Become a Great Litigation Support Director

It is easy to fall into a pattern when it comes to your leadership approach. Whether you are establishing a new department from the ground-up, seeking to improve efficiency within your existing group, or foresee a role in management on your career horizon, consider the qualities of a great leader, and ask yourself if you display the qualities of a great litigation support director.


  1. Roll up your sleeves. Don't be afraid or too proud to get in the trenches with your people. If those on the front lines perceive that they are being asked to perform tasks the leaders themselves would not, resentment will build quickly. Troubleshooting a load file or running a production every occasionally will help keep your skills fresh and relevant. If you have recently purchased a new technology platform, be as hands-on as possible in the implementation, configuration and deployment as so to gain the technical experience (don't just delegate the installation to your IT dept or vendor).
  2. With all new challenges, demonstrate a first in, last out leadership example. When being assigned a new case that requires after hours or weekend support, ask volunteers to join you instead of delegating people to work on their own.
  3. Be a Human Shield. During times of a departmental conflict, always present a unified front and assure your team that their best interests are valuable to you. Effective leaders create space for their team to succeed by shielding them from political maneuvering, resource grappling, distractions, indignities, time suckers, and lame rules that come with the job. Even if the stronger members of your team are weathered to accommodating the needs of a demanding attorney and may be capable of withstanding the blow, they shouldn't have to. Demonstrating your willingness to fight for the members of your group will earn you their respect and will strengthen the bond with your team.
  4. Hire right. Begin by hiring the right people. Be obsessed with building and retaining the strongest team. Don't shy away from hiring people who may have more education, experience, or certifications than you. For example, hiring someone with a J.D. (even if you don't) does not diminish your ability to lead.
  5. Travel as a troop. Join your team in attending industry events such as Legal Tech, ILTA, Relativity Fest, and other industry outings. Rather than allowing your employees to attend on their own free will, plan to attend these outings as a team, and use these opportunities to strengthen the bond with your employees outside the office setting. Invest in training, support avenues for furthering education, and explore ways to improve productivity and engagement.
  6. Have a strategy in execution. Be results-focused. Create a culture of accountability in your team with a focus on flawless execution. Lead by example by developing and implementing standard operating procedures and key performance indicators, and consistently enforce them. Evaluate progress regularly, have a disciplined audit process, measure success, and failure, and make tweaks along the way to ensure your team stays on course when the going gets tough.