An amazing standard form rejection letter sent out by an Australian firm to female applicants has been unearthed.

Back in the mists of 1970, a Sydney firm created a pro forma letter in response to female law students who dared to apply for "articles of clerkship", according to the Financial Times. And whilst there is a note of contrition in the rejection missive, it's still pretty mind-boggling stuff:

Regrettably, our firm in some ways has progressed very little from the Dickensian era and has still not recognised the existence of women in the law. Accordingly, it is not the practice of the firm to sign articles of clerkship with female students and we regret that, in the circumstances, an interview would not be very productive from your point of view.

  Diversity in the 1970 Australian legal profession

Fast forward to more modern times and happily the Australian legal system has managed to move on from Dickensian times. Women's existence is not only recognised but 2011 figures show that women are now roughly equally represented in the legal profession, making up 46% of all lawyers practising in Australia.

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