Victoria bolsters female lawyer influence

A Victorian mooting competition is tackling the underrepresentation of women in influential roles within the legal industry.

Having launched in September this year, the inaugural Victorian Women Lawyers Warren Moot encourages women lawyers to participate in public speaking and to provide insight into a career at the Bar.

According to the Victorian Women Lawyers, only 27 per cent of practising barristers in Victoria are currently women, women making up just 11.5 per cent of Victoria’s senior counsel.

“So long as this underrepresentation continues, the community is missing out on a valuable resource,” said Marilyn Warren AC, Supreme Court of Victoria chief justice.

“It is therefore vital that we continue to encourage and support women to take up advocacy roles, and importantly, that we encourage practitioners to brief more women.  Victorian Women Lawyers remains at the forefront of this campaign.”

Established with support from Maddocks and Justice Warren, the Warren Moot was launched to address the low number of women lawyers in advocacy roles.

“Anyone in the profession who came to the past three rounds to support these emerging talents would have been impressed by their commitment to preparation and outstanding delivery,” said VWL Convenor Kirsten Adams.

“That has been the aim of this initiative all along – to empower women lawyers to get on their feet in a forum where they can test and hone their talents.
“The quality of the mooting has been outstanding.”

The grand final of the competition has now been set for 14 October, the teams competing are:

•             Team 4 (Supreme Court): Alice Smith, Katherine Farrell, Amy Yeap and Reegan Morison

•             Team 5 (Supreme Court): Anita Das, Clara Jordan-Baird, Sarah Werner and Sarah Man

“We have been buoyed by the support and enthusiasm for the initiative demonstrated to date by many members of the legal profession. This includes members of the judiciary who generously donated their time and expertise in adjudicating the preliminary mooting rounds,” Adams said.

“We hope the profession turns out in force to see the emerging advocacy talent at the inaugural Grand Final on 14 October at the Supreme Court.”

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