Why We Should Encourage Others to Begin a Litigation Support Career

I was thinking the other day about how well things are going at LitigationSupportGuru.com. A smile came to my face as I thought about the people from all over the world that have reached out to me since launching the website. The internet can bring people together that never would have met otherwise. In fact, I met my husband on-line. But, that's another story.

I have had e-mail exchanges, telephone calls and in-person meetings with people I met through the Guru site. I went to LegalTech NY for one day specifically to meet some of the new people in my life. I have referred people to some of my colleagues. I have been referred as a resource by some of my colleagues. I have been tweaking resumes, offering advice, answering questions, sharing stories, and encouraging people. I have been inviting women to attend Women in eDiscovery meetings. I attended another mentoring panel at Georgetown University's Paralegal Studies Program that rocked!

It has been amazing and wonderful. I really enjoy getting to know people and helping people. I am so proud of the individuals that have made up their mind to pursue a new career.

In reading through some of the Guru Case Studies, it is easy to notice some trends. One trend in particular hits home with me and I want to bring it to your attention. “A litigation support career is very rewarding.”

The litigation support industry is unique. For those that have some exposure to it from the outside looking in, it can look scary or intimidating. A litigation support career can be demanding in many ways. It can even be quite frustrating at times. But overall, it is thrilling!

There are so many “little wins” that may seem silly to someone outside of the industry. But those already in litigation support are nodding their heads right now. Stupid things give us a sense of accomplishment in a stressful day. An unexpected Thank You. A database that is finally running smoothly. An attorney who really appreciates our opinion.

Assisting lawyers in practicing law is really cool. Merging technology with legal practice is exciting. Some lawyers are fun to work with!

I am making it my mission to help those that are interested in a litigation support career because it really is an awesome career. If you are already in litigation support and you love your job (most days), give me a virtual HIGH-FIVE in the comments section below. If you are excited about pursuing a career in litigation support, give me a virtual HIGH-FIVE in the comments section below.

I will begin…HIGH-FIVE!!!  Help me spread the word.

22 Comments

  1. This is a virtual HIGH FIVE to you for all of the terrific things you are doing for litigation support, Amy! 

  2. HIGH-FIVE!  I have seen first hand how rewarding the lit support field is for my students and alumni!!!  KEEP IT UP, PROFESSOR B!!!

  3. High Five to you Amy for your heart and passion for other people in this industry!  You are the epitome of what this industry needs, and it’s nice to fight on the front lines with you and help people break in or further their career!  GREAT JOB and KEEP IT UP! 

  4. And I LOOOOOOVE the little wins.  Things like attorneys listening to the advice, or when things could take a dive, because you set it up properly, it is defensible; or figuring out where that extra comma is in the load file, or seeing that “AHA” moment in a student’s eyes, or finding a solution to a problem and fixing it before anyone knew there was a problem.  

  5. IMHO lit support is for IT people who are very interested in law. The work is mostly IT and the lawyers and paras do the actual legal work.
    The IT work is also relatively simple, just database software, HD’s and data.
    It is rewarding and you aren’t sitting in a server basement with nerds!

  6. HIGH FIVE from inside lit support!  You know I love your blog Amy!  Great articles and advise, even for those of us who have been in the field for many years.  You always bring clarity to the complex!

  7.  High Five! Thanks for the great articles. I’m a paralegal and I’d like to know where do I begin in order to become a litigation support person? Are there specific classes, books, etc.?

    1. First, check out my article called 5 Tips to Breaking into Litigation Support. Second, shoot me an e-mail and tell me a little more about you and we can go from there.  Take care.

  8. That is awesome, Chris!  I love hearing that people are learning.

  9. Wow, what a cool web site! I am a 15 year senior litigation paralegal trying to break into lit support. I have been using technology since 1999! I worked on an extremely large trial in 2004 and was in awe of the trial tech that ran the technology everyday. I wanted to “be like him.” I started “visiting” the lit support office at my firm more frequently (after the trial) and the guys were very helpful, then I got a new job. No one at my new job would let me near the technology.

    In 2009 I was laid off in the economic downturn. I paid (a lot of $$$) to take a couple of classes at Concordance and built my first databse in the class. It was pretty exciting. BUT, no one will give me a chance to build on those new skills. Only two jobs have come up in the last year or two. I find that most firms are just not willing to give someone a little bit of a learning curve. It is pretty frustrating. I will keep trying though.

    I have tried to talk to others at conferences about breaking into the field and quite frankly, they were not very nice about it…they acted like I was trying to steal their jobs out from under them. I have always tried to mentor new paralegals. I think people in the field should not view newbies as a “threat” who is going to do the job when they retire?

    1. Starprincess – Thank you so much for sharing your comment. YOU are one of the reasons I created this site to begin with. I want to inspire and encourage people to join the litigation support industry. There are certain personality and skillset traits that need to be there in order to be successful, but if those are there, it CAN happen. It is definitely a timing thing and the hiring manager has to be ready to hire an entry-level candidate. Please e-mail me offline and let’s work together on your goal, okay?

  10. A HUGE high five to you, Amy.  Your site is invaluable and is a constant reminder that the elusive career-change and entry-level lit sup job is out there.  Thanks!

  11. About 2 years too late but still nonetheless….Manos Arriba!(Spanish high-five).

    I love your site Amy and I look forward to each post.
    It never fails, when I feel like I’m spinning my wheels in
    this industry all I have to do is read one of your tweets and I get back on this
    crazy ride! All of the information and wealth of knowledge your provide for
    us newbies is priceless! Thank you so-so much.

    I have over 15 years of IT experience and have been with my law
    firm in NC for about 3 years now. I’ve also been with other firms as well throughout my career but it wasn’t until I took this position that I decided to fully commit to
    litigation support. I discovered a passion that sparked such an interest I never
    knew was right in front of me. I’m currently finishing up my Project Management studies and going for my certification next year. I have also taken many basic eDiscovery introduction courses my firm has offered but at the moment cannot afford to take that expensive next step for external training.

    Another problem I face, like so many others, is that my firm
    doesn’t want to invest in an “in-house” litigation support department. They have developed the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix” syndrome and I’m stuck in this IT
    Support/litigation support/only when we are tired of power points, excel and
    paper copies position. We do use time-map, relativity and even have a practice
    support group in our Richmond office but rarely are they used and I guess
    because of that, they are not very helpful. I have reached out to my manager
    and the practice support manager for more training but I guess since it’s not
    an office need they don’t want to invest. It’s extremely frustrating but I realized that I can’t just give up or keep whining about it. So I do what I’ve always done. Figure it out and train myself. At times I’m like a starving newbie, scavenging for any litigation & eDiscovery feed or blog I can get my hands on. Videos are seldom but occasionally I can find some interviews or free webinars.

    Which brings me back full circle to you…THE LITIGATION
    SUPPORT GURU!( Did you hear that deep voice echo? )
    Anyway, sorry for my rambling. I’ve always wanted to reach
    out and say thank you for all you do and I look forward to each of your posts.
    Please continue, don’t give up. We are out there always
    listening and learning from you!

    Thank you again Amy and have a great holiday!
    Jose

    1. Wow, Jose, thank you so much for taking the time to provide feedback. I really appreciate it. I love hearing from people that have found some value in what I share.

      You are absolutely right about law firms that won’t fix something that ain’t broke. Try not to lose your cool about it. Keep educating yourself, networking with others in the industry and eventually you might find a position at another firm that is more focused on developing their litigation support team.

      I will have more videos soon, so (1) make sure you are subscribed to my site and (2) subscribe to my Youtube channel.

      Take care and keep in touch. Make sure we are connected on LinkedIn too, okay?

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