Ayako Miyashita is the Director of the Los Angeles HIV Law and Policy Project at UCLA School of Law. She also serves as the Sears Law Teaching Fellow for the Williams Institute for 2016-2017. Ayako teaches Interviewing and Counseling: HIV Clinic, a seminar on HIV/AIDS Law and Public Policy, and Introduction to the Lawyer-Client Relationship. She earned her J.D. from UC Berkeley School of Law, after receiving her B.A. from UC Santa Cruz.
Through her work with the HIV Law and Policy Project, Ayako leads a collaborative dedicated to addressing the unmet legal needs of primarily low-income people living with HIV (“PLWH”) in Los Angeles County. Her research focuses on law and policy matters that impact PLWH and encompasses areas such as HIV criminalization, HIV within communities facing vulnerable circumstances, the legal needs of PLWH, and privacy and confidentiality protections in HIV-related legislation.
In her previous positions, Miyashita 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, Miyashita 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, Miyashita mediated and resolved disputes between consumers of Ryan White CARE-funded services and their CARE-funded service providers. Most recently, Miyashita’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 PLWH throughout Los Angeles County.