Tomorrow, we bid farewell to Zachary Albun, who has been the Albert M. Sacks Clinical Teaching and Advocacy Fellow for the past three years. Zack has been a passionate advocate for his clients and a steadfast mentor to students in both the classroom and clinics, and we will all miss him.
Zack came to our Program in June 2018 after working as an associate attorney at a New York immigration firm. He began his time at Harvard by working closely with Program Founder Deborah Anker, assisting her with her Immigration and Refugee Advocacy course and 1L reading group. “Zack is a wonderful teacher,” said Professor Anker. “He has a really extraordinary understanding of asylum law and cares deeply for his students.” Zack also provided support for Phil Torrey and Sabi Ardalan with courses on crimmigration and strategic litigation.
In addition to his work in the classroom, Zack spearheaded dozens of policy and litigation efforts. He worked with clinical students and students from the HLS Immigration Project to submit comments on proposed rules such as procedures for asylum and application fee increases. He also played a critical role in submitting amicus briefs on gender asylum and other issues, resulting in favorable decisions in De Pena-Paniagua, among others. He engaged in appellate and district court litigation, with multiple victories including in Ordonez Azman v. Barr, Pangea Legal Services II v. DHS and Sylvestre v. Garland. “Zack is an amazing advocate,” said Sabi Ardalan, Program Director. “From fighting back against devastating proposed changes to asylum law to challenging efforts to erase protections for people fleeing gender and gang-based violence, Zack has demonstrated an incredible commitment to defending the rights of immigrants.”
As an attorney at the Program, Zack represented numerous clients from diverse backgrounds who came to the United States seeking protection. Thanks to his hard work alongside clinical students, he won asylum grants for a Salvadoran anti-gang activist and her son, a Honduran survivor of domestic violence, an LGBT refugee from the Middle East, and many others. He could often be found working late into the night on a filing, always happy to put in extra hours to help his clients. “It’s been such a privilege working with Zack,” said Managing Attorney Phil Torrey, noting Zack’s “encyclopedic knowledge of asylum law.”
We are proud to have had Zack as part of our team for these past three years and thank him for all his contributions to our Program. Well miss you, Zack!