Sabrineh Ardalan named assistant clinical professor of law

Sabrineh Ardalan

Credit: Martha Stewart Sabrineh Ardalan ’02

Sabrineh Ardalan ’02 has been appointed assistant clinical professor of law at Harvard Law School. She was formerly a lecturer on law at HLS.

Ardalan—who teaches in the fields of immigration and refugee law and advocacy and trauma, refugees, and the law—is also assistant director of the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program (HIRC). She joined HLS as a clinical fellow in 2008, was appointed as a lecturer on law in 2010, and became assistant director of HIRC in 2012.

At the clinic, Ardalan supervises and trains law students working on applications for asylum and other humanitarian protections, as well as on appellate litigation and policy advocacy. She has authored amicus briefs on cutting-edge issues in U.S. asylum law submitted to the Board of Immigration Appeals, the federal district courts, and circuit courts of appeal. Ardalan initiated the clinic’s interdisciplinary partnership with an on-site social worker, and currently oversees and collaborates closely with the clinic’s social work staff as part of her teaching and client advocacy. This year, she, alongside colleagues Clinical Professor and HIRC Director Deborah Anker and HIRC’s Managing Attorney Phil Torrey, helped coordinate HIRC’s response to the travel ban and border and interior enforcement executive orders, and launch HIRC’s effort to provide legal and social services to undocumented members of the Harvard community.

Ardalan has been a visiting lecturer on immigration and refugee law at Yale College and at the College of Law and Business in Tel Aviv. She co-taught an international human rights practicum in New Delhi, India, as an adjunct professor with the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Boyd School of Law. Last year, she was awarded a Fulbright Senior Scholar Grant to conduct research on the development of the asylum system in Morocco. In 2015, she was one of the honorees in the HLS International Women’s Day Celebration.

“From her days as a student here through her time as a clinical instructor, Sabi has been a tireless and compassionate champion dedicated to keeping people safe and keeping families together,” said Martha Minow, dean of Harvard Law School. “As an assistant clinical professor, she will expand her opportunities to support and inspire students and to play a vital role in advocacy on immigrant and refugee issues. HLS is so lucky to have her talents and passion devoted to these crucial matters.”

Ardalan’s work has been published widely, including in the Georgetown Immigration Law Journal, the Michigan Journal of Law Reform, the New York University Journal of International Law and Politics, and Westlaw’s Immigration Briefings. She has also contributed to several books, including “Adjudicating Refugee and Asylum Status: The Role of Witness Expertise and Testimony” (Cambridge University Press, 2015).

“I am very grateful to Dean Minow, Professor Deborah Anker, and the Harvard Law School community for this opportunity,” said Ardalan. “It’s a privilege to work with such incredible law students and inspiring and dedicated colleagues to fight for the rights of immigrants and refugees. I’ve learned so much from Professor Anker and HIRC’s co-managing directors at Greater Boston Legal Services, John Willshire Carrera and Nancy Kelly. They taught me as a student in the clinic and continue to be amazing mentors to this day. I’m thrilled to be a part of a community that is committed to teaching and mentoring students to pursue careers in social justice and public interest advocacy.”

Prior to her work with the clinic, Ardalan clerked for the Honorable Michael A. Chagares of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals and the Honorable Raymond J. Dearie, district judge for the Eastern District of New York. She previously served as the Equal Justice America fellow at The Opportunity Agenda, where she worked on advocacy for a right to health care under U.S. and international law and as a litigation associate at Dewey Ballantine LLP. She holds a B.A. in history and international studies from Yale College and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.