Many companies and law firms across the nation are placing increasing importance on social responsibility and environmentally friendly practices. These practices are split by initiatives put in place by law firms to operate in an eco-conscious way, and lawyers with focus areas in “green law.”
Creating less waste and working with the highest efficiency are some of the ways law firms are taking control of their environmental footprint. E-filing, which is now required in some states, is one of the easiest ways to save paper by using only electronic documentation of legal information. One way law firms are cutting paper usage is by hiring e-discovery professionals. Instead of traditional discovery professionals, e-discovery professionals conduct their research solely on the web.
Taking steps to reduce energy in the office is another way law firms are turning to eco-conscious practices. According to the ABA’s Law Office Guide to Energy Efficiency, energy costs make up for 30 percent of a building’s operating expenses. Some easy office tricks to save money include setting sleep modes on all computers and printers, investing in energy efficient products and turning off all lights at the end of the day.
Another way the legal industry is working to help the environment is by practicing environmental law. According to the balance, green law is a growing trend in the legal landscape. Many law firms are establishing sub-practices in areas such as fair trade and climate change. With the current state of environmental relations, lawyers with this knowledge are needed to ensure regulations are followed correctly, and be able to step in if an organization is breaking a law in regards to the environment.
This practice area is also becoming popular in law schools across the country. Education in environmental issues and law is the first step on becoming an expert in the field. In a green law legal position, lawyers advise clients on environmentally safe and sustainable practices, and check to make sure all regulations are followed. Lawyers with “green” knowledge will be increasingly important as environmental issues evolve.
If you are interested in breaking into green law or working with an environmentally-positive firm, contact Major Legal Services to explore new career opportunities.