My first year out of law school, I resigned myself to the inevitability of taking golf lessons. There were few things that interested me less than golf—a trip to the dentist, perhaps—but I considered golf a necessity of the profession. That first year, I did not fit golf lessons into my schedule. The second year came and went, and I still had not managed to enroll. Eventually, I realized there can be a life in law without golf. Moreover, diversity in business development approaches will ensure your firm sweeps a broad brush in its exposure to potential clients and business opportunities. So if you, like me, are determined to stay off the links, here are some fresh ideas for making connections.

Take a Class

A class provides an automatic topic of conversation, which is especially helpful if you tend to be shy. Cooking classes tend to be taught in small groups and provide an activity to get the conversation rolling, but they have enough downtime that you can chat. They are also a one-time event, or a short series, so they will not take an exhausting toll on your schedule. Similarly, becoming a regular at a lecture series gives an easy go-to topic to start off a conversation. My personal favorite is the CreativeMornings lecture series, which focuses on art, technology, social issues and innovation. CreativeMornings lectures take place monthly in more than 70 cities worldwide and feature a short networking breakfast before the talk gets under way.

Plan an Event