Legalite and Victoria University Announce Industry-Leading First Nations Pathway for Law Students

YIRRAMBOI PATHWAY (1300 x 1300 px)

Co-designed with Moondani Balluk – Indigenous Academic Unit at Victoria University, Legalite are honoured to announce an industry-leading First Nations pathway for law students, the Yirramboi Pathway.

Yirramboi, the Boonwurrung and Woiwurrung peoples’ word for “tomorrow”, is designed to create tangible opportunities for First Nations law students to have agency over their own success and build a pathway into the legal industry.

Research shows that the number of solicitors who identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander remains low, accounting for just under one per cent of the profession consistently since 2014.

As part of the collaboration, commencing 1 July 2024, Legalite will:

  • Provide a flexible sponsorship package to Victoria University, supporting their First Nations law students with critical needs during their studies, such as textbooks, boarding costs, or laptops
  • Subsidise Practical Legal Training with Leo Cussen – chosen for their track record in supporting First Nations students with tailored programs and opportunities
  • Provide a paid internship with Legalite, giving meaningful work experience and on-the-job mentoring and training

In addition, following their PLT, Legalite will offer ongoing mentoring on building a legal career that aligns with the student’s unique strengths, wants, and needs, career coaching and interview preparation, and connect students with Legalite’s expansive network to create ongoing opportunities.

On the collaboration, Marianne Marchesi, Managing Principal of Legalite, said

“I feel honoured and grateful to be able to contribute to, and create genuine opportunities for, First Nations law students. My hope is that Legalite can inspire other law firms to follow suit, so that together we can make a meaningful impact across the board in carving out opportunities for First Nations law students.”

Marcus Brooke, Moondani Balluk’s Aboriginal Student Support Coordinator at VU, said “The Victoria University First Nations Fund has had an immediate, positive impact since its creation in 2022, by reducing financial burdens and helping students with unique costs related to their studies. VU and Moondani Balluk appreciate Legalite’s support to enrich our First Nations students’ experiences.”

Dean of Victoria Law School, Lidia Xynas, said

“VU is proud to be partnering with a law firm like Legalite, whose authentic commitment to creating opportunities for First Nations students will certainly positively impact the employment outcomes for these students and help shape the future of the legal profession.”

[Image Credit: from the Balarinji Collection on Canva. Background artwork by Maureen Nampijinpa Hudson]

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