affects the quantity of your catering order, then you must contact at least 1 week in advance.

Failure to cancel food orders 48 hours in advance in EMS and via direct email will result in the organization being billed for the food order.

Book Sales

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.

Money Collection and Payment Processing

Students may not use any credit card processing software other than the approved University software. LSSOs interested in collecting funds via credit card should contact the Office of the Dean of Students.

LSSOs collecting cash or checks for their organization are to pick up a bank bag from the Office of the Dean of Students for money collection.  At the end of each collection period, all funds are to be turned into the Dean of Students Office for safe keeping as funds should never be stored by a student. Funds collected must be deposited into the organization’s LSA account. At no time can funds be collected to benefit an outside group organization.  Checks must be made payable to the University of Chicago Law School and cannot be payable to a specific student or organization.

Parking Passes

Daily parking passes are available for speakers or guests participating in events at the Law School. The cost of each parking pass is $10 and is billed directly to the requesting LSSO. To request a parking pass email with the student organization name, speaker name(s), and date of the event.  Parking passes may be picked up from the Law School Receptionist at the first floor front desk on the day of the event. Parking passes must be requested at least 3 business days prior to the event.

Promotional Tables

LSSOs can request to reserve a promotional table on weekdays from 10:30am – 2:00pm in the North Green Lounge. All food sales/giveaways must be approved in advance of the event. Please email your request to and provide your event details (student organization name, date and time of tabling, and purpose of event) at least 1 week in advance.

LSSO Leader Listserv

LSSO leaders are encouraged to seek co-sponsors or share other information through the LSA-OrgsLeaders listserv ( The LSA-OrgsLeaders listserv is designed as a resource for leaders to share information and to seek co-sponsors for events. This listserv may not be used to announce events, nor for any other purpose other than what is outlined above.

LSSOs may create a group-specific listserv that is only for announcements of interest to that group’s members. For example, a separate listserv for discussions and intra-organization announcements, such as forwarding articles of interest may be used. Visit for information about establishing a mailing list(s). 


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 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 organization’s LSA account.


LSSOs that would like to provide event transportation such as buses, private cars, or Uber ride shares should contact the Office of the Dean of Students two weeks in advance of the event to set up transportation. Instead of students or guests individually paying for an Uber ride, the Office of the Dean of Students can generate a prepaid group code to use for multiple students/guests. All bus reservation must go through the Office of the Dean of Students as students are not permitted to sign contracts on the behalf of the University. 


LSSOs in need of securing a hotel for a speaker or guest should contact the Dean of Students Office at least two weeks before the event. The University of Chicago has reduced rates at hotels around the Chicagoland area. LSSOs are restricted from booking a hotel on their own and must go through the Office of the Dean of Students. For information on hotels with University rates, visit