Survey finds majority of law firms have positive outlook on law firm sustainability

The Law Firm Sustainability Network (LFSN) together with Amity Advisory recently released their “CSR & Sustainability—Current State of the Legal Industry” report for 2018. The report, based on a survey of more than 50 law firms, finds the majority of firms (64%) believe that the 2-3 year outlook for law firm sustainability programs is positive. An overwhelming majority have seen positive effects of their program in areas such as employee morale (74%) and some are starting to see it with revenue (22%).

“The report validates for us what we have been seeing in our law firm. Our firm started addressing sustainability many years ago based on our firm’s values. Our clients and employees believe sustainability is important, and we have seen positive results from our efforts,” said Mary McGuire, chief administrative officer of Nixon Peabody.

The report also identifies success factors and challenges to developing sustainability programs. Most believe senior executive support is an important success factor (80%) and the most-cited challenge is engaging employees and firm leadership (84%). Firms also cited paper initiatives, including going paperless and increased recycled content (21%) and energy efficiency and conservation (21%) as their first-rank wish list projects.

The LFSN works with its member firms to promote sustainability throughout the legal industry. One of the LFSN’s signature initiatives is the American Legal Industry Sustainability Standard (ALISS), an on-line self-assessment tool that serves both as a roadmap of best practices and an objective measure of a firm’s sustainability efforts.

“We believe the report and survey results underscore the importance of ALISS as a tool to help firms get more positive results from, and overcome challenges with, their sustainability programs,” said Dan Krainin, president of LFSN and principal at Beveridge & Diamond PC.

“So many firms focus only on their Pro Bono programs and Diversity & Inclusion efforts when telling their Corporate Social Responsibility story. Sustainability is an increasingly important component of a law firm’s holistic CSR program – and clients are starting to ask questions about firms’ efforts in this area,” added Pamela Cone, founder & CEO of Amity Advisory.

On January 16 at noon, Gayatri Joshi of the LFSN and Pamela Cone of Amity Advisory will be presenting the results of the survey and sharing case studies and trends around social responsibility and sustainability in the legal industry.

Register for the webinar at