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IBA: It's Time to Go Green: Join the IndyBar Green Legal Initiative

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By Laurie E. Martin, Hoover Hull LLP
 

martin-laurie.jpg Martin

Emphasis on “going green” at home and in the workplace is nothing new, but some — perhaps lawyers in particular — can be slow to implement change. Legal businesses face unique challenges even if they are willing to embrace environmentally sound business practices. For instance, a firm wanting to “go paperless” must determine how to securely store client materials electronically in order to sever ties with bankers boxes of “hard copies” and rows of “paper files” on which law firms have so heavily relied in the past.

Yet legal businesses have significant opportunities to make positive changes for the environmental health of the community — changes which may simultaneously benefit firms’ bottom lines and marketing efforts in the long-run. To encourage and challenge legal businesses to engage in greener business practices, the IndyBar Go Green Committee, a subcommittee of the Young Lawyers Division, has launched the Green Legal Initiative.
ecycle-factbox.gif Legal businesses can join the Green Legal Initiative by submitting a one-page application and pledge indicating that their business is committed to engaging in greener business practices. With the application or at any time after becoming a part of the initiative, members can choose to elevate their Green 

Legal status by submitting an optional Green Business Practice Certification indicating compliance with specific green business practices in six categories: Water Conservation, Energy Conservation, Recycling, Waste and Paper Reduction, Purchasing, and Community Involvement.

Members submitting applications or certifications by September 1, 2012, will be recognized by the IndyBar at the annual Recognition Luncheon and on the IndyBar website, and will also be provided with the IndyBar Green Legal logo for print and electronic use. Members are also eligible for recognition by the 

Indianapolis Bar Association Go Green Committee for outstanding achievement. Visit the Go Green link under the “Resources” tab on the IndyBar homepage for more information and to download the application and certification forms.


go-green-photo-15col.jpg IndyBar volunteers beautify an area of Indianapolis during a community service event with Keep Indianapolis Beautiful. Watch for details for another opportunity to volunteer with the Go Green Committee and Keep Indianapolis Beautiful this fall!

To kick off the Green Legal Initiative, the Go Green Committee is sponsoring a Drive-Thru E-Cycling event open to IndyBar members and the public, on Friday, August 24, 2012, from 8 a.m. to noon, at Computer Experts, 101 E. Michigan Street. IndyBar volunteers will accept business and household electronic waste — computers, scanners, printers, cell phones, microwaves, VCRs, DVD players, game systems, and other recyclables — for recycling by RecycleForce. Find a complete list of recyclable materials at http://www.recycleforce.org/recycling-services/materials-we-recycle.

In addition to operating the Green Legal Initiative, the Go Green Committee provides education and annual volunteer opportunities to IndyBar members. Visit the Go Green link under the IndyBar.org Resources tab to find the IndyBar Go Green Resource Guide, a source of information for Indianapolis area attorneys and law firms interested in “going green;” Local Go Green Links and Resources; and Green Tips from the IndyBar’s e-Bulletin electronic newsletter. Contact the IndyBar, Laurie Martin, lmartin@hooverhull.com, or Sarah MacGill, smacgill@rbelaw.com, if you are interested in additional information about the Go Green Committee, the Green Legal Initiative, or other upcoming events.•

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  1. The fee increase would be livable except for the 11% increase in spending at the Disciplinary Commission. The Commission should be focused on true public harm rather than going on witch hunts against lawyers who dare to criticize judges.

  2. Marijuana is safer than alcohol. AT the time the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act was enacted all major pharmaceutical companies in the US sold marijuana products. 11 Presidents of the US have smoked marijuana. Smoking it does not increase the likelihood that you will get lung cancer. There are numerous reports of canabis oil killing many kinds of incurable cancer. (See Rick Simpson's Oil on the internet or facebook).

  3. The US has 5% of the world's population and 25% of the world's prisoners. Far too many people are sentenced for far too many years in prison. Many of the federal prisoners are sentenced for marijuana violations. Marijuana is safer than alcohol.

  4. My daughter was married less than a week and her new hubbys picture was on tv for drugs and now I havent't seen my granddaughters since st patricks day. when my daughter left her marriage from her childrens Father she lived with me with my grand daughters and that was ok but I called her on the new hubby who is in jail and said didn't want this around my grandkids not unreasonable request and I get shut out for her mistake

  5. From the perspective of a practicing attorney, it sounds like this masters degree in law for non-attorneys will be useless to anyone who gets it. "However, Ted Waggoner, chair of the ISBA’s Legal Education Conclave, sees the potential for the degree program to actually help attorneys do their jobs better. He pointed to his practice at Peterson Waggoner & Perkins LLP in Rochester and how some clients ask their attorneys to do work, such as filling out insurance forms, that they could do themselves. Waggoner believes the individuals with the legal master’s degrees could do the routine, mundane business thus freeing the lawyers to do the substantive legal work." That is simply insulting to suggest that someone with a masters degree would work in a role that is subpar to even an administrative assistant. Even someone with just a certificate or associate's degree in paralegal studies would be overqualified to sit around helping clients fill out forms. Anyone who has a business background that they think would be enhanced by having a legal background will just go to law school, or get an MBA (which typically includes a business law class that gives a generic, broad overview of legal concepts). No business-savvy person would ever seriously consider this ridiculous master of law for non-lawyers degree. It reeks of desperation. The only people I see getting it are the ones who did not get into law school, who see the degree as something to add to their transcript in hopes of getting into a JD program down the road.

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