Female solicitors joining legal profession at three times the rate of men

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Women have been joining the legal profession at three times the rate of men over the past decade, new figures reveal.

According to the Law Society, there were 153,282 solicitors practising in England and Wales in July, marking a two per cent increase over the previous year.

Of these, more than half (53 per cent) are women, compared to 47 per cent in 2013. In total, there are currently 110,118 women on the roll.

The number of solicitors on the roll has hit an all time high of 209,213, an increase of three per cent on the previous year, according to the Law Society’s annual statistics report.

The figures also show that 30 years ago, there were 14,179 women solicitors. This figure has since increased five-fold, growing to 80,881 now.

There are also more younger women joining the legal profession than men, with 10,698 women between the age of 26 to 30 holding practising certificates compared to 5,796 men in the same age range.

The gap becomes more narrow towards middle age. However, after the age of 46, women lawyers are consistently outnumbered by men.

The number of female partners has increased marginally by 0.3 per cent to 8,930, with the report describing this as a “slow steady growth over the past few years”.

The report also showed that lawyers from Black, Asian and other non-white backgrounds increased in 0.5 per cent, making up 18 per cent of all practising certificate holders with known ethnicity.

“Though this proportion continues to grow at a slow rate, it has been consistently improving over the past 10 years,” the report’s authors wrote.

Stephanie Boyce, president of the Law Society, said: “For a long time the solicitor profession was male dominated. But in just 100 years, women have shown how much they have to offer the sector.”

She added that the society’s president and vice-president were both women for the first time in history.