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.