Ashley holds a Bachelor of Arts (politics and history, Honours) from Monash University and a Juris Doctor (Honours) from The University of Melbourne. He previously practised as a criminal lawyer at a boutique firm, appearing daily in the Victorian Magistrates’ and County Courts. He also spent five months volunteering as a capital defender in Louisiana, working on appeals for indigent defendants on death row. Ashley remains active in anti-death-penalty advocacy.
Ashley divides spare time between playing basketball, watching Louis Theroux documentaries and eating elaborate breakfasts. He prides himself on getting the nine-letter word in the newspaper and on his elaborate socks.