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Society of Women Lawyers - India was established in May 2010 in order to provide a platform for women lawyers to interact on issues of personal and professional development, and to provide a voice for lawyers and other women on pro-women social legislation, for instance on issues such as domestic violence and women's right to inheritance.

We have come a long way from the days when Cornelia Sorabji stood as the lone woman lawyer among her male colleagues-at-bar. While the situation is vastly different in 2010 with more practising women lawyers, however the number of women designated as "Senior Advocates," law firm partners and judges remains dismal. Interestingly, while some law schools have taken steps to reserve seats for women law students, only a small proportion of these dynamic young women will go on to become judges, legislators, senior counsel and corporate leaders. Many will leave the profession temporarily or permanently because of diverse reasons ranging from the demands and inequities in the profession, to choices to pursue options in other fields. Some will continue to strive along their chosen field in the legal field but will not necessarily be able to succeed. Is it not the obligation of all of us as women lawyers to ensure that as many of us who want to remain in and succeed within the legal profession have the necessary tools and support to do so?

Not just at the entry stages, peer support is an essential ingredient to success at all stages of a career, perhaps most so at the top of the pyramid. Despite the hard work and dedication needed to get to the top of the profession, it is also essential to have a broad base of support within the profession.

Ironically, whereas Indian women lawyers have several fora to network with their international colleagues, such as the women's bar or working groups within the IBA, IPBA, ABA, etc., there are few platforms where they can meet other women lawyers within India. This was highlighted by the first ever women lawyers conference organized in February 2009 in New Delhi by the initiative of the chair and vice-chair of the Women Business Lawyers Committee of the IPBA. Supported by several lawyers and law firms alike, the theme of the conference centered around three main topics: Increasing and Exercising Influence, Building and Strengthening Client Relationships and Achieving and Maintaining Balance. Attended by about 100 women lawyers, and few men as well, the attendees recognized the need for creating a platform for women lawyers to come together.

It is in response to this gap that the "Society of Women Lawyers - India" has been formed on May 14, 2010.

 
 
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