Fiona Woolf Lecture 2020 – The challenges of intersectionality – why are there so few black women lawyers in senior leadership roles in the legal profession and what can we do to change this?

This Law Society event is to celebrate the achievements of Dame Fiona Woolf and other inspirational women who have reached senior positions within the profession.

Learning outcomes

  • Understand more about the positive contribution made by women to the profession, and how diversity enhances organisations in the wider legal community
  • Learn the different routes to success based on the personal journeys of accomplished solicitors with similar experiences to you
  • Develop the skills to support and encourage self-confidence to make effective applications to access/progress within the profession


  • I. Stephanie Boyce – Vice president, The Law Society
  • Ariel White Tsimikalis – Partner, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
  • Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu – New York Attorney and Solicitor of England & Wales with broad expertise in the financial services industry, writer, public speaker and political commentator
  • Sharon Blackman – Managing Director & GC, Citi bank
  • Dame Fiona Woolf DBE 
  • Kellie Scott – Global Product head for Sales Finance within the Global Trade team at JP Morgan

Sign up to attend this virtual event on the Law Society Website.

The Law Society Annual Statistics Report 2019

The Law Society Annual Statistics Report (ASR) has been compiled for over 30 years and provides a comprehensive picture of how the size and structure of the solicitors’ profession has evolved.

The ASR has tended to focus on private practice, which continues to employ most practising solicitors. However, in-house solicitors now make up almost one-quarter of the profession.

This year’s report expands on visually representing the distribution of practising certificate (PC) holders by:

  • gender
  • ethnicity
  • region
  • sector

Part one of the report looks at qualified solicitors, the sectors and the entities in which they work and analyses the diversity within the profession.

Part two covers the development and entry of new solicitors including numbers pursuing law degrees, training contracts and being admitted to the profession through various routes.

Key findings

Key findings from this year’s report (with a focus on gender) show that:

  • In the 12 months to 31 July 2019, the number of solicitors with practising certificates (PC holders) reached 146,953 – the highest recorded so far
  • There were 195,821 individuals on the Roll of solicitors in total, with year on year growth slowing to 3.7%
  • For the third year running, female PC holders outnumbered male PC holders this year, by over 4,500. This gap has increased by more than 2,300 from the year before.
  • Women made up close to two-thirds of new trainees, and 30% of all traineeships were in the City of London.
  • The average age of male and female PC holders has decreased compared to those in 2018 (by 1.0 and 0.9 respectively). The median ages of male PCs has remained the same at 46 whilst for female PCs it has decreased to 39. Female solicitors remain younger on average and by median than male counterparts by more than a five year age difference.
  • The position of a Partner or Partner equivalent (members, directors, shareholders), including salaried partners, is the highest proportion of positions held by male PCs at 40.2% (compared to 18.5% for women). For female PCs, the largest proportion is held by Associate Solicitors at 31.4%.

You can download a copy of the report here.

LDD: Lessons learnt for Disability Inclusion

Legally Disabled?: The Career Experiences of Disabled People in the Legal Profession released earlier this year identified that the most requested, and refused, reasonable adjustment for disabled lawyers was remote or home working. 
The pandemic necessitated everyone working in this way and this has allowed new opportunities for disabled people, and the profession, to create and contribute to more inclusive working environments. 
The Law Society Lawyers with Disabilities Division have commissioned the same researchers, the Legally Disabled team, to carry out further research to capture people’s experiences.
Join them on Monday 2 November for the virtual launch of; ‘The impact of COVID-19 on the employment and training of disabled lawyers in England and Wales: opportunities for job-redesign and best practice’.

They will be discussing the findings, how to improve disability inclusion and taking stock of lessons learnt during COVID-19.
Book your place

This launch will be followed by a series of roundtables to explore in more detail some of the findings.

Please email if you would like to attend either of the following:

  • Tuesday 17 November (12.30 – 14.00)
  • Thursday 26 November (12.30 – 14.00)

You can find out more about Lawyers with Disabilities here.

LawCare launches ground-breaking research study “Life in the Law”

Legal mental health charity LawCare has announced a new ground-breaking research study ‘Life in the Law’.

The charity has teamed up with leading academics in the field Dr Emma Jones (University of Sheffield), Professor Richard Collier (University of Newcastle), Caroline Strevens (Reader in Legal Education, University of Portsmouth) and Lucinda Soon (Solicitor and PhD researcher) along with Nick Bloy (Executive Coach and founder of Wellbeing Republic) and Kayleigh Leonie (LawCare trustee and solicitor) to develop the research study which will look at the impact of work culture and working practices on the wellbeing of legal professionals. The research seeks to understand the day to day realities of life in the law and uses three academic research scales for burn-out, psychological safety and autonomy. Anyone working in the legal industry, including support staff, can complete the online questionnaire across the UK, Ireland, UK, ROI, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

We encourage as many members as possible to take part, as the results of this study will help improve the support available to people working in the legal profession. The data will help drive long-lasting cultural change in legal workplaces to benefit both the present and future generations of lawyers and staff.

The results will form the basis of an academic paper and will be announced next year. 

Take part at

More About LawCare

  • LawCare is an independent charity offering emotional support, information and training to the legal community in the UK and Ireland. We work to promote good mental health and wellbeing in legal workplaces.
  • We’re here to help through our confidential helpline, email, webchat and one-to-one peer support network. The helpline number is 0800 279 6888 (1800 991 801 in Ireland) and you can access other support, information and resources at (
  • We help all branches of the legal profession: solicitors, barristers, barrister’s clerks, judges, Chartered Legal Executives, paralegals, trademark attorneys, patent attorneys, costs lawyers, and their staff and families.
  • Our support spans the legal life from student to training to practice and retirement. 

Career Experiences of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Lawyers

During 2020, the Law Society has been working with the Ethnic Minority Lawyers Division on a programme of research on the career experiences of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Lawyers.

To complement the report, they would like to collect the experiences of a wider group, to examine the prevalence of challenges identified through the roundtables and to collect views on how these challenges can be collectively addressed.

If you identify as a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic Lawyer please complete this survey.