Law firms are reassessing their long-hours culture in a bid to woo female lawyers, according to recruiters in the legal sector.
The changing demographics of the legal profession mean that law firms have to offer more family-friendly working policies, said Catherine Naylor, managing director of legal recruitment company Goldman Naylor.
The number of qualified female lawyers has more than doubled since 1995 and there are now more qualified women under the age of 45 than men, Naylor said.
“In the past, many women have found their career prospects have suffered as the demands of family life mean they are unable to work the hours expected and some have even left the profession altogether,” she said.
“However, with the number of qualified women lawyers rising rapidly, firms who do not offer a working environment that is attractive to women will find they have a dwindling pool of candidates.
“Fortunately many law firms are beginning to recognise this and there is positive evidence to suggest firms are now offering flexible working options as a valuable tool in the war for talent,” she said.
Women currently account for 42% of all qualified solicitors and 60% of trainees, according to Naylor.
“The law has traditionally been a male-dominated industry but as the new generation of women come through, the balance is swinging in the opposite direction.”