Aditi Shah


Aditi Shah graduated from Harvard Law School in May 2020 and clerked for the Hon. Richard C. Wesley of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit from August 2020 to August 2021.  She is originally from the New York City area and lived in Yonkers, New York, until attending Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts, where she received a Bachelor’s Degree in History and Health: Science, Society, and Policy.  For one and a half years in law school, Aditi was a student attorney at the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic, where she represented older immigrants in asylum cases and gained exposure to the challenges older immigrants face while navigating the American legal and immigration systems.  Aditi also pursued research and writing projects focused on immigration detention and has published pieces in Lawfare and a law review article in the Georgetown Immigration Law Journal addressing access-to-the-courts issues for noncitizens and individuals seeking asylum in the United States.     

Aditi’s clinical work and writings, as well as her experiences as a child of immigrants from India growing up with her grandmother who does not speak English, motivate her ambition to increase access to justice for vulnerable older immigrants.  As a 2021-22 Borchard Fellow, she will implement a project in collaboration with the American Civil Liberties Union National Prison Project focused on increasing access to legal representation for older adults in immigration detention facilities.  She will pursue strategic litigation to address the barriers to accessing counsel, such as the lack of confidential phone lines and long wait times, at some of the largest and most remote immigration detention facilities in the country.  She will also interview older detainees, former detainees, and attorneys who work at the detention facilities to prepare a public report that will expose the impact of lack of access to counsel on older adults in immigration detention and help bring together immigrants’ rights and elders’ rights advocates in their pursuit of shared goals.