Women to get new group

YOUNG women lawyers across the profession have put forward a proposal to form an association promoting women at the start of their legal careers.

But, although she welcomes moves to establish a combined group, Association of Women Solicitors chair Jane Whittaker says she is disappointed young women believe existing groups cater only for established lawyers.

Plans for a new group are being floated by Rowley Ashworth solicitor Samantha James, and Suzanne McKie of New Court Chambers, both based in London.

James says the idea came from the belief that young women are fighting against the “old boys' network”.

She says although groups such as the AWS and the Association of Women Barristers provide an important service, many young lawyers believe they cater largely to already-established women.

James says she and McKie have contacted women on both sides of the profession including trainees, pupils and legal executives. If the idea is successful, inaugural meetings could be held this year.

Whittaker says she hopes that if the new group is set up it will co-operate with the AWS and AWB.