Women lawyers, less than a century ago still almost a contradiction in terms, have come to stay. Who are they? Where are they? What impact have they had on the profession that had for so long been a bastion of male domination? These are key questions asked in this comprehensive study of women in the world's legal professions. Answers are based on both quantitative and qualitative analyses, using a variety of conceptual frameworks. Authors present and evaluate the situation of women in the legal profession in both common and civil law countries in the developed world. Fifteen countries from four continents are covered: the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, England, Israel, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Finland, France, Italy, Brazil, Korea and Japan. The focus ranges from judges and public prosecutors, to law professors, lawyers (attorneys), notaries and company lawyers. National differences are clearly in evidence, but so are common features cutting across national boundaries. Experience of glass ceilings and revolving doors is as widespread and as real as success stories of women lawyers pursuing their own projects.
Ulrike Schultz is a senior academic in law at the FernUniversitat Hagen, Germany, where she heads the law faculty's Teaching and Learning Unit and the University's Equal Opportunities Commission. Gisela Shaw is a Professor of German Studies and Director of Research in the Faculty of Languages and European Studies at the University of the West of England, Bristol.