Harvard Law School Association

Club and Shared Interest Group (SIG)
Partnership Guidelines

Guidelines Regarding Corporate Sponsorships and Commercial Relationships with Third Party Product and Service Providers for HLSA Clubs & Shared Interest Groups (SIGs)

The Harvard University and Harvard Law School brands are highly desirable to commercial parties seeking co-branding, partnerships and endorsement opportunities. As a general rule the University and the School do not co-brand or endorse third party service providers nor do we market commercial products or services to our students, faculty, staff or alumni except in the form of paid advertising in the HLS Bulletin and similar materials. As a nonprofit organization, we must be vigilant in ensuring that others are not using the brand for profit making endeavors.

Harvard Law School, in accordance with guidance from the Harvard University Office of the General Counsel, advises Harvard Law School Association Clubs & Shared Interest Groups (SIGs) to exercise caution in deciding to work with corporate sponsors. Listed below are some general guidelines around corporate sponsorships and partnerships. Questions on areas not addressed in this document should be directed to hlsa@law.harvard.edu

Guidelines for Third Party Sponsorships/Partnerships

  1. HLSA Clubs & SIGs are NOT permitted to enter into any global agreements with third parties seeking to provide products or services to HLS alumni.  The School will not recognize any such agreements and will not permit promotion of the relationships through official communications channels to alumni such as email, mail or advertising in the HLS Bulletin.
  2. HLSA Clubs & SIGs MAY enter into sponsorship/partnership agreements with local corporations/organizations for the purposes of general Club/SIG funding, specific event sponsorships, and/or discounts on products/services from local corporations/organizations provided:
    1. Any request for direct funding that uses or refers to Harvard, Harvard Law School, Harvard Law School Association or HLSA must be pre-approved by HLS, as has been the policy and practice of the HLSA.

      This advance collaboration with HLSA clubs and groups is important in order to coordinate all HLS fundraising and sponsorship efforts at all levels. This centralized coordination helps maintain sponsor relationships and overview of all fundraising efforts.

      HLSA Clubs or SIGs may not engage in significant fundraising from individuals or any entities without advance approval and coordination with the HLS Dean for Development and Alumni Relations and his/her designate.

      Not all HLSA Club or SIG potential sponsorships need highly detailed information to be pre-approved. For instance, if an HLSA Club or SIG organizes a reception event and merely requires a modest in-kind donation from a law firm such as conference room space and some food, HLS would not object to the request for a minor sponsorship, and such minor sponsorship has routinely been pre-approved as part of the event approval process. To obtain pre-approval for such minor sponsorship, an HLSA Club or SIG should follow the existing event approval process.

      HLSA Club or SIG seeking financial sponsorship, in any amount, from a corporate entity or law firm would require detailed information and advance approval and coordination with the HLS Dean for Development and Alumni Relations and his/her designate.
    2. The Club/SIG represents itself appropriately as a separate and independent alumni Club/SIG, not as the Harvard Law School or HLSA.
    3. The sponsoring corporation/organization is appropriate to the mission of the Club/SIG and its members.
    4. The amount of the sponsorship must not exceed the greater of:
      1. The expenses for the particular event, or
      2. The Club’s/SIG's annual operating expenses.
    5. HLSA Clubs & SIGs seeking to engage in official relationships with providers of commercial products and services at the local level should exercise caution. Such relationships imply an endorsement by the Club/SIG and could also be perceived as an implied endorsement by the School. As a general rule, the School will not allow usage of the HLSA logo, HLS Shield, VERITAS Shield or HLS workmark/logo in association with such local relationships although Club/SIG leadership can grant permission to third party providers to mention their affiliation with the Club/SIG on websites and in printed materials.
  3. HLSA Clubs & SIGs must ensure that any arrangement of use of logo/name is expressly between the sponsoring organization and the HLSA Club/SIG, NOT the Harvard Law School or Harvard University.
    1. The names of sponsors for specific activities may be listed on websites, in publications or in other printed items pertaining to the activity. The listing should not be done in such a way as to suggest affiliation with or endorsement of the sponsor or its products or services by the University or its units.
    2. No sponsor or third-party may use the insignia of Harvard or Harvard Law School without express written permission of the Harvard Trademark Program.
    3. Disclaimer language (to the effect that Harvard does not endorse products or services) must appear somewhere on all websites that include corporate names, logos, etc. No advertising text or banner ads are allowed.
    4. Express written permission must be given by the Harvard Trademark Program for the use of the name or shield of Harvard University or any of the schools on any non-Harvard web page, or in any marketing or promotional materials for such a web page (this needs to be made clear to sponsors).