Honouring history, inspiring tomorrow

Celebrating 100 years of women practising law in Australia

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Celebrating the women who paved the way

The journey of women in Australia's legal history is a captivating story of overcoming challenges and breaking barriers. From the early 20th century and trailblazers like Flos Greig and Ada Evans, to legislative milestones such as the Women's Legal Status Act of 1918, each chapter in this story is marked by determination and progress. These women laid the foundation for today's generation and will continue to inspire those who will shape the next century. Discover more about the history of women in law in Australia below.

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Recognising the realities of Australia's current legal landscape

We recognise and value the contributions of every woman in the legal industry to the advancements that have been made to date. However, the journey is far from complete. Despite substantial progress, gender disparities persist. While the data underscores the distance we still need to cover, it also highlights the responsibility that falls upon the women of the next century to carry forward the mission initiated by the women before us. Their groundwork has set the stage, but it is the current generation's duty to address the existing challenges and pave the way for a more equitable future in the legal industry.

Year 101 aims to inspire this continued work by using the power of women uplifting other women to galvanise, progress, and continue #celebratingwomeninlaw, together.

29%

of leaders (principals/partners) in Australian law firms were female, as opposed to 54% male as of 2022, as reported by the NSW Law Society.

36%

of women lawyers were admitted for 15 years or more, opposed to 51% for men, as reported by the NSW Law Society.

55%

reduction in women's earnings was observed, on average, inthe first five years of parenthood as opposed to no change for men, as reportedby the March 2023 Treasury paper Children and the Gender Earnings Gap.

Empowering progress through an ongoing legacy

2018 marked a significant milestone – a century of women practising law in Australia. Pioneering women shaped history, triumphing with every case and every step forward. Yet, there’s still progress to be made in breaking barriers and reshaping the legal industry to unlock every woman’s potential. In 2019, Year 101 was created to honour this legacy and empower female lawyers. By amplifying voices, inspiring futures, and supporting communities through #celebratingwomeninlaw, Year 101 strives to champion change and foster a legal industry that’s fair, diverse, and empowering for all. Discover more about us and join the journey toward a brighter legal future.

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The women defining excellence for the next century

At the heart of Year 101's mission is our #CelebratingWomenInLaw campaign, an online movement highlighting the stories of women who have left their mark on the legal profession. Explore stories of mentorship, leadership, and the ongoing commitment to foster a more inclusive legal community below, and don't forget to keep up to date with us on LinkedIn and use the hashtag #celebratingwomeninlaw.

Natasha Blycha

Managing Director

Stirling & Rose

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Jillian Barrett

Principal Lawyer

Maurice Blackburn

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Nicole Elliott

Solicitor

ACM Legal

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Shelley Williams

Partner

Kingston Reid

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Ashleigh Best

Barrister

Victorian Bar

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Michelle James

Principal Lawyer

Maurice Blackburn

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Contribute to the rich tapestry of women in Australian law

This campaign is not just a reflection of the past; it's an invitation to join the celebration of women in law. We invite you to nominate other women within the legal industry to share their stories, anecdotes, and tributes. Together, let's honour their legacy and inspire future generations.

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29%

of leaders (principals/partners) in Australian law firms were female, as opposed to 54% male as of 2022, as reported by the NSW Law Society.

36%

of women lawyers were admitted for 15 years or more, opposed to 51% for men, as reported by the NSW Law Society.

55%

reduction in women's earnings was observed, on average, inthe first five years of parenthood as opposed to no change for men, as reportedby the March 2023 Treasury paper Children and the Gender Earnings Gap.