Nisha Vyas

Nisha Vyas is the Directing Attorney of Public Counsel’s Homelessness Prevention Law Project.

With a background in community law and fair housing, Nisha’s advocacy is rooted in the belief that all persons should have access to safe, decent and affordable housing of their choice. Nisha started her career as a staff attorney, and later, deputy litigation director, with Southern California Housing Rights Center. There, Nisha represented tenants and homeowners in challenging discriminatory practices on the basis of race, national origin, familial status, sexual orientation, disability, and other protected characteristics in federal and state courts.

In 2010, Nisha was selected as the Jay M. Spears Clinical Teaching Fellow by Stanford Law School. As a Clinical Lecturer and Teaching Fellow with Stanford’s Community Law Clinic, Nisha trained and supervised law students in the representation of low-income clients in a variety of matters, including eviction defense, affirmative habitability cases, and administrative hearings before the local housing authority. She also developed curriculum for and led seminars on unlawful detainer defense, client interviewing and counseling, developing case theory, and cross-cultural awareness.

Nisha joined Public Counsel in 2014 as a Senior Staff Attorney with Public Counsel’s Community Development Project. Her work included providing counsel to community-based organizations, including legal advice and capacity building support to nonprofit affordable and supportive housing providers, and affirmatively enforcing laws to ensure an adequate supply of affordable housing and protections against displacement in the region. With two Public Counsel colleagues, she was a fellow in the 2017 class of the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law’s Racial Justice Training Institute, a national leadership program that equips and coordinates anti-poverty advocates to address the role that racism plays in causing and perpetuating poverty, and serves on Public Counsel’s Equity and Inclusion Committee.

Nisha sits on the boards of the UCLA Law Alumni Association and Hollywood Community Housing Corporation, and is a past-President of the South Asian Bar Association of Southern California Public Interest Foundation. She is a graduate of UC Berkeley and UCLA School of Law, where she completed the David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy.