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Rob Adams, Director at TSR Legal, takes a look at strategies for advancing your career after being overlooked for solicitor promotion.

The process of promotion for solicitors is competitive. Firms may promote associates to partnership or other leadership roles based on their capabilities and contributions to the firm. Solicitors must provide evidence of their skill and knowledge to be considered for promotion. Becoming a partner or a leader in legal practice is often a long and challenging endeavour.

When solicitors are overlooked for promotion, they need to understand the reasons and take steps to improve their practice and increase their chances of success the next time.

The importance of career advancement for solicitors:For many solicitors, being promoted is the ultimate recognition of their success and is a reflection of their professional skills and talents. For those who are serious about advancing their careers, promotion offers an opportunity to hone their skills and increase their job security, earning potential, and overall standing in the legal profession. It can also be personally rewarding, as promoted lawyers can be seen as role models and respected by their peers.

Analysing the situation

When looking for career advancement, it is important to consider the reasons why you were overlooked for a promotion. It may be that the members of the review panel do not have a clear understanding of your capabilities or experience, or it may be that the competition was particularly competitive.

However, it is possible to gain insight into how the panel evaluated you by speaking to the decision makers and reviewing their decision.

Once you have identified the reasons why you were overlooked, the next step is to evaluate the impact of the decision. This requires an honest appraisal of what you need to do to ensure you are in the best position possible for the next promotion opportunity. It is important to develop a plan to get ahead and move into the position you want. This may include developing new skills, gaining additional experience, and increasing your marketability.

Developing a plan for career advancement

The first step in developing a plan for career advancement is to identify areas for improvement. This may include updating your knowledge or acquiring a greater depth of understanding in the area of law in which you practice.

It is also necessary to determine the skills and competencies you need to develop in order to be considered for promotion. This may include honing your negotiation, communication, or leadership abilities, depending on the role in which you are interested.

Additional education and training, such as courses or seminars, may also be beneficial. This can help you stay up-to-date with changes in the legal field, expand your professional knowledge, or develop specific skills relevant to the role in which you are aiming. In addition, networking and building relationships with colleagues and potential employers is essential when looking to move ahead in the legal profession. Increasing your exposure to different types of contacts could open the door to job opportunities.

Taking action

Once you have identified areas for improvement and taken steps to develop the necessary skills, the next step is to set goals and objectives. It is important to be realistic and create achievable goals that have a measurable timeline for success. Make sure to have a plan and a timeline for the steps necessary to reach your goal.

When seeking advancement, it is important to take initiative and pursue opportunities on your own.

This may include volunteering for new roles, or it could even mean making a move to a new firm or a different type of practice. Finally, when opportunities arise, be sure to take advantage of them and make the most of them.


Career advancement for solicitors is a long and sometimes difficult process, but it is possible to reach your goals with the right strategies and dedication to improvement.

In order to be successful, it is important to identify areas for improvement, seek additional education and training, take on new responsibilities, and network with potential contacts. Further, solicitors should set achievable goals, create a timeline for success, and take initiative in seeking out opportunities.

By implementing these strategies, solicitors can increase their chances of success and move up in their legal practice.

Promotion can provide solicitors with the recognition of their achievements, career stability, and increased earning potential. It can also be immensely satisfying for the individual, who can become a respected role model in the legal profession. For those who are passionate and dedicated to professional growth and development, the rewards can be well worth the effort.

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TSR Legal is the exclusive legal recruitment agency partner with Legal News Wales. For more information and to contact the team, visit or call 02920 388100 to speak to the Cardiff office.

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