Women solicitors - soon to become an overall majority in the profession - still cluster in practice areas traditionally viewed as female-friendly, according to new  Law Society research. 

Analysis of categories of work undertaken by PC holders in January 2017 show woman outnumbering men in 11 out of 58 areas of law. Women dominate children law more than any other sector, making up 73% of all solicitors, and also dominate the areas of mediation family (69%), education (65%), mental health and family (both 62%).

They also outnumber men in welfare benefits law, administrative and public law, pension law, medical negligence, civil liberties and human rights, and trusts.

A snapshot of the profession taken in June 2017 shows that women make up 49.5% of the total solicitor profession, suggesting they will be in a majority next year. 

The Society's research shows the most frequently undertaken practice area was business affairs, with 25,881 solicitors reporting that they worked in the sector.

Other categories with more than 15,000 solicitors are commercial property, residential conveyancing, commercial litigation and general litigation.

Seven areas of work – aviation, libel and defamation, family mediation, military law, pension law, travel and tourism and welfare benefits – have fewer than 1,000 practitioners.

As in previous years, on average practising certificate holders each worked in around three different categories.

Compared with data from January 2016 there has been a marginal increase in the proportion of solicitors working in construction law, computer and IT law, corporate finance and energy and natural resources.

The figures reflect no mass departure from any sector, although a number areas of work dropped 0.3% as a proportion of the profession overall. They included business affairs, residential conveyancing, crime, motor, employment and personal injury.