Report Finds Women Make Up Majority of Australian Legal Profession
Wednesday, 19 June 2019
A new report has found that women outnumber men in the Australian legal profession. The 2018 National Profile of Solicitors Report was commissioned by the Conference of Law Societies (COLS), of which the Law Society of Western Australia is a member. The report was prepared by research and consultancy firm Urbis, which compiled data on factors including age, gender and location of lawyers around Australia.
Law Society President Greg McIntyre SC said, “The 2018 National Profile of Solicitors Report provides a valuable insight into the composition of the Australian legal profession. The report has found that women represent more than half of all solicitors (52%) around Australia, while in Western Australia the gender balance is at 50/50. The Law Society has, as one of its continuing strategic objectives, promoting diversity within the legal profession and that includes a major focus on advancing women within the profession.
“It is particularly noteworthy that the cohort of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander solicitors remains relatively small (0.7% compared to 2.8% of the Australian population). This is another area of strategic focus for the Law Society, which operates programmes including mentoring for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander law students and through its Reconciliation Action Plan is committed to a legal profession where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, graduates and practitioners feel valued and respected.”
Some of the other key findings from the report include:
- The Australian legal profession is still experiencing strong growth: Over the past seven years, there has been a 33% increase in the number of solicitors practising in Australia.
- Most growth is being seen in the corporate and government legal sectors: Over the past seven years there has been strong growth in the corporate and government legal sectors (+61% each).
- The ageing trend is being offset by growth in the number of young people entering the profession: The mean age of Australian solicitors (42 years) has remained relatively consistent over the past seven years, due to the growth in the number of younger lawyers aged 25 years or less entering the profession.
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About us: The Law Society of Western Australia is the peak professional association for lawyers in the State. The Society is a not-for-profit association dedicated to the representation of its more than 4,000 members. The Society enhances the legal profession through its position as a respected leader and contributor on law reform, access to justice and the rule of law. The Society is widely acknowledged by the legal profession, government and the community as the voice of the legal profession in Western Australia.