Despite the global pandemic, many law firms remained healthy and some are thriving. This is the result of careful budgeting by firms and the hard work of attorneys and staff. And yet, in the face of firm health—and wealth—many firms held back bonuses, raises and promotions. As a result, many young attorneys are dissatisfied, and morale is low. This editorial seeks to explain that dissatisfaction and provide firms with steps for moving forward in 2021.

The COVID-19 health crisis swiftly changed the practice of law from largely in-person work to a nearly completely remote environment. Firms pivoted quickly. In a world without COVID-19, the transition to remote work would have likely required a complete overhaul of a firm, including how partners and associates interact, associate training and management programs, availability expectations and other business practices. However, in 2020, nearly all firms completed the transition to remote work. But hardly anything else changed.