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

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.