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In the Crimmigration Clinic, students work on cutting-edge issues regarding the intersection of criminal law and immigration law.

The content of the clinical projects will depend on the legal landscape and political climate at the time of clinical enrollment.  In the past, students have worked on administrative and federal litigation in both appellate courts and district courts concerning criminal bars to immigration relief, detention, and the crime-based grounds of removal. Students have also drafted reports concerning the funding of immigration detention in Massachusetts, and engaged in legislative advocacy on issues, including drafting sanctuary policies for municipalities around the country. Clinical students will also work with the Harvard Criminal Justice Institute to provide advice to their case teams about the immigration consequences of criminal charges.

Clinical work will largely be performed at HLS. On litigation and policy matters, the Clinic will collaborate with local and national non-profit organizations.

How to Apply

The Crimmigration Clinic is offered in the Fall and the Spring semesters. You can learn about the required clinical course component, clinical credits and the clinical application process by reading the course catalog description and exploring the links in this section.

Application Deadline: April 29, 2022

Meet the Instructors

headshot of Sameer Ahmed

Sameer Ahmed

Clinical Instructor

sahmed@law.harvard.edu

Wasserstein Hall, 3rd Floor
6 Everett Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

Sameer Ahmed is a clinical instructor at the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program. He also serves on the board of Project Citizenship, a nonprofit agency which provides high-quality free legal services to immigrants all over Massachusetts. Sameer was previously an assistant teaching professor at Northeastern University School of Law. Prior to that, he served as a senior staff attorney at the ACLU of Southern California, where he specialized in immigrants’ rights litigation and policy advocacy. During that time, Sameer served on the board of the Orange County Justice Fund and the City of Santa Ana’s Sanctuary Policy Advisory Group. Sameer has also served as a senior litigation associate at WilmerHale and as a Skadden Fellow at the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF). He has taught as an adjunct professor in the Immigrant Rights Clinic at the University of California, Irvine School of Law, and at the University of Maine School of Law. He clerked for Judge Kermit V. Lipez of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and for Judge Patti B. Saris of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. He received a J.D. from Yale Law School, a Master’s Degree in Legal Research from Oxford University (where he was a Marshall Scholar), and a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations from Stanford University.

headshot of Tiffany Lieu

Tiffany Lieu

Albert M. Sacks Clinical Teaching and Advocacy Fellow

tlieu@law.harvard.edu

Wasserstein Hall, 3rd Floor
6 Everett Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

Tiffany Lieu is the Albert M. Sacks Clinical Teaching and Advocacy Fellow at the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program. She supervises and trains students in the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic and in the Crimmigration Clinic on appellate and affirmative litigation as well as direct representation matters. Tiffany clerked for the Honorable Allyson K. Duncan on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and the Honorable Keith P. Ellison on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. She was previously a Stanford Public Interest Fellow and staff attorney at the National Immigration Litigation Alliance. She holds a J.D. from Stanford Law School and a B.A. in History from Duke University.

headshot of Phil Torrey

Phil Torrey

Director, Crimmigration Clinic; Lecturer on Law

ptorrey@law.harvard.edu

6 Everett St.
Cambridge, MA 02138

Phil Torrey is the Managing Attorney of the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program, and a Lecturer on Law. At HLS, he directs the Crimmigration Clinic and he teaches a course concerning the intersection of criminal law and immigration law. The Crimmigration Clinic engages in cutting-edge litigation and policy advocacy concerning issues ranging from criminal bars to immigration relief to sanctuary city policies.  The Clinic also provides advice to criminal defense attorneys around the country concerning the immigration consequences of criminal charges. Torrey’s research focuses on the crime-based grounds of removal and immigration detention, including the private prison industry, and the immigration system’s mandatory detention regime.  Prior to joining HLS, Torrey worked as an attorney in the Immigration Unit of Greater Boston Legal Services and as a litigation associate at the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. He received his B.A. from Colgate University and his J.D. with honors from the University of Connecticut School of Law.ptorrey@law.harvard.edu

headshot of Cindy Zapata

Cindy Zapata

Senior Clinical Instructor; Lecturer on Law

czapata@law.harvard.edu

Wasserstein Hall, 3rd Floor
6 Everett Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

Cindy Zapata is a Clinical Instructor in the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program, and a Lecturer on Law. She supervises and trains students in the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic and in the Crimmigration Clinic. She coordinates various community outreach efforts, including Know-Your-Rights presentations and Advice and Counsel sessions in the greater Boston area. As the supervising attorney for the HLS Immigration Project, a student-practice organization at HLS focused on immigration-related efforts and advocacy, she supervises students on various projects including removal defense, community outreach, and immigration applications. She was previously a litigation associate at Hughes Hubbard and Reed LLP. She holds a J.D. from UC Berkeley School of Law, and a B.A. in Political Science from Queens College – CUNY.

Staff Members

Liala BuonicontiLicensed Clinical Social Workerlbuoniconti@law.harvard.edu
Anna WeickProgram Administratoraweick@law.harvard.edu

In the News

  • HIRCP Summer 2022 Newsletter

    Our latest newsletter is now available! Our Program recently released our Summer 2022 newsletter, which provides updates from the last academic year and this summer. In this edition, we celebrated the Harvard Law School Class of 2022, shared recent policy advocacy and litigation efforts, highlighted case victories, welcomed new staff, and more. If you would…

    September 2, 2022

  • Crimmigration Clinic receives favorable decision in Dor v. Garland 

    On August 19, the First Circuit Court of Appeals released its decision in Dor v. Garland. Crimmigration Clinic Director Philip Torrey and HLS clinical students Shaiba Rather ‘21, Lena Melillo ‘22, and Katie Quigley ‘21, were on brief for Jonalson Dor, along with attorney Edward Crane. In this case, the petitioner, Mr. Dor, was seeking judicial review…

    August 25, 2022

  • Reflections on the Crimmigration Clinic

    Over the past few years, the Crimmigration Clinic at our Program has greatly expanded, and more and more students have been able to learn about the intersection of criminal law and immigration law. Clinical students from the Class of 2022 have been passionate advocates, assisting with case work, litigation efforts, and policy advocacy.   Students…

    June 14, 2022

  • 2022-2023 Crimmigration Clinic Applications Due April 29

    The Crimmigration Clinic is a by-application clinic that will be offered in Fall 2022 and Spring 2023. In the Crimmigration Clinic students work on cutting-edge issues regarding the intersection of criminal law and immigration law. The content of the clinical projects will depend on the legal landscape and political climate at the time of clinical enrollment.…

    April 25, 2022