Full Time Practice

Monday, April 25, 2011

To Golf or Not To Golf

One time, on yet another Delta flight, I opened up Sky Magazine to an article about women leaders in business suggesting that if women want to progress professionally it is important to learn to golf. After I suppressed a laugh, I thought of the mounds of laundry, hours of homework, and dozens of meals women deal with daily and wondered out loud, "When?" let alone, "How?"

So the opportunity to write about the subject of golf gave me the chance to email many of our friends and colleagues in the law about their golfing experiences and the role golf plays in their professional lives. I wrote to women and men, practicing lawyers and non-practitioners, members and non-members of the JRCLS, and several golf addicts I know, as well. Almost to a person, minus my golf-addicted college president friend, whose golfing has decreased in proportion to his increased responsibilities, and Charles Roberts, no one plays golf.

It was amazing! People explained that there were times that they had golfed but that golf does not play a large part in their networking strategy, rainmaking strategy (except for two firms), or social life. Writers of Sky Magazine haven't met us!

I asked the group four questions:

1) How often do you play golf with clients/colleagues/alums/potential clients?
2) Do you ever invite other attorneys in your office to join you on the golf course in anticipation of making business deals?
3) Do you ever invite women attorneys to join you on the golf course as a client development strategy?
4) Does golf figure centrally in your recruiting/marketing/deal-making strategy for your firm/office/place of business?

Bottom line of all the responses: You can be a successful woman lawyer (if this non-scientific survey has any validity) without playing golf. Phew! Do you feel relieved?

BUT if you WANT to play golf, do it! Exercise, networking, and rainmaking may work for you.

Let us know how golf, or any sport for that matter, helps you in your practice, networking, or life, whether or not you are practicing law. And for heaven's sake, don't worry about being a successful woman lawyer!

If golf isn't your thing, but you have developed some activity to network, develop professionally, do rainmaking, please share it with us, so we can talk about what methods women lawyers are using to accomplish these important professional relationships.

--Eileen Doyle Crane, UVU pre-law advisor, is liaison to the WIL from the Student Chapters Board, international JRCLS

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