An Attorney's Guide to Going Green

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Workers of the World, Unite and Go Green!

practicing law and going green

Going green is a philosophy, an ideology, and a set of practical actions that can be put in place by a broad range of individuals. And the more people who opt for a more eco-aware lifestyle, the better for the planet and for our future. It can happen in a lot of different ways, and it’s nice to see various sections of society making personalized efforts collectively (think of all the green mommy blogs now online).

So what about attorneys? This is a very litigious society, all the way from contracts being the underpinning on any successful business, to divorces ending half or more of all marriages. So one has to figure that if the lawyers all went green, then some serious headway would be made. But how can that actually be done?

Lots of ways, as is usually the answer. Let’s explore a few.

Some Basic Ways for Attorneys to Go Green

Chances are if you’re a practicing attorney, then you’ve located your business inside of an office. Fair game. All the normal rules now apply, from switching over to CFLs instead of incandescent bulbs, to shutting down your computers completely at night instead of leaving them on and asleep, to composting things in the company kitchen, to using less paper from the printer and keeping digital records whenever possible.

Everyone from disability lawyers dealing with clients whose disabling conditions have hurt their earning ability on the job, to divorce attorneys who are working towards an equitable solution between two warring spouses — all lawyers can handle these changes, right? We think so.

What about looking at the amount that you travel? Sure, you love the billable hours, but getting the cars off the roads cuts down on harmful pollutants being let out into the environment, and saves on gas, too. Doing a full scale analysis of when meetings can be held in conference and remote, versus in person, may be a smart play for going green.

More Challenging Ways for Lawyers to Go Green

If you’re just at the start of your career, or better yet, right at that place in law school where you get to choose your practice specialty, then what about moving into a form of environmental law? Whether you’re defending natural habitats of animals, litigating settlements against major corporations who pollute the environment, or just practicing the kind of law you already do but with a mind towards environmental concerns, you have the opportunity to do your part for the planet. If it’s not too late, why not get more involved?

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