For thirty years, the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program (HIRC), in partnership with Greater Boston Legal Services, has focused on direct representation of individuals applying for U.S. asylum and related protections, as well as representation of individuals who have survived domestic violence and other crimes and/or who seek avoidance of forced removal in immigration proceedings pursuant to various forms of relief (i.e., VAWA, U-visas, Cancellation of Removal, Temporary Protected Status, etc.). HIRC is also involved in appellate and policy advocacy at the local, national, and international levels. Recently, HIRC expanded into the dynamic field of crimmigration, an increasingly important and complex area of law concerning the immigration consequences of criminal convictions. HIRC students may enroll in one of two different clinical options: Immigration and Refugee Advocacy or Crimmigration: The Intersection of Criminal Law and Immigration.
Immigration and Refugee Advocacy
HIRC students in the Refugee and Asylum Advocacy clinical take the lead in representing clients from all over the world who are seeking protection from being returned to human rights abuses in their country of origin, as well as those who are seeking protection from exile after years of living in the United States. About forty-five students are placed each year with HIRC for clinical credit. Students typically work between ten and twenty hours per week. Students are either placed at Harvard or at Greater Boston Legal Services, Boston’s oldest legal services organization. Students must also enroll in the co-requisite Immigration and Refugee Advocacy Seminar.
Crimmigration: The Intersection of Criminal Law and Immigration Law
HIRC students pursuing crimmigration clinical work will be divided into teams and complete at least one crimmigration-related project such as drafting an amicus appellate brief, responding to immigration detainee letters, or drafting policy memoranda for public defender offices throughout the United States. Eight students will be placed at Harvard and work approximately 5 hours a week for clinical credit. Students must complete the pre-requisite Crimmigration Clinical Seminar: The Intersection of Criminal Law and Immigration Law.
The Immigration and Refugee Advocacy clinical placement and the Crimmigration Seminar will be by lottery through the regular registration system. The crimmigration placement will be by application only after enrollment in the clinical seminar. To apply for the crimmigration clinical placement, please email Phil Torrey, firstname.lastname@example.org, a resume and short statement of interest.
How to Register
The Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic is offered in the Fall and Spring semester. You can learn about the required clinical course component, additional requirements and requisites, as well as the clinical registration process itself, by reading the course catalog description and exploring the links in this section.
In the News
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Classroom to courtroom: Law School immigration counseling program helps the powerless while educating studentsContinue Reading about Classroom to courtroom: Law School immigration counseling program helps the powerless while educating students
Harvard Law School students with the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program (HIRC) were working with Greater Boston Legal Services on a case involving a Guatemalan man in the summer of 2013 when they collectively had an “aha” moment.
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HIRC plays key role in landmark decision recognizing domestic violence as grounds for asylumContinue Reading about HIRC plays key role in landmark decision recognizing domestic violence as grounds for asylum
The court’s decision in Matter of A-R-C-G– reflects years of work by the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program (HIRC) and other advocates around the country who have pushed for the recognition of gender-based asylum claims.
Faculty and Staff
Deborah Anker (Clinical Professor of Law and Clinic Director)
John Willshire-Carrera (Senior Clinical Instructor, Lecturer on Law & Co-managing Director of HIRC at GBLS)
Nancy Kelly (Senior Clinical Instructor, Lecturer on Law & Co-managing Director of HIRC at GBLS)
Sabi Ardalan (Assistant Director and Lecturer on Law)
Phil Torrey (Clinical Instructor and Lecturer on Law)
Maggie Morgan (Albert M. Sacks Clinical & Advocacy Fellow)
Liala Buoniconti (Social Worker)
Lucy Cummings (Program Administrator)