After a year in which law firms endured a slowdown in business and some laid off lawyers, it’s no surprise that promotions to partner became more difficult to attain.

“Profits are hard to come by and law firm partners want to make sure they’re dividing up profits with people who can contribute,” said Eric M. Kogan, one of four new Connecticut-based partners for Robinson & Cole. “To a certain extent, there’s less visibility into what the future of the law business is going to be, so I think there’s more hesitancy to conduct business the same way.”