As law firms plan their inevitable return to the office, some associates worry they might lose some of the unexpected gains they have received over the past year. Chief among them is their own visibility in the firm and access to clients who otherwise may have only dealt with partners.

“I don’t want to go back to the office and the way things were before,” said one sixth-year associate at an Am Law 200 firm who chose to remain anonymous so that they could speak candidly. “I just don’t think I’ll have the same opportunity to contribute the way I have in the virtual environment.”