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Women in the legal profession: use your networks and don’t be afraid to be direct

Networking is no longer men-only territory as efforts have recently been made to redress the balance in favour of women, says Dana Denis-Smith

8 August 2019

Rainmakers in the legal professional have always been adept at using their networks to bring in work.

Men have long benefitted from contacts made at school and university, with city firms and financial institutions dominated by private school and Oxbridge alumni – who are more likely to hire each other and give them work.

With a history of networking and client hospitality events held at men-only private members’ clubs, golf days and other activities traditionally precluding women, this has added to the obstacles holding women back in the legal profession over the years.

More recently, efforts have been made to redress the balance. Numerous women’s groups and networking events have sprung up; and law firms are more sensitive to the importance of organising more inclusive client marketing events – especially given the growing number of women working in-house.

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