Male solicitors under 40 are out-numbered by women colleagues for the first time, new figures showed yesterday.
The Law Society said there were 27,160 women solicitors with practising certificates in the age group, compared with 25,627 men.
Across all ages, women now account for 41 per cent of the profession.
However, women were paid less on average than male colleagues, the 2004 figures showed.
The median salary for men was £55,000 a year and for women it was £37,000 a year. The data also showed 18 per cent of new solicitors were from ethnic minorities, and eight per cent overall for those with practising certificates.
Law Society chief executive Janet Paraskeva said: "I am pleased that working as a solicitor is increasingly popular with young women and also people from minority ethnic groups.
"We have come a long way since Carrie Morrison became the first woman solicitor 83 years ago.
"As these new solicitors progress their careers, we expect to see more women reach senior positions in law firms."