Who has redefined what it means to think outside the law (aka OUTLAW) and is helping each of us in the process?
Meet Jennifer Scalzi, Founder and CEO of Calibrate Legal and its subsidiary, J. Johnson Executive Search (JJES). Jenn has spent the past 17 years working in, and as a consultant to, law firms. She is a featured speaker and published author on topics of professional and career development, and has contributed to Forbes, CBS’s “MarketWatch,” The American Lawyer, and Law360.com, among others. Her networking was most recently profiled as a case study in J. Kelly Hoey’s newly published book, Build Your Dream Network: Forging Powerful Relationships in a Hyper-Connected World. Jenn was inducted into the College of Law Practice Management in October 2017, which recognizes distinguished law practice management professionals, and currently serves on the Legal Marketing Association’s International Board of Directors as its Regional Leaders’ Committee Liaison.
We asked Jenn 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 did a study abroad in Turkey in college and have always thought about returning someday to live. There is something so magical about the country and how it came to be. It’s literally the crossroads of Asia and Europe and dynasties and democracy and Arabic and the Latin alphabet and Islam and Christianity.
Q: What is your motto?
A: “There is a place for every body and a body for every place” – I say this all the time in my line of work. Just because someone doesn’t fit into one place/group doesn’t mean they won’t find their habitat. Everyone fits somewhere.
Q: Who are your favorite authors or what are your favorite books?
A: I am a big fan of historical fiction – when I finish a book in this genre I will spend a lot of time afterwards researching the characters and eras. It’s a fun way to learn about history. Favorites are: “Devil in the White City”; “The Twentieth Wife”; “The Other Boleyn Girl”; “Saving Fish from Drowning”
Q: What got you into working in the legal industry?
A: My father encouraged me to go to law school saying that no matter what happened in life, I could always hang out a shingle (I’m from the South y’all!) and make some money. While studying for the LSAT after college, I worked on a political campaign for a few months and met a partner from a large law firm at a fundraiser for my candidate; he offered to talk with me about being a lawyer which I took him up on. After the campaign ended I called him and he took the meeting and introduced me to the HR Manager on the way out of the office who told me to call her because she was looking for an assistant. I called her, and the rest is history! After working at the firm for a few months I realized that I enjoyed the law firm environment but did not want to have my nose in books and briefs every day. I worked in HR, did billing for 14 partners, handled library updates, became the recruiting and marketing coordinator for the office and eventually became the Director of Recruiting for a larger office of the firm. It was a great six-year run!
Q: What is your current state of mind?
A: The legal industry is at a crossroads and I am on a mission to contribute to the success of the business services professionals in law firms. I am focused on helping them to fully understand the law firm environment and how they can make a difference if they position themselves appropriately. I keep repeating the mantra “you have to behave how you want to be treated” over and over in every presentation I give. In a law firm environment you cannot expected to be given the ‘seat at the table’ if you don’t provide significant value. Particularly for marketing professionals, it is high time to eliminate the HIPPOs (Highest Paid Person’s Opinion) view on marketing with those that are driven by data.
Q: Your favorite virtue?
A: Truthfulness: acting in a way that inspires confidences and trust; being reliable.