Name: Kristina Lengel
Location: Philadelphia, PA
What kind of work were you doing before litigation support found you?
I did a variety of jobs (craft shop clerk, pizza maker, accounts payable) and then in 1998 I took a class to get my A+ certification and MOUS certifications (Microsoft Office). From that training, I was able to secure a job doing Helpdesk support. After nearly 6 years of doing Helpdesk at two firms, I transitioned into Litigation Support.
How did you get the opportunity to join the litigation support community?
I was doing evening Helpdesk support and my predecessor in Lit Support occasionally asked for evening help; mostly copying documents and loading transcripts. She resigned from the firm and I expressed interest in the position, and it's been a journey of learning since then!
When did you realize that this career would be a good fit for you?
I love to learn new things. Lit Support was new. I am very good in a technical capacity and with the various software packages, it fits well with my abilities.
Do you prefer to be out in front and working with the clients or behind the scenes working with the technologies?
I would prefer a bit of both, but honestly I do better behind the scenes.
Is there an area of litigation support that had a steep learning curve for you?
Trial Support is still a new area for me. The high stress levels can be difficult in an area where you have to remain cool and composed. Additionally, talking in non-techie terms to the attorneys has been something I'm still learning.
What do you consider to be one of the coolest things about working in litigation support?
The coolest thing is knowing that I'm helping our client, even if it is behind the scenes. We don't get much acknowledgement but the satisfaction is there.
Which types of employers have you had while working in litigation support?
Litigation Support is a well-paying career. How much has your salary increased since joining the litigation support community?
$30,000 – $40,000
How many years have you been working in Litigation Support?
Care to share any words of encouragement or advice?
People skills are important and I think they will get you further in your career than technical skills. I'm finding that the tech can (mostly) be learned, but the people skills are harder to learn. If you're interested in Lit Support and have the coolness/people skills, consider it as a career! Be willing to learn new things.