Why Women Make Great Lawyers

Both women and men make great lawyers, but not always for the same reasons. Here’s why women, specifically, make great lawyers.

The legal profession is still very much a male-dominated sector. Although more women than ever are entering the field, few become partners, and many leave the profession within a decade of qualifying. So, what qualities make women good lawyers?

Before we go any further, this post isn’t meant to make one gender appear better than the other. All lawyers can make mistakes, and could undergo a solicitors disciplinary tribunal for misconduct no matter how good they are.

That said, to showcase why the gap needs to close, we’re going to discuss why women make great lawyers. Of course, generalisations aren’t hard and fast rules. That said, this article will explore the more noticeable attributes women have, which makes them great for a profession they were once considered incapable of.

Why Do Women Make Such Good Lawyers?

Female lawyers have lots of amazing qualities that make them good at their jobs, and here is our list of the most identifiable traits that are good for this profession.

1. Communication skills

Great lawyers need to possess good communication skills, both oral and written, in order to perform their jobs well. They need to be able to speak eloquently when addressing the court, as well as listen and discuss a case with a client.

Several studies over the last 30 years have indicated an affinity in women to communicate well with others and listen effectively. They have also been found to summarise conversations well and have a wide range of vocabulary.

This is just one of the many traits that make female lawyers great.

2. Creativity

You might not think it, with law seeming like a purely logical profession, but creativity plays a huge part in turning a good lawyer into a great lawyer. Being logical is important, but in order to reach a possible best conclusion, you have to think outside the box. 

A new study conducted by music researchers found that women engaged in creative fields like art, music and literature, are generally more creative than their male counterparts. They looked at how people come to conclusions through divergent thinking, by performing tests that require a subject to use objects in a unique way. 

There are obviously creative people on all points of the gender spectrum. But, when it comes to the most creative industries, women have been found to have a slight edge.

creativity

3. Client care

Good communication skills and being able to think outside the box are one thing. That said, making sure your clients are cared for in a difficult situation is something every great lawyer should possess.

According to a brain imaging study in the journal Brain and Cognition, researchers at the University of Mexico’s Institute of Neurobiology found that women’s brains process compassion differently than men’s. The study, performed on 12 men and 12 women, involved showing pictures to both groups that should invoke compassion, and measuring their brain activity. Activity was observed in two areas of the brain in women where it wasn’t in men; one of which is involved in the executing of helping actions. 

The lead researcher in the study said of their findings: “Our results suggest that compassion mechanisms evolved differentially in women, probably in connection with social skills including maternal preverbal communication and emotional responses to helpless offspring,”

4. Perseverance

Being a great lawyer involves seeing a difficult task through until the end. Legal cases are often difficult, winding affairs, that can take sharp turns and take a long time to come to a conclusion.

A new report conducted by the Audience Agency looked into the way people read books based on their personality, gender, and a number of other factors. The report found that men regularly give up before they reach page 50 and women surpass the 100-page mark.

There were obviously a number of other factors that played into that result but, on the whole, women were found to have greater perseverance in this one area than men.

5. Assertiveness

There’s a common misconception that women aren’t assertive because they don’t speak up for themselves or negotiate higher salaries as much as men do. A study conducted by the Gender Action Portal at the Harvard Kennedy School found that males were assertive more frequently than females because women were only assertive in the right context.

They found that women were more likely to be assertive when negotiating on behalf of someone else and were better at it when they did. This suggests that women are better at arguing the case of other people than themselves, an important trait for any great lawyer.

lawyer

6. Organisation

Organisation is one of the many traits of a great lawyer. After all, keeping all your documents in one place, knowing where to find them, and showing up on time to meetings with clients are all important.

A study of 4,000 workers, by the label-making company DYMO, said that more than 1 in 10 men have been warned by their boss about poor organisation. In fact, more than 20 of them missed out on a promotion because of it.

They also found that women are better at meeting deadlines, turning up on time for work, remembering to phone people back, and keeping track of their documents

So, Do Women Make Great Lawyers or Not?

In this post we’ve done our best to share the character traits found more predominantly in women that make them great lawyers

Differences between men and women do exist, but they appear on a spectrum and don’t necessarily occur between individuals. These studies all reflect a more generalised phenomenon across the entire human population. 

This article is also not meant to suggest that women are better lawyers than men, more just highlight what characteristics make women great lawyers. Hopefully this article has shed some light on that topic, and you know more now than you did when you got here.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.