Vanderbilt Lawyer - Volume 35, Number 2

Taking Care of Business

Law students bring their skills up to par

Amanda Schlager

Over Christmas break, 3L Amanda Schlager impressed her father with a new skill she'd learned as a Vanderbilt law student: her golf game. Along with students from other Vanderbilt schools, including the Owen Graduate School of Management, five Vanderbilt law students prepared to succeed in the business world by learning to play golf through a program Vanderbilt now offers in cooperation with the PGA.

"Over the summer, lawyers at the firms where I worked would come in and say, 'So who wants to play golf this weekend?'" she says. "If you don't know how to play, you miss an opportunity for one-on-one time with a partner." Schlager—who acknowledges her previous golf experience was limited to putt-putt, "which actually helped my short game"—also found golf "a very fun sport that's really addictive to people who are self-competitive, which defines lawyers."

Vanderbilt is among 52 universities nationwide to offer the PGA's "Golf for Business and Life" course, which integrates classroom instruction stressing golf's important role in the business world with golf lessons from PGA teaching professionals at Vanderbilt Legends Club.

"When you look at business nationally and even globally, it is apparent a lot of business is conducted in social and informal settings such as golf—deals are not always negotiated over the table," says Owen Dean Jim Bradford, '73. "You can learn a lot about people on the golf course, including their personality and integrity."

Schlager and classmates Bronwen Charters, Andy Liese, Carey Kotula and Matt McCarthy joined students from other Vanderbilt schools in the program. "Our class had 12 men and 12 women, and that's how they split us up," Schlager says. "There was a good mix of students and a lot of personal instruction. I had a blast."

More importantly, she says, "My dad was really proud of me. I actually got par on a couple of holes, and he was really impressed."

—M.B. Owens of the Nashville City Paper contributed to this story.