Philip Torrey, managing attorney of the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program, and director of the Crimmigation Clinic, was named an assistant clinical professor at Harvard Law School, effective July 1. He is currently a clinical instructor and lecturer on law.
An expert on the intersection of immigration and criminal law, Torrey is one of the leading lawyers and scholars in the crimmigration field, defining cutting edge approaches to immigration litigation. Torrey centers his research on the immigration system’s mandatory detention regime, the private prison industry, and the crime-based grounds for removal of immigrants from the United States.
Since 2017, Torrey has served as managing attorney of the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program, which supervises more than 140 Harvard Law students each year through two clinics and a student practice organization.
He currently serves as the director of the Crimmigration Clinic, which he founded in 2013. The clinic focuses on issues related to immigration detention, crime-based deportation, and the use of local law enforcement resources to enforce immigration law. It also represents individual clients in removal proceedings, and advises criminal defense attorneys around the country on the immigration consequences of criminal charges. Torrey joined Harvard Law School as a clinical instructor in 2011, and was named a lecturer on law in 2013.
“Phil Torrey has had enormous impact already through his creation of the Crimmigration Clinic,” said John F. Manning ’85, Morgan and Helen Chu Dean of Harvard Law School. “He is a terrific lawyer, advocate, and teacher, and I’m delighted he will join our faculty this summer as assistant clinical professor of law.”
Torrey currently teaches “Crimmigration: The Intersection of Criminal Law and Immigration Law,” and co-teaches “Strategic Litigation and Immigration Advocacy,” with Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program Director Sabrineh Ardalan ’02. He also leads a writing group that focuses on legal scholarship as a form of legal advocacy.
He also serves as a Religion and Public Life Immigrant Rights Fellow at Harvard Divinity School, where he teaches on the history of U.S. immigration policy and its impact on different communities.
“This is truly the opportunity of a lifetime, and I am immensely grateful to Dean Manning as well as Clinical Professor Sabi Ardalan, Director of the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program. I feel incredibly privileged to work alongside such brilliant and dedicated colleagues and students with a common goal of advancing immigrants’ rights,” said Torrey.
Torrey’s scholarship has been published in law journals, practitioner guides, and online fora including the Harvard Law Review, Michigan Journal of Law Reform, Harvard Latinx Law Review, Immigration and Nationality Law Review, Harvard Law Review for Civil Rights-Civil Liberties, and the Harvard Law and Policy Review.
He is also frequently cited in major news outlets including the Washington Post, Boston Globe, U.S. News and World Report, Huffington Post, and National Public Radio.
In 2021, Torrey, along with Ardalan, was selected as a Bellow Scholar. The Bellow program recognizes and supports the research projects of clinical law professors that reflect the ideals of Professor Gary Bellow, a pioneering founder of modern clinical legal education. Their project focused on solitary confinement in immigration detention.
Torrey was awarded the Harvard Law School Dean’s Award for Excellence in 2020, and the Harvard Law School Student Government Teaching & Advising Award in 2019.
Prior to joining Harvard Law School, 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.
He received his B.A. from Colgate University and his J.D. with honors from the University of Connecticut School of Law.
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