Are you struggling to break through the glass ceiling?

breaking through the glass ceiling

As more qualified solicitors take up roles in legal-risk and compliance, non-qualified professionals are battling against the ‘glass ceiling’ that has formed as a result. But what are the options for non-qualified legal professionals in this competitive market?




Increased demand for risk and compliance experts

As regulatory pressure on firms increases and many organisations enjoy periods of growth, risk and compliance-focused opportunities within the legal sector are increasing.

This has begun attracting qualified solicitors to the profession, which has amplified the competition for opportunities and promotions. Non-qualified legal professionals workig in risk and compliance in particular may struggle to secure promotions over colleagues with legal qualifications.

“Many of our non-qualified risk and compliance candidates – usually law graduates and LPC students – have complained that they are hitting a glass ceiling and are being overtaken in their careers by qualified solicitors who have been attracted to these roles due to the challenges and rewarding compensation packages,” says Charlie Harris, Manager at Robert Walters.

What can you do to compete?

As competition is fierce it is important that you prove your worth and demonstrate to your firm that you are just as valuable as qualified members of the team. In light of the glass ceiling debate, some law firms are willing to offer training contracts to exemplary non-qualified risk and compliance professionals to enable them to become qualified solicitors and progress further with their careers.

If your firm is less likely to offer a training contract it is important to ensure you make a great impression on your manager by proving your diligence, initiative and performance record. This will help you position yourself for a promotion and show that being qualified is not paramount to your capability to deliver.

What does a risk and compliance role involve?

Is this an area you’ve considered working in? The role is varied and is often reactive to regulations that have been placed upon law firms; ensuring firms do not breach any of the restrictions or requirements.

To succeed it is important for professionals to be proactive, forecasting the implications of potential new regulations that are to be put in place in coming months and limiting the impact that they will have on firms by making certain that the organisation is as compliant and risk averse as possible.

Many of our non-qualified risk and compliance candidates have complained that they are hitting a glass ceiling and are being overtaken in their careers by qualified solicitors. 

For further information on working in risk and compliance, contact Adam Spencer on 020 7509 8383 or

Find out what you’re currently worth using the Robert Walters Salary Survey.

Or, search for your next legal role via our job search page.


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