Berwins In The News

8th Mar 2019

Berwins marks 100 years of women in law

One of Yorkshire’s leading law firms is marking 100 years since changes to the law enabled the first women to be admitted as solicitors.

Harrogate and Leeds based Berwins is launching a series of awareness-raising initiatives as well as events to inspire the next generation of lawyers, which will run throughout 2019.

 “The Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act of 1919 marked a watershed for the legal profession” explained Berwins’ Managing Director, Sarah Smith.

“Until then, women were unable to qualify as solicitors and barristers, hold judicial posts, sit on juries or act as magistrates. The change, a century ago, was the result of a hard-fought campaign for reform by legal trailblazers. Thanks to those pioneers, the legal profession has been transformed.  100 years on, more women than men now train to enter the profession and women represent more than 50% of the solicitors who are practising in England and Wales.”

As part of the centenary anniversary, Berwins will be showcasing the work of those who broke the legal mould and the impact that they have had not only on the practice of law, but more importantly on the lives of the clients they have supported.

The firm will also be working with local schools and organisations to champion opportunities for both sexes. “I knew from my teens that I wanted to be a family lawyer and, fortunately, I have never felt that opportunities have been denied to me because I am a woman” added Sarah.

“In 2019, we must continue to ensure that this is the case for the next generation of lawyers and that gender or other barriers do not prevent individuals from pursuing their calling and bringing with them their own unique mix of talents and qualities.”  

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