Community + Relationships

How to Make New Friends as an Adult

  • Join a club for opportunities to mingle with likeminded people
  • Volunteer for a cause you care about
  • Take a class—you may make friends while learning a new skill

It can be tough to make new friends once you’re an established adult; the idea itself can feel pretty daunting, especially when you’re working long and unpredictable hours as a lawyer.

Some people can turn work colleagues into friends, but that doesn’t work for everyone, especially those who prefer to keep their work life separate from their personal life. Or maybe you’re simply younger—or older—than most of the people at your firm, or you don’t quite fit in with them. In any case, it can be quite intimidating to try to make new friends past your school years. Here are a few ways you can put yourself out there and make friends as an adult, especially when it comes to meeting people whose interests line up with yours.

Join a Club

You might think it sounds silly to say you should “join a club” as an adult, but joining a club can be helpful on several levels—not just to make friends, but to stay cultured as an adult. Many art museums offer groups, such as Young Friends, designed to get people together after hours for special events in the museum. Not only are these groups a great opportunity to mingle, they’ll also give you special access to fine art. Try to join local groups of folks who are interested in whatever you’re interested in: travel, dinner events, live music, role-playing games, certain dog breeds, friendly networking for lawyers in your age group, walking tours, etc. Many cities also have clubs that offer exclusivity when it comes to events, dining, and more, giving you pedigree as well as connections.

What activities would you like to participate in that might allow you to meet new people? Make a list of three possibilities—a book or movie club? A brunch group? A jogging crew?

Volunteer for a Cause You Care About

Whether you’re politically minded or an animal lover, there are plenty of charitable organizations where you can meet like-minded friends who want to give back to their communities. If you’re feeling passionate about an upcoming election, volunteer for your preferred candidate, and meet people whose political views align with yours. If you need a break from politics, consider volunteering at an animal shelter or a food bank, where you can help walk adoptable dogs, prep meals for terminally ill patients, and more, all while making new friends.

Take a Class

The life of a lawyer is a busy one, but surely there are skills you’ve always wanted to pick up that you can make time to learn. If you’ve always wanted to learn a foreign language, try enrolling in a local French or Spanish class, and maybe you’ll even meet a future travel buddy. If you’re ordering way too much takeout, consider a cooking class, where you and your new friends can laugh at your kitchen mishaps and maybe even organize some dinner parties in the future. There’s no downside to learning a new skill, but if you can make friends while you learn, that’s even better.