New data from UCAS reveals women make up 67% of law course applications

updated on 10 March 2023

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A freedom of information (FOI) request made to the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) has revealed that twice as many women as men are applying to study law in the UK.

Data shows that around 100,000 women applied to study law in 2022, compared to just 50,000 applications completed by men. It also reveals that applications made by men have only increased 4% per year over the last three years, while the number of women applying has risen by 13% in this time.

However, there’s still a significant gender gap in the legal profession following university. Though women now account for 53% of solicitors in the UK, just 13.8% are partners at law firms. Meanwhile, only 38.8% of those in the barrister profession are women.

The FOI request also found that:

  • 18-year-olds were responsible for the largest increase in applications, reaching over 100,000 applications in 2022, compared with 11,000 in the 21-24 age group;
  • Northern Ireland has seen the greatest increase in female applications, with a 7.6% rise compared to a 5% drop in male applications; and
  • applications to study law in the UK have increased by over 17,000 in the past three years.

Nick Titchener, director at Lawtons Solicitors, commented: “The demand for legal professionals in the UK is increasing two-fold. It is essential for prospective applicants to keep an open mind when pursuing a career in law. It is important to do your research to ensure you understand the qualifications required for the specific position you want.”