find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Competition, Policy & Regulatory
Category: Other | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Work with a well regarded Partner · Sydney CBD
View details
Commercial Litigation Senior Associate
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Lawyers Weekly Australia Partner of the Year 2016, Insolvency
View details
MULTIPLEX Regional Legal Counsel (Vic) | 7 to 10 years + PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Career defining in-house role · Tier One international contractor
View details
Junior Lawyer - Personal Injury Law
Category: Personal Injury Law | Location: Parramatta & Western Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Highly specialized practice · Challenging role with great opportunities
View details
IR Advisor/Member Advocate
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: St Leonards NSW 2065
· Permanent (0.8-1.0 FTE) role in a developing team
View details
Attrition of women lawyers under spotlight

Attrition of women lawyers under spotlight

Marking International Women’s Day for 2012, the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission (VEOHRC) launched its new Women in Law project on 8 March at the Law Institute of Victoria (LIV).

Marking International Women’s Day for 2012, the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission (VEOHRC) launched its new Women in Law project on 8 March at the Law Institute of Victoria (LIV).

Launching an online survey as part of the project’s research into the experiences of women working in the Victorian legal profession, the VEOHRC sought the help of attendees at the breakfast launch to respond to the survey and help uncover why women continue to leave the profession at a high rate. 

“The research depends on you guys going out and answering the survey,” said the VEOHRC’s acting commissioner, Karen Toohey, at the launch. “It also relies on you guys sending [the survey] out to your friends who both practise law currently or who have left the law, or who are thinking about what to do. So we really encourage you to respond to it.”

Thanking the audience of Victorian lawyers – and in particular a handful of male lawyers – for attending the launch, Toohey explained that the Women in Law project is the VEOHRC’s response to a clear need for more information that provides details as to how far the legal profession has come in tackling sex discrimination.

“Previous studies in Victoria have found that attrition rates from the legal profession are higher for women than men and that career pathways within legal practices differ by gender,” said Toohey. “With more women graduating from law and entering the legal profession each year, the Commission wants to understand how the sector is responding to changes in the gender balance and what can be done to improve retention rates and career outcomes.”

Lauding the VEOHRC’s Women in Law project, LIV president Michael Holcroft discussed the importance of understanding why women are leaving the law at such a rapid rate.

“We’re very honoured to launch this survey. It is something that we think is an extremely important initiative. The Women in Law project is of particular interest to our Diversity Program and our Attrition of Women in the Law Program, so we commend the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission for making this issue a priority,” he said.

“We know that we have a shocking rate of attrition of females in the legal profession and any feedback that we can get to identify the reasons for this are to be welcomed. The study should also assist in raising awareness in relation to harassment in the legal profession workplace, and lead to a better understanding of the responsibilities of both employers and employees.”

The Commission’s online survey is available at The VEOHRC will report its findings towards the middle of this year.  

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

Attrition of women lawyers under spotlight
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Human body, illegal organ trafficking, ALHR
Sep 22 2017
Australia poised to combat illegal organ harvesting: ALHR
The Australian Lawyers for Human Rights are calling for changes to the law so that organ trafficking...
Online service, barristers, BarristerSELECT, Stephen Foley
Sep 22 2017
New online service leverages barristers’ clerks to aid briefing
A new online tool has been launched to help NSW solicitors find the most suitable barristers for the...
NSW District Court judge, Tim Gartelmann SC, next appointment,
Sep 22 2017
Silk replaces outgoing NSW District Court judge
A barrister has been named as the next appointment to the NSW District Court, following the retireme...
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'...
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...
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 & ...