Events, Catering, and Food Policies

Can we resume hosting events in the law building?

As we begin the 2023 Fall semester, COVID-19 restrictions on holding events in the law school have been lifted. You are free to plan your events, subject to normal restrictions and with approval by the Building Oversight Committee.  

Please keep in mind that public health and safety rules can change quickly. The law school does not control these rules and must comply with all federal, state, county, city and campus requirements. Thus, if you are planning or managing an event you should check UC Berkeley Coronavirus Events for possible updates. For events that involve high financial risk (such as contracting for food service, hotel rooms, purchasing plane tickets, etc.) be sure to include appropriate cancellation language in contracts. 

Event space

Event space in the law building is extremely limited. To determine what space might be available for your event go to Room Reservations.  Note that this is a request for space, not a confirmed reservation.  Your request is subject to review by the Building Oversight Committee and other administrative entities and you should not consider the space reserved until it is confirmed. 

If you are a student group  or organization requesting event support, please reach out to Student Services at  For Journal-related events, please contact Law Journal Administrator Kira Abrams at

Where is food not permitted?*

  1. In rooms designated “No Food Rooms” (e.g. Booth auditorium)
  2. In classrooms during regular class sessions 
  3. Anywhere in the law library, including the Main Reading Room

When is food permitted?

Food may be served in classrooms not designated as No Food Rooms during non-class events (such as lunch talks or meetings) subject to:

  1. UC Berkeley’s catering policy (below) and 
  2. Campus and/or public health orders (if any) and 
  3. UC Berkeley Environment, Health & Safety requirements.
  4. Note: the student organization, center, or department hosting the event is responsible for clean up after the event.

*UCB funds (regardless of source) can only be used to pay for food and beverage for those who are present at the event when food is distributed or served. UCB funds cannot pay for food for those attending online from another location (e.g. their home, a coffee shop etc.).

UC’s catering restrictions

Per campus and UCOP mandate, you must use either Berkeley Catering or I-House Catering to cater all events that take place in any UC Berkeley campus building. (This includes law school events, student events, center events and co-sponsored events.) If both of the campus catering services determine that they are unable to provide catering for your event, you may then request an exception to the catering policy to use outside caterers. (Note, this can be a slow process with no guarantee the exception will be approved.)

Restrictions on use of outside caterers do not apply to off-campus events, such as in private homes or in restaurants, hotels or parks.

What is catered food?

Catered food refers to food that is provided by a vendor whose staff is onsite at the Law School and does any of the following:

  1. prepares food onsite
  2. provides other onsite services, such as cooling or pouring beverages, heating food, preparing plates for guests, refilling buffets, distributing plates or boxed lunches, etc. 
  3. Cleans up after the event

Is purchased, prepared food considered to be catered food?

Prepared or packaged food that is delivered to the law school from any caterer or restaurant, or picked up by organizers for an event is not considered to be catered food. For instance, you may order boxed meals, pizza, food-to-go from an outside vendor and have this delivered to the law building by the vendor or a delivery service, or picked up by the event organizers.

Please ask the vendor from which you are purchasing the food to use compostable materials for packing whenever possible. 

Use of Steinhart for food distribution

You may use Steinhart Courtyard during the regular business day (M-F, 8am-5pm) to distribute boxed meals or other grab and go items. If you need a table for distributing food send a request to You may also use the tables already available on Steinhart, but please be mindful that Steinhart is a popular location for outside study and dining. Use Steinhart for distribution of food, not as a place to hold the event itself.

For questions about these event policies, contact the Building Oversight Committee. These policies are subject to change.

Last updated August 15, 2023