Of Green Firms And Pachyderms

Slate's blog on legal issues.
March 31 2008 9:14 PM

Of Green Firms And Pachyderms

The new issue of the Legal Times ($) includes several Washington law offices' explanations of their respective efforts to "go green."  The firms' solutions are laudable if, often, commonplace:  more recycled paper and double-sided printing, shifting communications from hard copy to electronic copy; energy-optimized computers; even encouraging "voluntary 'green pledge[s]'" from attorneys and staff.

Still, when it comes to going green, large law firms are at a distinct disadvantage to new solo practices.  While most large law firms, by tradition or force of habit, rely on endless volumes of paper records and archives, tech-savvy solo practices may well go virtually paperless

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Of the many competitive advantages that large law firms boast over their solo counterparts, going green almost surely is not one of them.  Getting a "biglaw" firm going as green as these solo shops strikes me as something akin to teaching an elephant to dance -- possible, but requiring a fanatical degree of commitment.