Rocky legal eagle takes advocacy into the classroom, to empower Indigenous kids

02 November 2022

A high-achieving young lawyer is trading courtrooms for classrooms' in a career change aimed at advocating for Indigenous young people.

Rockhampton mum Lenique Lawson was admitted to the legal profession aged just 22' after graduating from CQUniversity's Bachelor of Laws in 2020.

Proud of her Torres Strait Islander' Wulli Wulli and Australian South Sea Islander heritage' Ms Lawson worked as an Indigenous mentor at CQUniversity during her studies' as well as a legal support officer for the Department of Public Prosecutions' and a court support officer with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service (ATSILS).

Working at a law firm' Ms Lawson realised her passion for connecting with young people' and other opportunities to empower them for positive life choices.

"I was really enjoying the advocacy side of legal work much more than some other aspects' for instance being in an office'" she said.

At the start of 2022' she went back to the books' taking on a Master of Teaching (Secondary) with CQUniversity.

Born and raised on Darumbal country' Ms Lawson said her decision to pursue law had been about helping her community – and so was the switch to teaching.

"In high school I started seeing people within my own community become entangled within the legal system' and they didn't know how to navigate it'" she explained.

"But through my work on the national advisory board for The Smith Family' and roles I've had tutoring Indigenous kids' and working with the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME)' and even advocating for incarcerated kids' I realised school was often a starting point for going down a negative path.

"For me' teaching is a way to be connecting and making an impact with kids before they are involved in the court system."

During her law degree' Ms Lawson had her first child' got married' and then gave birth to her second child the day after handing in her last assignment.

The busy mum said the flexibility of her CQUniversity studies was vital to her success.

"I get through lectures and assignments after the kids' bedtime' or when they're both at kindy and daycare – you grab time when you can!" she said.

"But I'm loving what I'm learning' it's so practical and I can see how it would all apply in the classroom."

Ms Lawson is juggling the full time' 18-month degree around casual work supporting legal research' and volunteers for not-for-profits.

She is also completing four weeks of teaching placement at Glenmore State High School.

CQUniversity has countless pathways for students' including Start Uni Now for high school students to get a head start on university units' STEPS' and vocational education and training as well as degrees.

Indigenous students can also access the Dare to be Deadly (D2BD) Student Journey' CQU's culturally safe program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students' connecting online and on campus to provide supportive services and tools.

To explore support available' visit