Okay, so now that I have your attention, let’s talk about golf and how it fits (or does not fit) within the profession, the practice and/or the business of law. And before you read any further, yes, you can ask how does the Queen of Hearts famous utterance from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland relate to golf? Well, it doesn’t except that this is the refrain I utter to myself during my pre-shot routine. I take two practice swings at the right tempo -- just sweeping across the top of the grass without hitting into the grass or failing to make contact with the grass –- before I hit the ball. OFF-WITH-THEIR-HEADS allows me to keep my tempo while I visualize just taking the heads off of the grass soldiers with whom I am battling. If you want to see for yourself, watch this clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Clf9mi-szZg.
How does the game of golf connect to the legal profession? Georgia State Bar President Robin Frazer Clark penned a wonderful article about the rules of golf and the profession entitled All I Really Know About Professionalism I Learned in Golf (http://gabar.org/aboutthebar/statebarleadership/president_article_april13.cfm).
How does the game of golf connect to the practice of law? Well, if you practice law in the Twin Cities long enough, you will be asked to participate in a golf event. For example, the Hennepin County Bar Foundation is holding its annual Charity Golf Classic on August 10 (http://www.hcba.org/?page=GolfClassic). This is one of the HCBF’s primary fundraisers. But who really golfs at these events and why? I will be interested in seeing the demographics (age, gender and practice area) of our attendees. I hope to see you there.
So beyond witty discussions on how the game of golf has lessons for professionalism and fundraising, how important is golf to lawyers? Do all lawyers need to golf to be successful in law? Of course not! Golf is a game, not a skill required to provide legal services to our clients.
But let’s face it. Golf (and the ability to play it competently) is a game that comes in handy with respect to the business of law. I did not take up golf until I was 31 years old and 3 years into my legal career. I took up golf for one reason: so that I could participate in golf events to build the economic aspects of my career. I was passing up (or being passed over for) many opportunities to connect with my partners and peers as well as existing and potential clients because I could not golf. This was not acceptable to me. Here was a barrier to business development that I could change, so I did. Fast forward to today and now I play golf frequently with friends, family, clients and fellow service providers. I’m not a great golfer but I am competent enough to play with players of all levels comfortably.
What do you think about golf and how it does or does not interact with the profession, practice and business of law? I would love to hear your experiences, thoughts and ideas.
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