Having a Bad Day in Litigation Support

It is inevitable that you will have a bad day in litigation support. Bad days in litigation support can be a little different than other careers. Since the job includes many roles within a day and we have so many people relying on us, there can be a variety of ways that things don't go smoothly. Below are a few examples.

Customer service – We can't seem to get through to a user and they get frustrated with us or we get feedback that we did not solve a problem that we thought we had resolved.

Consulting – We get frustrated because it feels like “they” won't listen to our suggestions or consulting.

Mistake – We make a mistake and we feel bad.

Client relations – Our client gets mad at something we did or did not do, from their perspective.

Disruptive technology – We rely on technology to get the job done and technology fails us or technology gets in the way of us completing the task(s) in a timely fashion.

No results – We feel like we worked really hard all day, but we didn't accomplish anything — it feels like we were spinning our wheels.

Constant interruptions – There is a lot of start and stop, start and stop. It's difficult to focus on what we need to get completed because the phone keeps ringing or visitors stop by with requests.

Missed deadline – We thought we could finish a project or task by a certain time, but it took longer than we thought, which happens often in litigation support.

Miscommunication – There was a miscommunication between litigation support and either the legal team or a service provider.

Surprise project – A lawyer or paralegal comes to us with a significant project that we received no heads-up about and we already have a full plate.

There are good days and there are bad days, and this is one of them. (Lawrence Welk)

These are just some of the examples and many of them will sound familiar to those already in litigation support. Here's the thing — the job is not all rainbows and sunshine, but a good litigation support professional will learn to take the bad days in stride.

They learn not to take it out on others.

They learn to keep their composure even if they want to scream.

They learn to take a deep breath or walk outside for a break or whatever they need to do to gain a fresh perspective.

They vent to their co-workers on the litigation support team and then let it go.

They interject humor to ease the mood.

They listen to a song that rejuvenates them.

When you do have a bad day in litigation support, please try to remember this — we do have our moments to shine, we do have our wins, we do have days when we feel like we make a difference.

Remember in the midst of a bad day that it is just one day and tomorrow will almost always be better. Remember that it might not feel like it today, but you do enjoy your litigation support career.

Do the best job you can, with what you have. Be smart about your decisions and stand by them. Help out your team mates. And last, but not least, try hard to keep your sense of humor.

Do you have a productive way to deal with a bad day?


    I am very passionate about helping legal professionals succeed. I even quit my day job to devote more time to mentoring! I want to encourage you to subscribe and join the LitSuppGuru community. I share humorous, informative, and time-sensitive emails above and beyond what appears on this site.

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    • Julie Zamarripa

      I had a day like that yesterday and today is shaping up to be the same.

      • LitSuppGuru

        Julie – You’ve been in this long enough to know, the bad day(s) will pass. Hopefully you do not have to work this weekend and you’ll be able to get a break. I’m cheering for you!! We all have your back!

    • Julie Brown

      Excellent write up on having a bad day in litigation support.  I thought it was so well done that I posted a link on the ILTA website.  Thanks Amy!

      • LitSuppGuru

        Thanks so much, Julie. Good to hear from you.

    • LitSuppGuru

      Um, Chris, the headphones won’t work — my attorneys just walk right in and start talking! Ha! I know what you mean though, the interruptions can weigh on person who is trying to focus. I have been known to hide out in a conference room with a laptop, as a desperate measure.

    • Tracy Ayling

      Great article Amy! – I’ve hit all of those, as I’m sure most have, and the one about not being listened to as a Consultant is almost the definition some days. You just have to roll with the punches, have a wicked sense of humour, and start each day with a fresh mindset, or it can be a tough job. When being ‘Zen” doesn’t do it, I usually find hitting the gym for a hard workout gets rid of the stress. I wish a walk would do it, but there are days you need to burn off the stress 🙂  Also, sometimes I find starting the day with a clear sense of “what you won’t do today” can ease the burden of having too many tasks at once, freeing up your mental energy for those that you can. We can’t do it all every day.

      • LitSuppGuru

        Thanks for the tips, Tracy. Good ones!

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