Matthew Toyama is a staff attorney in the immigration project at Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Los Angeles. He joined Advancing Justice-LA in January 2018 and provides removal defense services in Los Angeles and Orange counties and for persons detained throughout California.
Prior to joining Advancing Justice-LA, Matthew worked in private practice in removal defense, as an associate of the Law Office of Ivan Vargas, Esq., primarily representing detainees at the Adelanto Detention Center. Before being admitted to practice law in California in 2016, Matthew spent time doing volunteer work in east Africa, as a member of the Peruvian Forensic Anthropology Team (EPAF) collecting evidence of human rights violations in Somaliland; he later worked with the international NGO corruption watchdog, Transparency International - Kenya, as an analyst in Nairobi, Kenya. After graduating from law school, he clerked at Skikos, Crawford, Skikos & Joseph, LLP in San Francisco, CA.
During law school, Matthew held various internships, including with the Center for Justice & Accountability in San Francisco, assisting with Alien Tort Statute litigation and with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in San José, Costa Rica. Matthew received his J.D. from Santa Clara University, School of Law, graduating with a Public International Law Certificate with Honors and a Public Interest and Social Justice Law Certificate, Specialization in Immigration and Refugee Law. He holds a B.A. in English Literature from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is fluent in Spanish.