eIne male domain is crumbling: For the first time in 2017, more women than men were newly admitted as lawyers. Of the 4,694 registrations in the 27 regional bar associations throughout Germany, 52 percent were women, an increase of 3 percent year-on-year. This is the result of a study by the Soldan Institute, which was presented on Friday at the German Lawyers' Day in Leipzig.
"It is a trend that has long emerged in the international labor market for lawyers. However, compared to the industrialized nations, German lawyers are dominated by men in a dominant manner, and that will gradually change, "says Matthias Kilian from the Soldan Institute at the University of Cologne, F.A.Z. Especially in Thuringia and in Franconia there are more lawyers, two-thirds of all newly-sworn lawyers there are women. Only in nine chambers, the newcomers were mostly male, taillights in the national comparison are the bar associations in Saarland and in southern Rhineland-Palatinate with about 40 percent of women.
The numbers should not obscure the fact that there is a need to catch up in Germany and that small and medium-sized law firms in particular often lack ideas to make the legal profession attractive to women. Up to roughly the same gender ratio as in America and Great Britain, there is a long way to go in this country: In the Anglo-American legal market, more women stay permanently in their jobs. While the legal profession there is consistently half of men and women, the proportion of lawyers in this country stagnates at 35 percent.
This is all the more surprising since since 2004, women study law by a majority. In the 2017 survey period, among the 135,000 persons enrolled in all legal studies, around 55 percent are women. More than 57 percent completed their second state exam, which makes it possible to work as a lawyer. If female lawyers are employed, they disproportionately practice in family law (47 per cent), labor law (36 per cent) and social law (16 per cent), ie in areas where not only negotiating skills but above all "soft skills" are required. Significantly fewer women work in corporate and corporate law.
From the gender-specific data, the Soldan study for the labor market concludes that the structures in many law firms based on face-to-face culture, hourly fees, and mostly male ownership have to change. "Otherwise it will be difficult to keep women in the job," says Kilian. Outliers will continue to benefit the civil service, legal and compliance departments in companies and associations.
In a work environment with more lawyers, the director of the Soldan Institute predicts a higher demand of employees for part-time work. Employers would probably have to reduce their demands on female employees elsewhere as well. In the future, additional qualifications such as specialist law or doctoral degrees could lose considerable importance. Their acquisition is very time-consuming and also takes place predominantly in the life phase between 30 and 40 years, when in private life often starting a family.
. (dayToTranslate) Matthias Kilian (t) University of Cologne (t) F.A.Z. (t) Women (t) Men (t) Male domain (t) Equality debate