Asian Americans Advancing Justice - LA

Building upon the legacy of the Asian Pacific American Legal Center

Staff Attorney - Immigration Project

Toyama, Esq.

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.


Disaster Relief Assistance for Immigrants (DRAI)
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday - Friday

For more information or to apply to DRAI, please call: 

Chinese (Mandarin/Cantonese)  (213) 241-8872
Khmer  (213) 241-8877
Korean  (213) 241-8873
Tagalog  (213) 241-8874
Thai  (213) 241-8875
Vietnamese  (213) 241-8876
English/Other, Non-Spanish  (213) 241-8880
Spanish/English** (CARECEN)  (213) 315-2659
Spanish/English** (CHIRLA)  (213) 201-8700
 (213) 395-9547

*This list will continue to expand.
** Spanish assistance available through CARECEN & CHIRLA.
***We are experiencing heavier call volume than usual. We highly encourage you to call your native language phone line, the wait time may be shorter. 

Our mission is to advocate for civil rights, provide legal services and education, and build coalitions to positively influence and impact Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders and to create a more equitable and harmonious society.