If 2020 was all about the legal industry adapting on the fly to extraordinary circumstances, 2021 was about figuring out how to turn that short-term adaptation into long-term evolution—and fighting the urge to simply revert to the pre-pandemic status quo.

The year began with cautious optimism, despite many pandemic lockdown measures still being in place around the world. With the rollout of vaccines beginning in the first quarter, that optimism only grew.