Are You an Outlaw? Meet Jen Dezso

Who has redefined what it means to think outside the law (aka OUTLAW) and is helping each of us in the process? 

Meet Jen Dezso, the U.S. Vice President of Acritas, now a part of Thomson Reuters. Jen specializes in digging through mountains of data to help law firm leaders make better decisions based on market trends and client feedback. In addition, Jen is a frequent presenter and author on changes in the legal industry and how to spot—and win—opportunities in the legal market.

We asked Jen a few questions, and her answers can be found below. Enjoy getting to know this Outlaw!

Q: Where would you like to live?
A: I’m a New Yorker living in Austin, TX…but apparently I lost any ability to handle the cold within the first month of moving. Each “winter,” I tell my husband we need to move further south. Pretty sure my body is telling me I was made for island life.

Q: What is your motto?
A: “Not on my watch.” Whether it’s working on a client project or being the mom who glues together 25 gingerbread house frames for the school party (it’s as bad as it sounds), the ball is not going to be dropped in my court. The only way to drive success for everyone is by digging in, putting ego aside, and making sure the hard work gets done.

Q: What is your greatest fear?
A: Being a disappointment to others. And red-headed centipedes. Seriously, go Google that nightmare right now. Texas wildlife does not joke around.  

Q: Finish this sentence: “If I could have one super-power, it would be…”
A: The ability to stop time. I would love to press the pause button and knock out a few projects, do something fun with the kids, and tackle that pile of laundry I’m staring at. But more likely, I’d just take a nap.

Q: What got you into working in the legal industry?
A: No…not this question. It’s the worst! Like a lot of folks, I fell into this industry. The truth? A legal market research company was the first to offer me a job out of grad school and I was getting hungry. The better question for me is, why do I stay in the legal industry? Hands down, it’s the people. I’ve never seen a more passionate group of people wanting to make it all work out (and I have a background in theater, so that’s saying something). From CMOs, to lawyers, to other service providers, it’s a driven industry always looking for a better way. It’s inspiring to work with these types of personalities every day.

Q: What is your current state of mind?
A: Groggy. This morning started at 5AM when 2 dogs jumped on my head to let me know they were most definitely, without a doubt starving to death.

Q: Your favorite virtue?
A: Authenticity.

Q: What would you consider your greatest achievement?
A: I should probably say my kids or running a 10K or something inspiring. But honestly, when I was in my 20s I stupidly went on a night boat ride and we jumped in the water for a quick swim. In the time it took to come up for air, we realized we were caught in a current and swept away from the boat. We ended up having to swim about 2.5 miles to shore in the pitch black. I’m glad I achieved that!

Q: Finish this sentence: “If I won the lottery tomorrow I would…”
A: Kick-start the TRAM plan. A few friends and myself have decided we’re going to run away from our day jobs and focus solely on building an empire around Tacos, Rum, and Margaritas (TRAM)—we may or may not have come up with this idea during a night of tacos and margaritas at my house. (I make a killer pork taco.) Maybe I should go buy that lotto ticket…