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Philip L. Torrey

Assistant Clinical Professor of Law

Director, Crimmigration Clinic

Philip Torrey
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Phil Torrey is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, where he has taught since 2011. He is also the Director of the Crimmigration Clinic at Harvard Law School and the Managing Attorney of the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program. The Crimmigration Clinic engages in cutting-edge litigation and policy advocacy concerning issues ranging from criminal bars to immigration relief and immigration detention conditions to sanctuary city policies and the crime-based grounds of removal. He has litigated numerous cases in administrative tribunals, federal district courts, federal circuit courts of appeals, and authored briefs filed in the U.S. Supreme Court. Torrey teaches courses on crimmigration law as well as strategic litigation and immigration advocacy. His research focuses on the federalism tension inherent in crimmigration law as well immigration detention, including the private prison industry and the immigration system’s mandatory detention regime.

Prior to joining HLS, Torrey was an attorney in the Immigration Unit of Greater Boston Legal Services where he specialized in removal defense and represented individuals seeking various forms of immigration relief. He was also 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.

Clinic Work

The Crimmigration Clinic, which is part of the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program, seeks to protect and advance the rights of individuals who are held in immigration detention and facing removal because of a prior criminal record while training law students to be effective, compassionate, and ethical advocates. The Clinic specializes in cutting-edge issues at the intersection of criminal law and immigration law. Under the supervision of experienced clinicians, law students in the Clinic work directly with individuals held in immigration detention and facing removal in administrative tribunals. The Clinic also represents individuals in heabas proceedings and engages in appellate court advocacy in the federal circuit courts of appeal. Working closely with community-based organizations and other non-profits, the Clinic also focuses on systemic issues in the crimmigration system through policy advocacy.