The Law Society is urging law firms to offer more flexible working hours in a bid to retain women lawyers who take breaks to have children.
About 60% of new law graduates are women, but the society says that proportion of lawyers drops significantly over time as they leave the profession.
Society president Chris Moore said it is important to find ways to keep women in the profession, and a large part of that will come down to employers offering flexibility.
He said there is a large demand for part-time employment or contract work from employees, which is not matched from the employers' side.
Mr Moore said retaining more women in the profession will be a key focus for the society this year.