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More women approach the Bar

More women approach the Bar

The number of women entering the Victorian Bar has doubled in the past 10 years, new figures show.

THE number of women entering the Victorian Bar has doubled in the past 10 years, new figures show.

The Victorian Bar welcomed 46 new barristers to the roll of 1,761 members in a signing ceremony last week. Of those, 20 are women, joining the 406 women already in those ranks.

But the Bar’s figures show a marked increase in the number of women joining the bar. In 1999, just 18 of the 73 new admissions were women. The following year, just 29 of the 75 were of the fairer sex.

The chairman of the Victorian Bar, Michael Colbran QC said the figures have been gradually climbing over the past 10 years. “Diversity at the Bar is essential to maintaining the appeal of the Bar as an option for all the profession who want to pursue expert advocacy as a career path,” he said.

In 2008 and 2009, almost half the new barristers joining the Victorian Bar were women, at 42 of 90 and 41 or 92 respectively. In 2004, just 34 of 100 new barristers in the state were women.

Colbran said: “It is pleasing to see the numbers of women coming to the Bar increasing steadily over time – and that age diversity is also widening.”

The spread of ages in the current crop of readers has also crept up. The age range of new recruits is 25 to 60 years of age, compared to 1999, when it was 25 to 55 years of age.

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More women approach the Bar
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