FOR the first time in Australia, women outnumber men in the legal profession.
The 2016 National Profile of the Profession reveals that of the total 71,509 practising solicitors, females make up 35,799 or 50.1% compared to 35,710 or 49.9% males.
The proportion of women entering the profession has doubled that of men in the past two years, increasing by 34% compared with the numbers of men rising by 16%.
The Law Society of NSW CEO Michael Tidball said the figures emphasised the need for law firms and law societies to boost the number of women in leadership positions.
"We have made significant advances in all areas of practice to assist the retention and career progression of women in the profession, however impediments still remain,” Mr Tidball said.
Mr Tidball said most employers now had policies for flexible working but a failure to translate those policies into reality was often cited as a main barrier to the advancement of women.
"The legal profession must assist men and women to better balance their professional and other commitments.”