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What Is a Professional?

by Michael Tobriner on November 13, 2013

in Alternative Dispute Resolution,Collaborative Practice,Family Law,Legal Professionals,Mediation

What Is a Professional?

Of course, we’re all professionals – MHPs, lawyers, financial specialists. But I’ve always wondered what being a “professional” really means. I don’t think just having a license or credential covers it. Merriam Webster defines professional this way:

Professional (noun)

  • Someone who does a job that requires special training, education, or skill: someone who is a member of a profession
  • Someone who is paid to participate in a sport or activity
  • Someone who has a lot of experience or skill in a particular job or activity

Full definition of PROFESSIONAL

  • One that is professional; especially: one that engages in a pursuit or activity professionally

Examples of PROFESSIONAL

  • The  bathtub was installed by a professional
  • The tournament is open to both amateurs and professionals
  • A golfer who recently became a professional
  • She handled the situation like a professional

I still don’t think this covers it. The mission of professional plumber and golfers is highly respectable. But isn’t our mission different? Does our professionalism have something to do with our relationship with our clients? Does it have something to do with whether, how, and why we truly serve their interests? What do you think?

 

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