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Women law graduates optimistic
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 17 - 05 - 2013

Hanadi Abbas
Okaz/Saudi Gazette
JEDDAH — Women lawyers are looking forward to practicing the profession in the country after the first among them was officially granted registration.
This comes after a wait of 22 years, and the women lawyers will now be able to practice law independently. They were allowed to appear in only very limited cases in the past, and recognizing them as full-fledged lawyers is a historic moment in the Kingdom.
A number of experts said society needs the services of female lawyers in the current circumstances, especially when dealing with cases involving personal affairs, where women are better equipped to understand other women and their situations.
Bayan Zahran, a lawyer, said their efforts finally bore fruit when the first female lawyer was granted license to license to train. She said according to Saudi law, a practicing lawyer should have completed three years' training.
Some Saudi women law graduates have worked in licensed law firms, and as such, they have already acquired necessary training, Zahran said. "They should be granted licenses and their years of experience should not be overlooked."
Kholood Naser said many women law graduates could not find the opportunity for training in any law firm, as they were not recognized by the Ministry of Justice. They now hope that fellow lawyers will allow them the opportunity for training, so they may also obtain licenses to practice independently.
Unood Al-Selami said registering women lawyers as trainees is only a beginning. She said women lawyers' call for recognition is only a part of their rights, and hopes that trainees will be issued licenses as soon as they complete their training.
Jihan Qurban said registering the first woman lawyer as a trainee is a long-awaited step.
Shahad Abduljawwad said that there is a difference between a training license and a license to practice law. She said those who have the required experience have already applied for practicing licenses, according to Article 5 of the Saudi law.
Ministry of Justice spokesman Fahd Al-Bakran confirmed that Arwa Al-Hujaili was the first Saudi woman lawyer to be issued a training license.
Men and women lawyers submit their documents to the acceptance committee of the ministry, which decides on granting law practicing licenses.
Lawyer Bakheet Al-Ghabbash said he hopes to see his fellow female lawyers contribute to the cause of justice, especially for women.

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