March is Women’s History Month, which seems like the perfect time to highlight some of the amazing women leaders within our region. As part of a series with leaders in the LMA Northeast designed to provide our own Future Leaders with career advice, as well as tips and strategies for becoming their best professional selves, we asked Jennifer Scalzi, the Immediate Past President of the LMA Northeast and CEO of Calibrate Legal in Boston, for her thoughts on how to effectively manage a career in the legal industry and build a strong professional brand.
Any advice for those legal marketers who are new to the field and looking to build their professional brands?
Become active in the legal marketing community and you’ll find it’s just that – a tight knit group of people who are helpful and collaborative. But, be sure that if you do become involved that you only take on what you’re able to follow through on. Because of the closeness of those within the industry, you’re often in a position to be working with people who may in a position to hire you or recommend you for something and you don’t want them to have a bad experience with you.
What do you think is the key for success as a legal marketer?
The key to success for any business services professional in a law firm is to understand that in a services industry it cannot be about you. You are there to serve those who serve. So, anything you can do to think full cycle in a scenario that would help those you serve have a better experience in working with you will be critical to success. Responsiveness is also something that is imperative; even if you aren’t able to get to it right that moment, if you respond, they’ll know you’re good for it.
What is the best career advice that you received?
When I was a recruiting coordinator in a law firm I was told by a partner that just because you think something is important doesn’t mean that others will. It’s important to understand that people have loads of things on their plates at any given time and to ensure you approach every conversation with “Do you have a moment to speak?” before launching into an unplanned conversation.
What do you wish you could tell your younger professional self?
I wish I had learned patience sooner. I felt that I had to do good work and find deficiencies in others in order to step ahead. I wish I had just let the work speak for itself. People’s memories are long.
What do you love most about what you do?
I am in a position to connect people with opportunities that will change them for the better. It could be a candidate who is seeking a meatier role in a firm that values their expertise, or a client who is truly looking to infuse change into their culture. Making those matches is my nirvana.