b'Ngalaya is an Indigenous peak body that provides support and mentoring to First Nations lawyers and law students. Our mission to grow the next generation of First Nations lawmakers. We are joined by Tarwirri in Victoria and the Indigenous Lawyers Association in Queensland. WE NEED MORE FIRST NATIONS LAWYERSNgalaya believes that First Nations lawyers make a critical contribution to their communities and the legal profession. First Nations lawyers bring unique understandings and insights, Jason ONeilthere advocacy and passion all serve as essential components to establish true self-determination for their people and Jason ONeil is the Executivecommunities.Director of NgalayaFirst Nations lawyers are underrepresented in the legal profession at just 0.8% of practicing solicitors, despite being just under four percent of the Australian population. Thankfully due to the increase in the number of law schools, the broadening of pathways into law degrees and increasing student support, there is an increasing number of First Nations people studying law.Engaging and valuing First Nations people within law firms and organisations brings a wealth of benefits, including unique Law firms havecultural insights, enhanced diversity, and a more enriched workplace culture. True inclusion fosters a deeper understanding a crucial role inof First Nations justice issues, challenges stereotypes, promotes cultural competence, and strengthens community relations. leading the legalEmbracing this diversity not only enhances legal practice and improves decision-making but also aligns the firm with profession towardsreconciliation leadership and social responsibility commitments. a more welcoming, accessible andATTRACTING AND SUPPORTING STUDENTSFirst Nations students face many barriers when looking to attractive for Firstundertake a degree. To help alleviate barriers Law firms can play a vital role in ensuring the progression of First Nations law Nations lawyers. students throughout their degree. To help alleviate the financial burden of law school and empower First Nations to focus on their studies and complete their degrees law firms can help by supporting scholarships and bursaries. Ngalaya, with the support from law firm partners, offer a range of these awards to assist First Nations lawyers to pursue their academic goals. Providing paid legal employment, including cadetship programs, during a students degree supports students, develops their skills and introduces them to important networks. It not only provides financial support by also fosters the development of practical legal skills and exposes students to valuable professional networks that they can utilise throughout their career.The experiences also enhance employability and making students attractive prospects for permanent positions after graduation. Furthermore, student employment builds a sense of familiarity 16'