Event, Catering and Food Policy

As we begin integrating more events into the Law School, there are new rules concerning food on campus both from the City of Berkeley (to protect public health) and from the campus/UCOP (that limit contracting for on-campus food preparation and service). The public health and safety rules related to masks, food service, space use, and who is permitted to be in campus buildings can also change quickly. The Law School does not control most of these rules and must comply with campus requirements. Campus advises that if you are planning an event that involves high financial risk — such as contracting for food service, hotel rooms, purchasing plane tickets — that you wait to schedule events until there is more clarity about regulatory requirements and new social norms related to the next phase of our response to the pandemic.

Who May Attend Events in the Law School?

As of October 4 and subject to public health orders and campus directives (and the availability of suitable space and sufficient staffing), you may hold events that include or are open to members of the campus community and general public.

Vaccination Requirements for Non-Affiliates Participating in or Attending Events

Anyone entering the Law Building must be fully vaccinated or have an approved exception to the COVID-19 vaccination requirement. However, we are not permitted to ask for proof of vaccination or exemptions, only to state they are required. Invitations and announcements for events should state:  

In order to attend this event you must 1) be fully vaccinated or have or an exception based on a Medical Exemption, Disability, or Religious Objection 2) wear a mask while in the building 3) and fill out the Daily Symptom Screener before coming to the Law Building for the event.

If an event is held at an offsite venue that serves food, then the venue may be required to check vaccination status unless all guests remain outdoors. (City of Berkeley order; SF County order)

Events at which Food is Served

All food for Law School events must be distributed, served outdoors, and consumed outdoors (or later in a permitted location, such as a private office or workstation).

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 (outside, for consumption outside or later in a permitted location). UCB funds cannot pay for food for those attending online from another location (e.g. their home, a coffee shop etc.).

Catering Restrictions

Per campus and UCOP mandate, you may only use Cal Catering or I-House Catering for events at the Law School where food preparation and/or services (such as pouring wine,  serving or preparing plates for guests, clean-up after the event) are provided by catering staff. Even if both Cal Catering and I-House Catering are unable to provide onsite catering services, you may not use another caterer to provide these services on campus.

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

Already-Prepared Food

You may have pre-prepared or packaged food delivered to the law school from Cal Catering or I-House Catering, other caterers or restaurants, or you may pick up prepared food for your event.   We strongly recommend that you order boxed meals, or grab and go options, as they are easy to safely distribute and clean up. 

Regardless of source, all food for Law School events must be served outdoors and consumed outdoors (or later in a private or permitted location).


We will do our best to accommodate smaller events at the law school when feasible, but we don’t have sufficient space or staff to accommodate large parties or events, either inside or outside the law building at this time. We recommend that you consider offsite venues for larger events.

Steinhart can only be reserved between 4:00pm-7:00pm M-F. Special permission is needed for weekend reservations. You may use Steinhart to distribute boxed meals or other grab and go items without a reservation during the day. If you need a table for distributing food, send a request to facilities@law.berkeley.edu. You may also use the tables already available on Steinhart, but please be mindful that Steinhart is a popular location for outside study, mask breaks, and dining. Share the space.

Media Services

The law school’s Media Services department can only provide support for classes, not for events. We are directing centers to ETS. (Note that ETS may not have capacity either, so make plans early.)  Other events may require self-service options using zoom or offering asynchronous recordings. Events Services has a system that can be used for hybrid events that they can demonstrate and lend. Media Services can assist by choosing the best classroom for your event, based on your AV requirements. They may also be able to lend webcams for in-building use.

For questions about these event policies contact the Building Oversight Committee  These policies are subject to change. We will do our best to keep this page updated, but if you are planning an event you should check any relevant notifications from campus.


Helpful Contacts

Last updated Oct. 11, 2021