Volume 95, Issue 80

Wednesday, March 6, 2002
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Fifteen seek seat on S.S. Sinal

"Thank you, with your help I'm free"

Rock lays smack down on 'crummy' facilities

Ally McBeal influence felt in law schools

Stee-rike two at Halifax's Dalhousie

No charges in fatal accident

From the Editor

Ally McBeal influence felt in law schools

By Jessica Leeder
Gazette Staff

Canadian women entering the legal profession now outnumber their male counterparts according to statistics released after the nation's newest lawyers were called to the Bar at a ceremony in Ottawa in mid-February.

However, some skeptics suggest the numbers are not indicative of females' overall standing within the legal profession.

According to Caroline Lachance, analyst at the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, the number of females enrolled in first-year law classes nationwide exceeded men – except at Western.

On average, 55 per cent of law students in Canada are women. However, Western's numbers this year were closer to an even split, said Beryl Theobald, Western's director of recruitment and admissions in the law faculty.

Theobald said in 1998 women made up 55 per cent of Western law students and that each year more and more women are entering law school. Enrollment numbers fluctuate around the 50/50 range each year, Theobald said.

Sean O'Connor, media spokesman for the Law Society of Upper Canada, said that in 2002, out of 1,070 people called to the Bar, 564 (53 per cent) were women. In 1999, out of the 1,039 students, only 489 were female.

Jennifer Breithautt, a third-year Western law student and member of the Women and the Law club, said while the statistics represent a "step forward" for female lawyers, there are still many hurdles women in the legal profession come up against in the "upper echelons" of their careers.

"The pay discrepancy in the higher end is still noticeable. There are problems with women attaining partnership in the larger firms and in the upper end, there is a 60 to 80 per cent differential in pay for men over women," she said.

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