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Saudi Arabia grants first licenses for women to practice law in courts

Oct. 7, 2013 at 6:10 AM

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Oct. 7 (UPI) -- Four Saudi Arabian lawyers became the first females in the kingdom to receive licenses that allow them to practice law, officials said.

The licenses are valid for five years.

Previously, females with law degrees could be legal consultants but were banned from practicing law in courtrooms or operating their own law firms, Gulf News reported Monday.

"When I took the plane to the Justice ministry in the capital Riyadh, I had high hopes and great dreams," Ameera Quqani, one of the four women, told the Saudi daily al-Watan.

"It was a dream come true and I was handed the much-anticipated certificate and license by ministry officials in a matter of fleeting minutes."

Quqani said she graduated from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah in 2008 and had worked at a law firm handling company and labor cases. She said she plans to open her own law firm in the future.

Under the new policy, Saudi women, and men, seeking a license to practice law must have a university degree in law and three years of training, ministry officials said.

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