Save the trees.
If what’s past is prologue, the Task Force was undoubtedly composed of a mini-production of acolytes since the Bar favors management-by-committee. Some 500-plus days after its given marching orders, the Task Force will this month issue its assessment, evaluation, and recommendations. But truth be known, there won’t be any surprises. As most of us know, the Bar’s move to environmental enlightenment has been long overdue.
Indeed, for the better of a decade, the Arizona Bar has been profligate in its contribution to paper production deforestation with an onslaught of printed materials redundantly sent to its members.
Why send something electronically when the belt-and-suspenders Bar will also send the same missive by bulk mail?
More than 10 years ago, I wrote the Bar to complain about a glossy four-color brochure about some self-laudatory initiative it had just launched. I objected because I happened to know that splashy four-color printing on heavy glossy stock is expensive. Hardly surprising, I never got a reply.
Not just yet.
So now with its usual back-slapping self-promotion, the Bar is “Going green” – at least, as far as annual dues payments and annual conventions are concerned.
But to paraphrase Saint Augustine, the Arizona Bar is also saying, “Lord, make me eco-friendly, but not just yet” since like past years, I again received my annual door stop — the bar’s printed Membership Directory.
The latest Annual Report says the 625-page Membership Directory costs members $65,541 or $3.76 each. And unlike the Bar’s slick monthly house organ, Arizona Attorney magazine, which returns revenue or the Bar’s CLE Department, which generated $733,208 in revenue in 2011, the Membership Directory is an annual money-loser.
Lawyers still clinging to their . . . .
Leave it to lawyers, the last bastion of antediluvian thinking. In a smart phone, tablet and social media age, even the phone companies have started hanging up on White Pages. But not lawyers. They’re still clinging to print directory listings, advertising and phone books.
Where long ago, most of us reached the point of finding other uses for phone books from cat boxes to rabbit bedding to compost and even for when nature calls – bathroom emergencies, last time I checked, lawyers were still advertising in yellow page directories and staunchly leading the rear-guard action protecting phone books’ continued environmentally unfriendly existence. While you can’t opt-out of bar directories and save yourself $3.76, you can fortunately opt out of those wasteful directories at sites like YellowPagesGoesGreen.org.
Need a lawyer’s contact information? Go online. That’s what most of us do. And following suit, the Minnesota Bar gave its printed Bench and Bar Directory the heave-ho in 2009.
And the Oregon State Bar similarly went sustainable to save “4.6 million sheets of paper,” including ending the practice of printing an annual Membership Directory.
And two years after a survey revealed 40% of its members didn’t use its print directory, the Wisconsin Bar “decided to discontinue distribution of the print directory to all members.”
Maybe, one of these years, the Arizona Bar will belatedly follow the same pattern and go green for real.
Photo Credits: “The Oath of the Horatii,” by Jacques-Louis David at Wikipedia Commons, public domain; “Eco Friendly Product,” by Vectorportal at Flickr via Creative Commons-licensed content requiring attribution; “10.22.12,” bycolemama at Flickr via Creative Commons-licensed content for noncommercial use requiring attribution and share alike distribution; Saint_Augustine_of_Hippo.jpg t Wikipedia Commons, Source: The Bettman Archive, public domain; “Phone Books,” by Aaron Parecki, aaronparecki, at Flickr via Creative Commons-licensed content requiring attribution;”Phone Book Tunnel,” by coalybunny at Flickr via Creative Commons-licensing requiring attribution;”Phone Book Waste,” by monkeyatlarge at Flickr via Creative Commons-licensed content requiring attribution;