Twice as many women as men apply to study law

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Overall law school applications have increased by over 17,000 since 2019, UCAS data shows

Twice as many women as men are applying to study law in the UK, data sourced from university admissions service UCAS shows.

The data, collated by criminal defence firm Lawtons, shows the number of women applying to study law at the undergraduate level in 2022 reached 103,575, almost double the 51,865 applications from males that year.

In the past three years, applications to study law in the UK have increased by over 17,000, with male applications increasing by 4% per year and female applications rising by 4.4%.

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Over the last three years, female applications to all law courses in the UK have risen by 13%.

The biggest age demographic increase came from 18-year-olds, who made over 100,000 applications in 2022, compared with just 11,000 in the 21-24 age group.

The greatest increase in female applications by locality was in Northern Ireland, which saw a 7.6% rise compared to a 6% drop in male applications.

The numbers continue the trend noted last year where 69% (107,085) of law applicants in 2021 were female, compared with just 31% (48,065) of men.

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I think this would have more interest for the profession if, like other jurisdictions, you could only become a solicitor or barrister by studying Law. As it stands, you can convert from pretty much anything so the impact on the legal profession of this is difficult to judge.


Carl Gardner

Good point, but having taught the GDL/PGDL between 2016 and 2021, I reckon the proportions must be broadly similar for students converting to law. Maybe not two-to-one, but something like 60-40.


Commander Data

The data cited are relatively meaningless without comparators for the applicant body across all subjects and/or other specific subjects. Is law an outlier here? We can’t tell.



Interesting. How can we improve diversity by encouraging more applications from men?






Oh give over!

You’ve had it made for 2000 years.



Explain? Until only relatively recently law (especially barristers) was a closed profession to all but upper and upper middle class men with the right connections (I.e. a very very small proportion of men). All the recent diversity initiatives miss out the worst performing demographic in schools at the moment (and society more broadly) – white working class males.



As others have pointed out these stats aren’t helpful in E&W but in Scotland the trend is that 2/3 of those entering the LLB are women and that continues into qualification.

In the next 10-20 years we’ll likely see more equality in partner figures but you have to wonder if the lack of men coming into and remaining in the profession will be viewed as something requiring attention/action.



Equality in partner numbers would mean something has gone very wrong in terms of discrimination given the number of women who choose to leave work of such nature upon motherhood.



I hope we will see positive discrimination towards men in the hiring process for TCA.


Pete Campbell

Across the board, females are increasingly making up the majority of university students across all disciplines. Law is clearly no exception!



Either the lefties have to advocate for positive discrimination for male applicants or they’ll be outed as the grifters they really are



What are the stats on how many practicing lawyers at 5 and 10 year mark are part-time?
Needed are stats on how many lawyers chose to not be on the partner track so that the partner track percentages reflect persons pursuing partner status.

The X percent from group Y yet high paid partners have half that percentage is misleading and a click generating headline of faulty data.

What is the drop out rate for the profession by 5 years by demographic group? If one group self-selects for a less demanding job, lawyers work 60 hours per week or more usually, it needs to be reported.

Higher up the ladder you go, the more work hours, less non-work life you have.
Higher up the ladder you go, the more cut throat the workers become. Difficulty in working with them will have persons self-select and chose to not advance in their field.

Please provide statistics on this. The entire discussion is poisoned the well with always saying ‘more gentrification, more benefits, more friendly work environment’ will change the work demographics. A hard, ruthless job, with long hours will cause lots of people to find other jobs to do.

It’s about personal choices people make both going into the college degree, getting a job in the field, pursue promotions, leaving the field.

Lawyers are de facto salespersons, selling their work hours and expertise. Lots of persons do well selling product, lots of persons hate selling product.



Partner track is long hard 60 hour weeks for years. Which gender by personal choice wants part time or drops out due to the long hours and workload in the first five years?

Part time will not make partner.


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