"Women's domination of the legal profession" is Frances Gibb at The Times' headline take on The Law Society report on the Future of Legal Services.
The fact that there will be more women in the profession is something to celebrate. It means that rather than being dinosaurs, the legal profession has the opportunity to lead the way in demonstrating the benefits of fully developed diversity in a traditionally male dominated industry. With diversity comes diversity of thought, approach and innovation.
The report however, highlights much more than that and chimes with many factors that we see as being part of the drivers for change in the legal profession.
The power of the consumer, demonstrated by the growth of in-house teams and the ability of individuals to access information online that they would have needed to get from a solicitor before.
The impact of technology, not only in driving greater efficiencies and therefore pushing costs of some parts of services down but also in the growing ability to shift tasks from lawyers to computers.
The changing face of regulation. If practising as a solicitor is to remain a monopoly, then we need to clarify what added value using a solicitor brings. The best solicitors add great value to their clients and businesses but we need to ensure we focus on what we do best, and train tomorrow's lawyers in the skills needed to serve future clients. Proof-reading and smart drafting, even legal analysis won't be enough. Our human intelligence skills may just be.
The report, The Future of Legal Services — produced internally by the society’s specialist committees — finds first that the solicitors’ profession is still growing overall — by nearly 35 per cent between 2004 and 2014 when there was a total of 130,382 solicitors in England and Wales with practising certificates. In that time, the proportion of women rose significantly. By 2020, women are expected to account for more than half of all solicitors — for the first time becoming the majority gender in the profession. http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/law/article4675885.ece”