In an EGM held on 4 November the Association of Women Solicitors AWS London widened its categories of membership as follows “to include those women who are studying on the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) or the Legal Practice Course (LPC) or any woman, who having completed the LPC, is actively seeking a training contract as a solicitor.” For the first time the AWS has introduced an Associate Membership which includes all women paralegals, legal executives, lawyers qualified in other jurisdictions, and women barristers or “students on the Bar Professional Training Course or on the GDL intending to become barristers.” The Resolution was unanimous.
Margaret Hatwood current chair of the Association and partner in Anthony Gold said:
“I am delighted that our Association has agreed to this change. This reflects the fact that the entry routes into the profession are now diverse. It is not unusual for women to start as barristers and convert to solicitors, or vice versa. Unfortunately training contracts are difficult to find and many would be solicitors have worked as low paid para legals before obtaining a training contract. Many lawyers now are qualified in more than one jurisdiction. The world is indeed becoming a smaller place”.
Coral Hill, Associate Professor, of the University of Law, who introduced the proposed amendment said: “The legal services market has transformed since AWS was created. The formal changes in membership recognise these changes and reflect the importance of networking with a wider group of women working in law”.
The AWS London is a highly active group who welcome all to their meetings even men! This year has seen Helena Kennedy QC speak at the annual dinner and Vicky Pryce on the need for prison reform. The group also met the former Lord Mayor Fiona Woolf at the Mansion House. Lectures on hard law and softer skills e.g. social media are held on a regular basis. The group has also worked with the international development charity Womankind Worldwide, their charity of the year, to raise funds for the charity who seek to improve the lives of women in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The charity tackles domestic violence and FGM. Two members Margaret Hatwood and Louise Taylor have run the Royal Parks Half marathon and one member Suzanne Trask will shortly undertake a 6 mile run in Ethiopia at high altitude to support the charity.
If you are interested in joining / participating in any of our events please contact Linda Davies : –
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