Jude Al Harthi, prominent Saudi lawyer
Earlier this week, the Saudi Arabian Minister of Justice Sheikh Waleed Al-Samaani shared exciting news while addressing attendees at the Saudi Law Conference: the number of Saudi women who have obtained a license to practice law has increased by a staggering 300 percent over the past few years.
“This shows that women’s participation in the legal profession will witness a big leap in coming years and a subsequent promising future for law in the Kingdom,” the minister explained.
Al-Samaani also pointed out that there has been a 60 percent increase in the number of women who have entered the legal profession during the last two years and, according to a report by Saudi Gazette, female lawyers in the Kingdom have risen by 77 percent in just the last year, a rise that has been attributed to the Judicial Training Center in Jeddah organizing a number of courses enabling lawyers to obtain their legal license.
Al-Samaani, who is also chairman of the board of the Saudi Bar Association, took the opportunity to also emphasize the need and urgency to focus on preventive rather than the therapeutic side of the legal profession, as the former seeks to encourage new methods and concepts for how legal services can be delivered in the future to avoid conflicts and disputes.
“In the concept of providing legal services, the preventive aspect should be given top priority with a serious move to resolving legal problems before they occur, whether in the drafting of legislation or its working mechanisms […] Many specialists and lawyers may turn to the therapeutic side by providing legal advice but the provision of special preventive legal services such as contract drafting and arbitration will undoubtedly contribute to further development of this profession,” he explained.
As part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 aim to increase the participation of women in the country’s workforce, a number of sectors and industries that were formerly dominated by men have now opened up to the Kingdom’s women, providing them with ample job opportunities.