Women solicitors significantly outnumber men at the younger end of the profession, according to Law Society research published today.
If current trends continue, the profession could comprise more women than men within the next ten years.
The Society’s annual statistical report shows that there are 25,645 women solicitors with practising certificates aged 35 and under, compared with just 16,920 men.
In the 26-30 age bracket, there are just 7,032 men with practising certificates, compared with 12,164 women. Some 62.7% of new trainees were women.
While the report itself does not forecast the future composition of the profession, the figures mean that if current trends continue, there could be more women solicitors than men within a decade. Women currently make up 45.8% of all practising solicitors.
However, the report showed that women are still failing to achieve partnership status at the same rates as men, even when levels of experience are taken into account.
A lower proportion of women than men were partners across all experience bands.
In the 10-19 years’ post-qualified experience bracket, which is the band with the highest number of partners and sole practitioners, only 44.6% of women were partners compared with 72.4% of men.
A Law Society spokeswoman said Chancery Lane seeks to support women in the profession by working with the Association of Women Solicitors to offer firms guidance on how to develop flexible working, and through its diversity and inclusion charter, which encourages best practice in equality.
In related news, new employment measures introduced by chancellor George Osborne could be bad news for women in the profession, it has been claimed.