Move over Rumpole... More women than men study law
IMAGINE watching a trial in court and you might picture a bewigged and gowned male figure addressing a jury.
But research suggests that courtrooms of the future could be filled with more women barristers than men.
Twice as many women have applied to study law as men, data sourced from university admissions service Ucas has revealed.
Female applications reached triple figures for the first time last year at 103,575 applicants, compared with 51,865 male hopefuls.
The data, collated by London criminal defence solicitors Lawtons, also found that female applications to all law courses in the UK have risen by 13 per cent over the last three years.
Dr Adrienne Barnett, senior lecturer in law at Brunel University, said more female undergraduates improves ‘collegiality’ of students.
She said: ‘From my experience as a lecturer, there are certainly a lot more women than men studying law at Brunel Law School.
‘The reasons for this are conjecture but I suspect it’s because fewer women study the STEM subjects... Comparing my experience of studying law in the late 1970s/early 1980s when there were more male students with the situation now, I think that having more female students enhances the collegiality of the students and peer support.’
Law courses are also proving popular among 18 to 20-year-olds, with more than 15,000 applicants from the age group in the last two years, data obtained by a Freedom of Information request reveals. Northern Ireland has seen the greatest increase in female applications at 7.6 per cent compared with a 5 per cent drop among males.
Overall, applications to study law in the UK have increased by over 17,000 in the past three years.
Nick Titchener, director at Lawtons Solicitors, added: ‘ The demand for legal professionals in the UK is increasing two-fold... It is essential for prospective applicants to keep an open mind when pursuing a career in law.
‘ It is important to do your research to ensure you understand the qualifications required for the specific position you want.
‘As well as this, you should identify any relevant work experience opportunities that will help you emphasise your commitment to a career in law, such as holiday schemes, mini-pupillages, marshalling or pro bono work.
‘The legal industry is competitive yet rewarding and students applying to study in the UK will, in time, help the profession prosper in the years to come’.
According to Government statistics for 2022, women make up 39 per cent of barristers in the UK.