Crown Law's First Nations Legal Clerkships program continues in 2024


Crown Law established a First Nations Legal Clerkships Program in 2021 to provide First Nations law students practical and meaningful experience in a legal practice environment including an opportunity to gain valuable skills, knowledge, and a network within the legal industry.

This year we welcomed two new First Nations legal clerks including Turrbal and Yuggera woman, Keeley Hughes.

Keeley is currently completing a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and Criminology and Criminal Justice at Griffith University where she expects to graduate in June 2025.

Here, Keeley shares a bit about herself, what drew her to pursuing a career in law and her experience at Crown Law.

Ever since I was a young girl, I have always wanted to become a lawyer. I think my interest in the law first began when my father and I would watch Judge Judy after school, which sparked my love for debating. Growing up I would always practice my debating skills on my brother and sister. As I got older, I also became interested in criminal justice. Due to my interest in criminal justice and my dream of becoming a lawyer, I chose to study Law and Criminology and Criminal Justice. Alongside my passion for pursuing law, is my goal to be able to give back to community through pro bono and volunteering work.

I was the first person in my family to graduate high school, go to university and join the legal profession. Due to this, I have completed numerous internships at a range of different organisations. Some of my experience includes a four-week clerkship at Gilshenan and Luton, a four-week clerkship with the Victorian Bar Association and internships at Herbert Smith Freehills, Ashurst, Allens and Westpac. I have also volunteered at Caxton Legal and at the Federal Court shadowing the Duty Lawyer.

Since joining Crown Law’s First Nations Clerkship Program, I have been fortunate enough to undertake a variety of work. Some of the work I have done which I found extremely interesting was attending client conferences and court. I have had the opportunity to draft documents for disclosure to the claimant’s solicitors, summarise medical records/reports and department documents, as well as prepare briefs for experts.

I have also been invited to a range of training sessions. I have found that these sessions are immensely helpful for young lawyers to gain insight into Crown Law and the legal profession as a whole. I was fortunate enough to also attend a vicarious trauma training session. I found this beneficial as it provided tools on how to deal with, and look out for, signs of trauma. I think what I have found to be the most enjoyable so far, is feeling included and a part of the team.

Outside of work, my main hobbies include spending time with my family. I have a few nieces and a nephew which I often take to the beach and park. When I am on university holidays, I enjoy travelling to rural Queensland to disconnect and enjoy the peace and quiet.

Keep an eye out on Smartjobs and your university job board for our next First Nations Legal Clerkship intake.