Victorian Legal Services Commissioner Fiona McLeay believes there's still a long way to go in improving the treatment of women in the industry.
Ms McLeay urged 50 Border women working in law to call out mistreatment at an annual breakfast held by the Hume Riverina Community Legal Service.
"It pains me to say it, but there's no evidence that I can see that the treatment of women in the profession has changed dramatically," she said.
"There's still sexual harassment, discrimination, unconscious bias and conscious bias.
"Let's continue to challenge that."
Ms McLeay was appointed Commissioner in 2017 and also serves as chief executive of the Legal Services Board.
Prior to the appointment she headed Justice Connect for seven years and was the first in-house lawyer at World Vision Australia.
But her younger years, including one spent in Albury as a child, did not point her in the direction of law.
"We moved around a lot because my dad worked in factories and I was at Lavington Public in 1977," Ms McLeay said.
"My parents were keen for me to have opportunities they didn't have, and showed me university campuses.
"We went to Melbourne University and I thought 'This is amazing'.
"I didn't really mind what I did, as long as I was reading books at that university at that library."
Ms McLeay nominated art as an area of study and, as suggested by her mother, 'something else, like law'.
After graduation in 1996 and during her early career in law, Ms McLeay felt she 'didn't quite fit' and found pro-bono work aligned better with her passion for social justice.
"I had some amazing experiences; one client named Wayne was a genuine, honest fellow, but he struggled with mental health and got himself into debt," she said.
"Eventually we were able to give him a clean slate.
"He taught me that people of all stages and stations in life have stories that are really valuable, and what people are like on the outside is not what they are like on the inside.
"I worked at the law firm for about eight years but came to the point where it was not quite enough.
"My guide to true North has been about fairness, justice, equity and a society that works for everybody, not just those who have power and resources."
In other news:
Ms McLeay studied at the New York University Law School and was also appointed director of Health Justice Australia in 2016.
That body has funded a partnership run by HRCLS.
"Stage two of our successful health justice partnership with the Wodonga Flexible Learning Centre, the Albury Wodonga Aboriginal Health Service and NESAY has started," principal lawyer Sarah Rodgers said.
The 11th Women in Law Breakfast took place as part of Law Week.
Correction: An earlier version of this report incorrectly quoted Ms McLeay as saying she attended Albury Public School in 1977.