Law firms have breathed a collective sigh of relief for making it through 2020. But in many ways, 2021 is a year for asking more difficult questions, as the conversations shifts to what the long-lasting effects the pandemic will be for the legal industry.

Throughout the year, law firms will be forced to gamble, as Perkins Coie managing partner Bill Malley puts it, as they make decisions about every aspect of their operations: real estate space, remote working, staffing levels and vaccination requirements. Famously known as a slow-changing industry, law firms will have to make decisions with imperfect information. What does that mean for a once-homogenous industry?