As law firms prepare to bring lawyers back into the office in the coming months, many midlevel associates are uneasy about a perceived lack of communication from their firm’s management, especially as it relates to return plans that vary widely in terms of both in-office requirements and the detail firms have provided.

Associates in their third, fourth and fifth years gave firms lower marks than last year across every metric of The American Lawyer’s 2021 Midlevel Associates Survey. More than 3,700 associates from 77 Am Law 200 firms filled out the survey, giving their firms an average score of 4.26 (out of five)—down from the average score of 4.32 associates gave their firms on 2020′s survey.