In order to be successful as a young lawyer, you should get to know the people you work with outside of the office. You’re never going to get to know your fellow firm colleagues or supervisors by interacting with them solely in the office. You’ll understand how they work, you may have passing personal conversations, but you will really never know who you work with until you spend quality time with them outside of the office.
Playing softball was one way I got to know the people in my firm outside of the office. I never played softball a day in my life prior to joining my current law firm. But once the emails started going around regarding the summer softball league, I quickly realized that it was something that was valuable to the individuals in the law firm and it was something that I should learn. This past summer, I went to batting cages to practice. I participated in my first softball game, had a blast, and was able to strengthen relationships with partners and my fellow associates. The game allowed people to leave the office and be themselves and it was clear that work shut off the second we stepped on the baseball diamond. Although I was not the greatest player, we won the game and enjoyed post-game dinner and drinks.
If the people in your law firm participate in activities that allow you to have opportunities to spend time with them outside of the firm, take advantage of those opportunities. The connections you make during these outings are invaluable and can solidify you as a team player in the eyes of supervisors.
Note: The above post is an excerpt of an article I wrote for the State Bar Association’s Diversity Newsletter