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Alert COVID-19 Update

Harvard University and Harvard Law School shifted to remote teaching and learning, as of?Monday, March 23. For more information and the latest updates, please visit the HLS coronavirus information page.




Zoom FAQ and Instructions

Resources for faculty as they teach their courses via Zoom, including many how-to videos, detailed FAQ, and more. This page is updated frequently.

Learn more about Zoom


Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Harvard Law School, in partnership with Harvard University, has shifted to remote teaching and learning for the remainder of the spring semester in response to the the ongoing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Most students have departed the HLS campus and all are learning remotely. Similarly, most faculty and staff are teaching and working remotely.

As the situation continues to change rapidly, our top priority remains the health, safety, and well-being of our community, on and off campus. We will continue to update the following FAQs regularly to keep you informed as new information becomes available.

Harvard University's Plans to Move to Virtual Instruction

Harvard University's Plans to Move to Virtual Instruction

  • When did Harvard University decide to shift to remote teaching and learning?

    On March 10, Harvard President Larry Bacow?announced?that Harvard University would begin transitioning to virtual instruction by Monday, March 23, the first day of scheduled classes following Spring Break. To better protect the health of all members of the Harvard community, the University asked students not to return to campus after Spring Break and to meet academic requirements remotely beginning March 23. A small group of students with no place to go were permitted to remain in on-campus housing. HLS provided financial assistance to students in need to help with travel and other costs. Today, most faculty and staff are teaching and working remotely, while all students are attending classes remotely.

  • What is the University’s goal in taking these actions?

    The University’s goal is to reduce the spread of the coronavirus by minimizing the need to gather in large groups and spend prolonged time in close proximity with each other in spaces such as classrooms, dining halls, and residential buildings.

  • What is the plan for commencement?

    Harvard University President Larry Bacow announced on March 20th that the Commencement Exercises, which would have taken place in May 2020 must be postponed for public health reasons.

    “Given the advice we are receiving from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, other public health officials, and our own faculty, who are among the world’s leaders in infectious disease, epidemiology, and virology,” President Bacow wrote in message to the Harvard community, “it is difficult to imagine how we could safely hold such a large gathering this spring.”

    President Bacow also announced that the University will host a virtual gathering on Thursday, May 28, to award degrees, and that each School at Harvard will also host its own special online event, and afterwards deliver diplomas through the mail. An in-person celebration will be held later, “once we know it is safe to bring people together again.”

    Harvard Law School is working to outline plans for its?online commencement event that will be held on May 28?in tandem with the University celebration, as well as an in-person gathering at a later date, and will share additional information when it becomes available.

    For more information about Harvard’s commencement plans, please see this FAQ on the Harvard commencement office website.

Teaching and Learning Remotely

Teaching and Learning Remotely

  • I am a student. Where do I get resources about learning remotely?

    Remote learning is occurring through the online tool, Zoom. For Zoom resources and information, students should visit the “Learning remotely” page?on the HLS website. Please continue to carefully review communications sent by the Dean of Students Office regarding remote learning.

  • I am a faculty member. Where do I get resources about teaching remotely?

    The Law School is utilizing Zoom through Canvas for remote teaching. Teachers and faculty assistants can review Zoom training materials and can visit the?Zoom FAQ and instruction document. There are additional resources for ensuring you are properly set up to teach remotely at the Teaching Remotely at HLS page.

  • Will accommodations and access to HLS Accessibility Services be available remotely?

    HLS?Accessibility Services?and the HLS Dean of Students Office continue to work with students with academic accommodations to ensure that they are able to access their course content and instruction. Zoom is compatible with JAWS and other screen readers. Students who use CART will continue to receive CART access remotely.

  • How can I access the library or other academic tools from afar?

    The digital resources of the Harvard Law School Library are available to HLS affiliates through?VPN access. The library has made required course materials available electronically through Canvas course pages.?The Library has also written a guide that will help you find and use library resources while you are learning away from the Harvard Law School campus.

    The?Harvard Law School Library?itself will be closed and materials under Hollis+ and Borrow Direct will not be available. Please visit the HLS Library website or call 617-495-4516 for more information.? For information about other libraries across the University, please see the Harvard Library visitor access page.

  • What impact has the transition to remote teaching, learning and work had on Harvard Law School’s operations?

    The Law School’s operations are almost completely virtual with reductions in some services and substantial restrictions on building access until further notice. All HLS buildings now require Harvard University ID card access for entry.

    In addition, in order to foster the social distancing that public health experts have said is key to preventing the virus’ spread, the Wasserstein Building will be closed to all those who do not work there, subject to the following exceptions:

    • The Hark: The Hark eatery upstairs will open three times daily.
    • Clinical Wing: The entrance to the Clinical Wing at 6 Everett Street will remain open for those who have been approved to work there.
    • Parking: The Everett Street parking garage will remain open.
  • Will campus food service be available during this period?

    The Hark eatery upstairs will open three times daily for grab-and-go / packaged meals, and can be accessed by HLS affiliates with HUID through the doors along Crossroads Plaza nearest the Harvard Law Library. Hours of operation for take-away meals are:

    • Breakfast: 7:30 am – 9.00 am
    • Lunch: 11:30 am – 1:00 pm
    • Dinner: 5:00 pm – 7:15 pm

    The Hark Box and the Pub Eatery will remain closed until further notice. Protocols have been put in place to protect the community, including those who remain on campus to fill critical functions.

  • Will HLS administrative offices continue to function?

    Yes. While nearly all on-campus operations (with the exception of limited food service) will be suspended for now, all HLS offices will continue many of their services remotely, providing virtual support during normal business hours. Anyone needing help with any administrative service should call or email, rather than visit.

    The following listing provides the latest information on how to access a range of administrative services in the coming weeks. Please reach out directly to each department for more specific information on their hours and services.

    • Campus Dining: The Harkness upper dining room and servery have transitioned to grab-and-go / bagged meals only from 7:30 – 9:00 am, 11:30 am – 1:00 pm, and 5:00 – 7:15 pm daily. The Hark Box and The Pub Eatery?will be closed. Protocols will be in place to protect the community, including those who remain on campus to fill critical functions.
    • Harvard Law Library:?The?Harvard Law School Library?is physically closed. The library’s digital resources are available to HLS affiliates with VPN access; however, materials under Hollis+ and Borrow Direct will not be available. Please visit the HLS Library website or call 617-495-4516 for more information. For information about other libraries across the University, please see the Harvard Library visitor access page.
    • ITS:?The ITS Service Desk will be available for phone support from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm Monday through Friday by calling 617-495-0722. Please note that ITS will not deploy technicians to locations around campus.
    • Human Resources: Support will be available 9:00 am to 5:00 pm by emailing [email protected].
    • Finance: Phone support will be available from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm by calling 617-495-4607.
    • Copy Center: The Copy Center is closed. Please email [email protected] with questions.
    • Faculty Support Services: Please reach out to your faculty assistant, during normal business hours, at their office phone or email, unless otherwise specified.
  • What is the status of mail delivery?

    For Students Who Have Left Campus

    Students who are leaving or have left the HLS dorms should complete?the mail forwarding survey sent on March 11. HLS Mail Services will forward all United States Postal Service (USPS) mail parcels to the forwarding address provided.

    For Students Remaining on Campus

    Students who are remaining in the HLS residence halls will be able to retrieve their mail outside the mail room in the WCC on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Additional directions for students remaining on campus include:

    • Students remaining on campus should NOT complete the mail forwarding form and should NOT change their mailing address. Even if a student is moving to a new room in a different residence hall, mail should continue to be sent to the HLS address they have been using up until now.
    • Mail will be placed in the mailbox students have been using all year. Packages will be placed outside the mail room. Both can be retrieved on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.
    • Enter?via the Caspersen / Harkness concourse, on either the Story Hall or Langdell side, then find a security person who will check HUID for access.
    • Students will no longer be able to ship from the mailroom. Please take any outbound packages to the Post Office or a USPS or FedEx location.

    For Faculty

    For faculty members who completed the Mail Survey by March 30th, HLS Mail Services will receive mail addressed to faculty and forward it to the address the faculty member provided. For faculty members who do not complete the survey by end of the day, March 30th, any mail received for by the HLS mail room will be forwarded to the home address listed for them in Peoplesoft. For all packages that require forwarding, faculty should contact the HLS mail room by email at?[email protected]?with a forwarding address and a paid shipping label. Mail staff can provide a weight and assist with postage amounts, if required. There will be a delay between the time HLS receives any mail and the time it is received by faculty members at their forwarding address.

  • Will student services continued to be offered?

    Many HLS student services will continue to be offered remotely. Please reach out to the Dean of Students Office, the Graduate Program, Clinical and Pro Bono Programs, the Office of Career Services, the Office of Public Interest Advising, J.D. Admissions, Student Financial Services, or any of our other student services offices for assistance. If you still have questions, you can also email [email protected].

  • What is the status of campus shuttles and van services?

    Because of coronavirus (COVID-19) and the reduction of the campus population, ridership on Harvard’s shuttles has dropped nearly 100%.? As a result, effective Friday, April 24th, the University’s on demand shuttle/van service is suspended until further notice. This decision is rooted in the University’s broader effort to manage essential on-campus services and is consistent with other service reductions.

Students in HLS Housing

Students in HLS Housing

  • I am still living in HLS housing, what resources should I know about?

    If you are still living in HLS housing, please visit our Students Remaining on Campus page for the latest information and resources.

  • Why did HLS tell students to vacate the dorms?

    Many students have understandably questioned why the University and HLS asked them to leave campus. Public health experts – including faculty and physicians across the University, at the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Massachusetts Department of Health – have advised that reducing the number of people congregated together in close quarters is among the best ways of reducing the risk of spreading the virus.

    At Harvard, and at an increasing number of universities and colleges, that has meant decreasing the number of people living in campus dorms, particularly those in which students share rooms and bathrooms, by moving to remote instruction and by asking as many students as possible to leave if they can.

  • Will HLS reimburse students vacating dorms for shipping costs?

    HLS is reimbursing dorm residents up to $200 for shipping their personal belongings from campus. Student should keep their receipts for submission.?Please use?this form to request financial assistance with shipping expenses?associated with returning home as a result of COVID-19.

Financial Assistance for Students

Financial Assistance for Students

  • Will I receive a refund for my room for the remainder of the semester?

    For those who moved out, we are refunding you a pro-rated amount for your housing fee, as of March 15.

  • What financial assistance was made available to support travel for students leaving HLS housing?

    HLS understands that some students in HLS housing needed financial assistance in support of travel. Support was made available based on financial need.

  • What travel expenses were covered for students leaving HLS housing?

    Direct expenses for travel to off-campus destinations for students leaving HLS housing were considered. This included airfare, bus fare, train fare, etc. for HLS students. It did not include in-route meals, miscellaneous expenses, or travel for family members.

    HLS used the University’s standard definition of “reasonable” reimbursement for travel expenses. In general, Harvard defines lowest economy class airfare (sometimes called coach, standard economy, or base airfare) to include a reserved seat, one personal item, one carry-on bag, and one to two checked bags.

  • How did you decide how much financial support will be available?

    In general, we tied financial support to current financial aid benefits.

  • Did HLS cover the costs for students who needed to ship items?

    HLS is reimbursing dorm residents up to $200 for shipping their personal belongings from campus. Students should have kept their receipts for submission. If you have not done so already, please use this?form to request financial assistance with shipping expenses?associated with returning home as a result of COVID-19.

  • I am an HLS student concerned about my food security. Where can I go for assistance?

    We understand that some students may need assistance with securing food during this challenging time. If you are eligible, the Dean of Students Office will provide you with a food voucher that you can use for grab-and-go / bagged meals at The Hark every day, in specific time windows for breakfast, lunch and dinner, between the hours of 7:30 am and 7:15 pm. You will not need to provide any additional information at the The Hark, beyond showing your voucher to the cashier. To submit a request for a voucher or if you require additional assistance beyond a voucher, please email?[email protected].

  • What if I am facing other financial hardships?

    We know these sudden changes are difficult and students may face additional hardships. If you have emergency funding needs,?even if you do not live in HLS housing, please contact the Dean of Students Office (DOS) at?[email protected].

    Students can also reach out to?Student Financial Services?with any questions about increasing their ability to borrow funds.?SFS representatives can be reached at?[email protected]?or 617-495-4606, between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm Monday to Friday.



  • What resources exist to help me work remotely?

    All employees should familiarize themselves with the many telecommuting tools and resources we offer.?More specifically, we ask that you:

  • As a faculty or staff member, are there specific coronavirus-related policies or resources I should be aware of?

    Yes,?Harvard Human Resources is continually connecting with both HLS HR and other local HR departments to understand the changing needs of our workforce and how that impacts our workforce policies.? We’ve created this page as a resource for you that includes links to the most up to date?COVID-19 workplace policies.


  • Does HLS have suggestions and support for remote work?

    As we each begin to settle into our new routines, HLS HR is keenly aware that the lines between our home and work lives are becoming ever more blurred.? With that in mind, we have created a few resource pages that we hope help in some small way to support you—as an employee, parent, caregiver, and individual, in these uncertain times.? Below we’ve outlined a preview for you:

    1. Working remotely and managing a remote workforce: This includes tips about?how to most effectively handle working remotely and/or manage a remote workforce.? This page includes helpful links and ideas for navigating and making the most of our current situation. We encourage you to utilize this information, share it with others, and be in touch with us should you have additional content suggestions. In the meantime, we encourage everyone to keep the following principles in mind:
      1. Approach this new reality, your employees, and each other, with compassion and patience.
      2. Set expectations, communicate deadlines or progress, and check in as you normally would.
      3. Connect with your team daily or weekly – both 1:1 and in groups; a remote workforce should not require extra effort to remain connected.
      4. Understand your team and coworkers availability and be flexible in its fluidity – the work needs to be done, but we should expand our thinking of what a ‘work day’ looks like in light of the challenges we are each facing at home, which could include illness, caregiving responsibilities and multiple workers, as well as our own concern and uncertainty about what’s happening around us.
      5. Take a moment to reflect on the opportunity – for employees whose workloads are reduced at present, consider projects,?training or professional development opportunities.? Visit the resource page for suggestions and be sure to check in with your manager to share your ideas and to better understand departmental needs and expectations.
    2. ?Taking care of you: This resource page includes links to virtual mindfulness workshops, physical fitness suggestions and mental health resources.? Please make sure you’re taking time to care for yourself.
    3. ?Resources for caregivers: HLS is?aware of the need to support our families through this period of uncertainty.? With that in mind, we’ve started a collection of fun and interesting activities, such as virtual field trips, which we hope you’ll take a moment to review.

    You can find links to all these pages on the HR Homepage, and if you have any questions feel free to reach out to your HROs or email [email protected].

  • Why is the University asking employees to sign up for direct deposit if they haven’t already?

    The University is encouraging all employees to enroll in direct deposit because it is a more streamlined way to receive payment than paper checks, which depend on various external services such as printing, private shipping, and the USPS. You can enroll in direct deposit through PeopleSoft Self Service; please see the?direct deposit instructions?or visit the?Central Payroll website. You can reach Central Payroll by phone at (617) 495-8500 option 4 or via email at?[email protected]?if you need assistance or have any questions.

  • Are there tips from the University to stay connected and motivated while remote?

    The following Harvard resources may help you adjust to an abrupt remote learning environment and stay connected amidst ongoing social distancing measures.

  • Who can I call about my concerns or worries?

    We know this has been a challenging period for everyone as we grapple with and work collectively to support our teaching and research mission and to mitigate the potential impact of the coronavirus on our community.?We also know that all of us are simultaneously concerned for our family, our friends, and for one another. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to?Human Resources,?Harvard Counseling and Mental Health Services, the?Harvard Employee Assistance Program?or any?of the other support resources available to you.

Travel Guidance

Travel Guidance

  • What is the University’s policy regarding travel?

    All University-related international travel is prohibited. All University-related non-essential domestic air travel is prohibited.

  • Because of these new travel restrictions, I had to cancel University-related travel that I had already booked. Will the University reimburse me?

    For those travelling on University business, the Harvard Travel Policy allows for reimbursement of cancellation or change fees with a valid reason. The current coronavirus outbreak meets this requirement. Harvard Financial Administration has provided?a guide to frequently asked questions and other information here.

  • I am an international student. Will my Visa be affected if I go home?

    Since the academic term will continue via online means, the?Harvard International Office?(HIO) considers you to be enrolled. See the HIO’s guidance on this issue on the HIO website. Please direct any additional questions to their office.





  • How will the move to remote teaching and learning affect my access to Harvard University Health Services and my Student Health Insurance Plan?

    The Student Health Plan is operated by the University and Harvard University Health Services (HUHS). HUHS has created a detailed FAQ about their operations and services, as well as benefits available through the Student Health Insurance Plan.? Please visit?this page on the HUHS website?for more information.

  • What HUHS services are still available and what hours are they open?

    Please visit the HUHS website at? the latest information as services and hours are subject to change.

  • Can I access Counseling and Mental Health Services (CAMHS) if I am not on campus?

    If you have a mental health emergency while at home, you should identify and access local mental health providers and/or the local emergency facilities. Students can contact their current?Counseling and Mental Health Services (CAMHS)?provider via?secure message?to discuss planning for the transition from campus to home as well as the possible extension or refills of CAMHS prescriptions. Be sure to leave campus with an adequate supply of medication for your prescriptions.

    With a signed release of information, CAMHS can communicate with any local providers regarding your care. Contact CAMHS at 617-495-2042 Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.