Clean Legal Technology

I just finished reading Ron Pernick and Clint Wilder’s The Clean Tech Revolution: The Next Big Growth and Investment Opportunity, which I recommend as an excellent overview intro to developments in clean tech.
Among other things, it got me thinking about whether there could be something we might call “clean legal technology” in the sense that Pernick and Wilder use the term.
I’ve mentioned the notion of “green legal technology” before (hmmm. I still need to finish and post that green legal tech resources page).
My rough back-of-the-envelope notes would suggest that clean legal technology might include automatic metering of electricity, use of solar technology, energy savings in server rooms and data centers, use of new battery technologies, and use of green building techniques.
I suspect that “green legal technology” and “clean technology” would be used interchangeablely, but green legal tech seems to me to be a broader term and clean legal tech a bit more specific term.
I don’t see clean legal tech moving toward the top of the law firm tech priority list for a while yet, but it will be good to make yourself aware of the developments in this area and consider clean tech might become a factor in your current decisions and your strategic planning. Reading Pernick and Wilder’s book is a good way to get a running start.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (]
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  1. says

    I think any focus on energy-saving computer technology ignores some very low-hanging fruit in the legal industry, at least in the large-firm context.
    One huge area is energy-efficient office space. There have been enormous improvements lately in more mundane but just as important areas such as lighting, window glass, HVAC, and so forth. Improvements would require cooperation between the building owners & managers and the firms, however, since I suspect most law firm leases result in the law firm paying the bills but not being responsible for the execution of improvements such as these.
    Law firms could also readily be more efficient in the areas of catering and paper use (both for printing and coffee cups!).
    As with KM initiatives, it will take a change in firm culture to accomplish any significant shift. Tying the “green firm” image to business success events like obtaining green tech clients and positive profiles might be one way to start making this shift.