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Why more women should study law?

Are you interested in studying Law?

In 2019, Supreme court president Lady Brenda Hale issued a rallying cry to increase the number of women studying law. As Britain’s most senior judge, and the first woman to ever hold the role, she was well positioned to demand a change. At the time, only 29% of senior judges were women, and she said at least half of UK judiciary should be female to better represent the population.


Women studying law

Today in 2022, despite a rising number of women taking positions as solicitors and chartered legal executives, only 39% of barristers are female, and the number of High Court judges remains stubbornly unchanged. Creating a more diverse culture at the top of a profession starts, of course, at the bottom and increasing the number of women looking to study for undergraduate law degrees.  

Lack of diversity is not a new problem; of course, the 2012 Council of Europe report found that Britain had the lowest employment levels in Europe for female judges. In 2021, this picture had improved a bit, and by April of last year, 34% of court judges and half of the tribunal judges were female. The proportion of women has continued to increase but remains low in senior court roles. 

Is it hard for women to start a career in law? 

The legal profession is changing and becoming both more receptive and easier to access. Diversity is critical in any sector, particularly law, where it must be as varied as the community it serves – best reflecting and representing the people within it. An attitude that is becoming more widely accepted. Enabling new applicants from various backgrounds and experiences only stimulates energy and innovation.  

There is no doubt that public perception of the law is that it is a sector dominated by white, middle, and upper-class men, but statistics show that diversity is high on the agenda now for most legal employers. According to data from the Solicitor’s Regulation Authority (SRA), published earlier this year, 52% of lawyers in the UK are now women, 17% are from Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic backgrounds and 5% are classified as having a disability. This shows a steady improvement and new opportunities to enter the sector. There remains a significant seniority gap for women, and they are consistently underrepresented at the partner level in firms of all sizes, particularly in the largest law firms. 

So, why should more women want to study law now? Because it is a changing sector with real potential for advancement. The positive change underway needs help to maintain its momentum, and new female applicants will open doors and drive more women into senior roles.  

How can I get started in studying law? 

Getting started is easy if you are interested in the legal system or have a particular area that stands out to you, such as Family Law. Researching an undergraduate degree is a fantastic way to see if it is right for you, and we have a range of materials to help. You also might be surprised at the host of other benefits a law degree can present. 

  1. An undergraduate law degree is both flexible and well-respected. A BA (Hons) degree in Business and Law can unlock many career opportunities. 
  2. Studying law includes many transferable skills commonly desired by employers, such as critical thinking, research, and organisational skills. 
  3. A BA (Hons) or LLB degree shows prospective employers you are capable applicants who can handle complex subject matter and high-pressure environments.