Ayako Miyashita, Brian Belt HIV Law & Policy Fellow

Ayako Miyashita is the Inaugural Brian Belt HIV Law & Policy Fellow at the Williams Institute. In her previous positions, Ayako provided direct legal services to low-income clients living with HIV/AIDS.  She had the pleasure of working with the HIV positive community in the San Francisco Bay Area, where as a law clerk with the HIV-Immigration unit at the East Bay Community Law Center, Ayako helped clients with immigration-related matters and obtained U Visa relief for clients and their families.  As the HIV Consumer Advocacy Project Staff Attorney at the AIDS Legal Referral Panel, Ayako mediated and resolved disputes between consumers of Ryan White CARE-funded services and their CARE-funded service providers.

Most recently, Ayako’s work with HIV positive clients led her to Inner City Law Center, a non-profit legal services provider based in Los Angeles’ Skid Row area.  She helped incubate a federally funded program dedicated to providing much needed legal services to individuals living with HIV/AIDS throughout Los Angeles County.

Ayako’s direct services experience includes assisting clients in obtaining disability benefits and other supports necessary to live independently.  Her expertise runs a broad spectrum of public benefits including income support, health coverage, and other support services necessary for individuals living with disabilities.  Ayako regularly provided training and education to clients, attorney colleagues and HIV/AIDS service organizations throughout Los Angeles County.  She defended the rights of tenants facing fair housing violations and advocated to maintain HUD-funded housing subsidies of those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.  Her policy work has focused on Americans with Disability Act violations in the administration of local, state and federally-funded public benefits, including General Relief and California’s Medicaid progam, Medi-Cal.

Ayako earned her J.D. from U.C. Berkeley School of Law and was admitted to the State Bar of California in 2009.   Prior to her legal career, Ayako served as an Americorps Volunteer and Grants Administrator for a public fund in Oakland, California.  She received her undergraduate degree from U.C. Santa Cruz, receiving Oakes College Honors and Honors in her major, Community Studies.