When I first started in litigation support, the workload was fairly light and there was still uncertainty as to what services a litigation support professional would offer to the legal teams. As the years passed, the workload increased and the team grew.
Several years after litigation support became a recognized role, the workload would either be really busy for months or it would take a dip and slow down for a few weeks. We use the expression Peaks and Valleys to describe our workload. Actually, the litigation support industry as a whole experiences the Peaks and Valleys as well.
Depending on the size of the litigation support team, the Peaks in workload could be overwhelming. It can be a tough call as to when to add new team members because the Valleys could happen at any moment. Projects thought to be arriving soon never appear or a busy litigation case settles.
During the Valleys there is usually a back log of tasks to catch up on, mostly administrative filing and tracking tasks that couldn't quite get done during the Peaks. We also use the Valleys to do research on new technologies, new products and to set up demos with service providers.
There will be stretches of time where the Peaks definitely out number the Valleys. When that happens, it is usually a hint that it might be time to consider adding a new team member. I worked on one large case for 6 months and my friends and colleagues wondered where I went. When I experience a Valley, I make a point to be thankful for the short-term break and I make sure to schedule a bunch of lunch dates while I have the opportunity.
How do you take advantage of a Valley in litigation support?