Law & ORDER BY: Professionalism and Community

Yesterday the Chicago Tribune printed an article on the death of Philip Corboy, a noted trial attorney. I imagine you’ve probably never heard of him, and I’m sure I wouldn’t have either, except I would walk by his law office on my way to work at a previous employer.

The story makes it evident that he was a mentor to many, and one of those interviewed was Terrence Lavin, a Judge who got his start as a law clerk in Corboy’s office. He said that when he was first hired, his boss had a chat with him about being professional and making a name for himself in the law community:

"[Corboy] said if you want to be perceived as a great professional, do what I do here, try cases, give speeches, write articles. . .Be active in your community and care about charitable affairs."

The extent of my legal knowledge can be summed up by saying that if I’m flipping through channels I’ll usually pause at Judge Judy, but that comment really hit home for me. Every part of it comes to mind when I think of the SQL Server community:

  • We don’t try cases, but we do our jobs as either DBAs, developers, consultants, etc.
  • We give presentations either at work, user group meetings, or conferences.
  • We write articles on our blogs.
  • We’re active in our community in lots of ways such as twitter, PASS, and other organizations and groups that have popped up.
  • We give back as well, through things like speaking at SQL Saturday, volunteering to help at events, serving on boards and committees, and answering questions on forums.

To me, it seems like we as a community do a lot of these things, and a lot of great professionals have been created in the process. I think Mr. Corboy was spot on.