A TOP Greenock family lawyer has been asked to extend her history-making prestigious role as the Dean of the Greenock Faculty of Prosecutors.

Jill Carrick is nearing the end of her year as the first woman to be chosen to lead her fellow professionals locally and it is set to be extended.

The faculty's annual general meeting and dinner has been cancelled due to the coronavirus so popular Jill's term will last a little longer.

Jill, 57, says she has been honoured to lead the faculty, especially as her year coincided with the 100th anniversary of women in the law.

She said: "Until 1919 women weren't allowed to become solicitors.

"The first female solicitor in the UK was a Scottish woman from Glasgow called Madge Easton Anderson, a former pupil of Hutchesons' Grammar in Glasgow, which is my old school.

"I feel very honoured to have been appointed the first woman dean of the faculty."

The solicitor has spent her entire legal career at Blair & Bryden in Greenock, starting out as a trainee in 1983 before qualifying two years later.

She said: "I feel I've been trailblazing for women.

"When I started there were few other female solicitors.

"It was certainly more female-orientated but now there are many more female solicitors and I feel that is very positive.

"It makes a huge difference because it is more balanced and there are also a few female sheriffs now.

Jill, a massive horseracing fan is back after a break at Cheltenham, a annual trip she has made for more than 20 years.

She says her year a dean has been very busy and a very successful one for the faculty.

The lawyer's 12-month's appointment has been a whirlwind of top level conferences, including looking at the mental health of solicitors and an invite to the CBI dinner where the speaker was former Prime Minister Sir John Major.

She also made a visit to Parliament House to take part in a conference about women in the law.

Special guests included former Lord Advocate Elish Angiolini, who was at university with Jill, and solicitor general Alison di Rollo.

There was also a successful faculty dinner in November at the Tontine Hotel which raised funds for the Inverclyde Family Contact Centre,which helps estranged parents see their children.

Jill, whose role is to liaise between sheriffs, clerks and the faculty, says it is important for staff to socialise and this includes an annual golf event and a day at the races.

She said: "A lot of times we are just in our office or at court.

"It helps to solve problems if you know the person face to face.".

Jill says she has been happy to step up in this time of crisis to extend her role, which could mean being dean for another year.

She said: "We had to cancel the AGM this month and I don't know when it will be held.

"It could be that I am asked to stay on for the year until next year.

"I am sorry about the circumstances but I am delighted to do what I can to help the faculty through this very difficult time."

Jill says she would encourage any girl thinking of a career in law to follow their dreams.

She said: "Law is a super career. I became a lawyer because I wanted to help people.

"You don't always feel you have, but it's good to go home some nights and know that you have made a difference.

"It doesn't matter what your background you're from or what school you went to - if you work hard, you can go to university and became a solicitor, it doesn't matter what sex you are.

"It's hard work but it's a rewarding job."