find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Insurance Lawyer (3-5 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Dynamic organisation ·
View details
Legal Counsel
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: North Sydney NSW 2060
· 18 month fixed term contract · 3-5 years PQE with TMT exposure
View details
Women outnumber men in legal profession

Women outnumber men in legal profession

Businessmen and women

A report has found that women outnumbered men in the Australian legal profession in 2016 for the first time ever, although they still hold far fewer senior leadership positions.

The Law Society of NSW released the National Profile of Solicitors 2016 report yesterday. Research and consultancy firm Urbis conducted the research on behalf of the society, compiling data on factors such as age, gender, location and sector of legal professionals around Australia.

The report found that female lawyers slightly outnumbered males in 2016, with 35,799 (50.1 per cent) compared with 35,710 (49.9 per cent).

This was up from the 46.3 per cent female representation in the profession in 2011. The report said women are entering the profession at a higher rate than men, with a 34.2 per cent increase in the number of female lawyers since 2011 compared with 15.6 per cent for men.

Law Society of NSW CEO Michael Tidball said the growing number of female lawyers highlighted the importance of law firms and societies implementing strategies to boost the representation of women in leadership positions.

“We have made significant advances in all areas of practice to assist the retention and career progression of women in the profession, however impediments still remain,” he said.

Recent research from the Women Lawyers’ Association of NSW found that women made up just 18 per cent of equity partners, despite being equally represented at senior associate level.

Mr Tidball said that although most firms have flexible working policies, many fail to translate these policies into reality. He said this was cited as one of the biggest barriers to women’s career advancement.

“The legal profession must assist men and women to better balance their professional and other commitments,” he said.

The in-house sector is performing better in terms of gender diversity in leadership. Recent research from the Association of Corporate Counsel Australia found that 50 per cent of corporate legal departments in Australia and New Zealand are led by women.

The Law Society’s report also found that there was a 24 per cent increase in the overall number of lawyers between 2011 and 2016. Sixty-nine per cent of practising solicitors in 2016 worked in private practice, 15.9 per cent in in-house and 10 per cent in government.

Interestingly, the number of lawyers aged 24 or younger decreased by 14.9 per cent between 2014 and 2016.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Women outnumber men in legal profession
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
LCA president Fiona McLeod SC
Aug 17 2017
Where social fault lines meet the justice gap in Aus
After just returning from a tour of the Northern Territory, LCA president Fiona McLeod SC speaks wit...
Marriage equality flag
Aug 17 2017
ALHR backs High Court challenge to marriage equality postal vote
Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) has voiced its support for a constitutional challenge to ...
Give advice
Aug 17 2017
A-G issues advice on judiciary’s public presence
Commonwealth Attorney-General George Brandis QC has offered his advice on the public presence of jud...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...