Earth Day and Lawyers: A Perfect Match

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Data protection, privacy, security, international taxation – all are in the news and areas of attention for companies and their legal teams. Without doubt, they present important issues. Yet, there is a challenge for us on the near horizon that dwarfs all of them, and that is climate change.

Extreme climate variability is already being experienced by people around the globe. The frequency and intensity of weather related events is growing and will continue to grow and affect all of us. For companies, it will impact every part of our business operations, including employee safety and well-being, communications, power supply, logistics, and transportation.

As a consequence, many GCs, along with other business executives, are spending time focusing on sustainability. By embracing sustainability best practices, GCs are providing multi-dimensional value to the businesses they support.  Not only are they championing a responsible approach to decreasing environmental impact, they are helping their companies be more efficient, effective and competitive.

An easy first step for all of us in the legal profession is to reduce the amount of paper in the workplace and to use digital documents to lower the impact we have on our environment.  Yes, I’m biased. Our legal organization uses the Adobe Document Cloud and Adobe eSign to digitize our document workflow. With these solutions we are able to easily comment, edit, sign and manage documents across devices. The days of walking around with manila folders circulating documents with signature tabs, are over.   It’s allowed us to become much more responsive, efficient and effective as an organization.

But, this is bigger than just evangelizing Adobe products.  The average U.S. office worker uses 10,000 sheets of paper per year; and is 50% of business waste composed of paper. The legal profession is a large part of this, leading to the demise of a whole lot of trees.

So, whether you use Adobe products or those of another company, on this day celebrating Mother Earth – do the right thing and go digital.

Mike Dillon, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary

Mike is anything but your typical general counsel. His distaste for acronym use and “legalese” drove him to rewrite Adobe’s contracts to plain English and develop a whole new writing style guide for the legal community. He oversees legal affairs, public policy, and compliance interests by day, but outside the office, he’s an avid blogger, writer, and adventurist. Given his love for writing, it may come as no surprise that Mike received bachelor’s degrees in communications and sociology from UC San Diego before getting his juris doctor degree from Santa Clara University. If Mike were not at Adobe, he’d like to be playing second baseman for the Oakland A’s.

Mike Dillon, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary