Who are we?

Your riddle: Can you guess?

  • We have been in existence for less than a century.
  • We are growing in number.
  • We stand 550 person tall (and elegantly so).
  • 30% of us are less than 40 years of age and 30% of us are between 41 and 50 years of age.
  • We have a few guns less than 30.
  • 33% of us have less than 5 years of experience.
  • 20% of us have up to 10 years of experience.
  • We appear all over the place.
  • We comprise about 22% of the collective.
  • We are juniors, we are silks and some of us become judges.
  • About 10% of us are “silk”.
  • We are less than 10% of the legal profession.
  • We can be readily identified, despite reports to the contrary.

The Answer:

We are the female barristers of the New South Wales Bar.

International Women’s Day 2019

International Women’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate women. For the legal profession, it is a wonderful chance to commit to even better advancements towards gender equity in the legal profession including the Bar.

In the mood for celebrations!

Now is a great time to celebrate improvements in gender equity and applaud the agents of change past and present. I am personally grateful for all the solicitors who have placed their trust in me over the last 7 years and helped me establish my career as a barrister.

Only a century ago, Ada Evans, our state’s first female law graduate, was finally able to obtain a practising certificate after the Legal Status of Women Act 1918 was enacted. Remarkably for us looking on now, the legislation recognised the status of women as “persons”. Prior to that, women were prevented from legal practice on the basis that they were not “persons” for the purposes of the standard, “persons of good fame and character”. Something hard to fathom today.

So much has happened since those times. Now we have a veritable highway of women trailblazers, not least of whom, Margaret Beazley AO QC, the immediate former President of the New South Wales Court of Appeal and New South Wales Governor General Designate. More about her, including her first years at the Bar is here.

Highlighting ongoing missions

Now is also a great time to commit to increasing gender equity and working out practical steps to achieve your goal.

Practical TIPS on how to find a female barrister

It is sometimes said, “I do not know any women barristers so I do not brief any”. This lazy “explanation” is one I have heard said more than a few times by men and women old and young. Regardless, there is a simple and practical solution which is facilitated with the ease of just a button or two.

Electronic Resources

Female Barrister Directory

This search engine (above) maintained by the New South Bar Association contains a regularly updated list of all female barristers in New South Wales. It enables a (free) search to be conducted and refined by way of various categories, including areas of practice and specialisation, chambers, location, seniority and languages spoken.

Chambers Directory

This list (above) contains Chambers in New South Wales, for example, Wardell Chambers.  It provides contact details for barristers’ chambers including contact details of the clerks of chambers. If in doubt, the clerk is the go to person who will know his or her barristers, their areas of practice, their availability and their rates.

Talk to People

If you prefer word of mouth, just ask someone. Chances are you will be given a list of names too long to remember!


Don’t be shy. Commit to briefing a woman the next time a top case comes your way! And Happy Women’s Day!


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