Marketing as a Defense Legal Nurse Consultant: The Key to Success Part II

by sirI 1,835 Views | 4 Comments Admin

Remember, this Article describes what the LNC needs while working with the Defense Attorney. Working with Defense Attorneys can be challenging, rewarding and at the same time, very frustrating. But you know you are helping to defend (advocate for) Nurses, Physicians and other practitioners. Your goal(s) is fair representation, re-establish and heighten self-esteem, save the Attorney time and money as you prepare the case from Discovery to Case Closed. Opportunities are wide open for you and your sub-contractors. The Defense world can become one of your more interesting keys to success as an LNC.

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    Marketing as a Defense Legal Nurse Consultant: The Key to Success Part II

    Before you read this new Article part II, please read the first one that introduces the RN to the world of being a Legal Nurse Consultant. It briefly goes over a few things an RN should possess before embarking upon a new, and to some, a foreign career in Nursing. Marketing as a Legal Nurse Consultant: The Key to Success Part I

    Before we get started, one thing must be made clear. Some people think that the Legal Nurse Consultant (LNC) serves as the expert witness with the case. This is not true. As a consultant, you are the "behind the scenes" person and your work is "not discoverable" by opposition.

    When you decide to take on a case from an Attorney both Attorney and LNC must be perfectly clear on your role in the case. The Attorney may want you to consult, find all good/bad things in the chart, the the Attorney may flip on you and want you to testify in a court of Law everything that you discovered. So, do some research on these 2 types of career for the RN. Do you strictly want to be a behind the scenes consultant? Or, do you want to serve as an expert witness? We can talk more about that later.

    Right now, let us get started with the Marketing Packet every LNC needs; a packet containing just about everything you will need to land that all-important first case.

    Finding/Retaining Attorney Clients – Getting Started

    Develop a business plan

    Design a business name.

    Be professional. Check the “Secretary” of your state to ensure the name you want for your business is free/clear. If you decide to incorporate your business later, you will need a name that is not already being utilized

    Work on creating a business logo, tag line, etc.

    Use nothing comical or even hinting that it could be disrespectful. Stay professional at all times. Living in large cities, you should have no problems finding printing companies. But, if you are less fortunate, there are many online companies who are reputable as well as affordable.

    Create and purchase business cards and letterhead.

    Include business name, logo, contact information, etc. Keep color selections muted. In the beginning, you should NEVER be without a business card. You keep them in your glove compartment, behind the sun visor, briefcase/computer case, purse. Never make a contact to anyone without having a card on your person. Initially, the bulk of your first expense will be creating/purchasing the cards and letterhead.

    Finding/Retaining Attorney Clients – Initial and Follow-Up Contact

    While you are in the Getting Started phase, start developing an Attorney-Client base.

    You can get names from Attorneys you already know, phone directory, billboard ads (especially Attorneys who solicit high-profile cases). There are many ways to keep a client base available using several types of applications, software, etc.

    Purchase a laptop.

    Become very familiar with Excel and Power Point. Consider, before securing the first client, purchasing a top-notch legal software program to create reports/timelines, etc.

    Send out, via US mail, “Marketing Packets”.

    Include a introduction letter, business cards, and brochures that outline the services you can provide the Defense Attorney. Be certain your introductory letter as well as business cards have contact information when the Attorney needs to get in touch with you.

    Call, Call, Call

    Wait approximately 1 week to 10 days and make an initial telephone call to each Attorney to whom you sent a packet.

    Do not contact Attorney via email.

    Some LNCs use email to establish initial contact with an Attorney. I do not and do not advise this method. A professional relationship has not been made (yet). Use email communication after the professional relationship has been established.

    Start making "cold calls".

    This is where you are dressed in professional attire and have your briefcase/laptop complete with business cards, services provided brochure, and sample case study. Cold calls are difficult, in my opinion, for you must get past the “gatekeeper”. Do not be discouraged if you fail in your attempt to actually interview with the Attorney. Leave cards, brochures, and ask the gatekeeper the best time to set up an interview. I try to leave other small items for them at the front desk like hard candies, mints, pens, small note pads, etc. And, always remember have enough business cards.

    About sample case study...

    If you’ve never been formally educated as an LNC, you will not have this. I suggest getting in contact with other LNCs, contact The American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants, or me to help you obtain a short case study that demonstrates to the Attorney-client the professional and detailed work you can do.

    Finding/Retaining Attorney Clients - Fees
    • Charge the highest possible fee.
    • Resist the temptation to charge too low just to land the case. Instead, offer discounts and a risk-free guarantee to the clients.

    In Conclusion

    The LNC must know his/her Attorney client. Acquaint yourself with the Defense Attorneys in your state/region. Contact your state’s Bar Association for quarterly periodicals and/or other information about cases that have been recently litigated.

    And, remember your very own unique selling points when marketing yourself to the Defense Attorney ...Your ultimate goal is to save the Defense Attorney time and money and assist in providing the best defense for the defendant
    Last edit by Joe V on Nov 27, '13
    karen.kor24, Sparkul, RNinSC23, and 1 other like this.
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  3. About sirI

    sirI joined Jun '05 - from 'USA'. sirI has 'many' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'APRN, LNC, Forensics, OB, ED, Education'. Posts: 87,881 Likes: 22,811; Learn more about sirI by visiting their allnursesPage

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    4 Comments so far...

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    What legal-software programs would you recommend?
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    Quote from karen.kor24
    What legal-software programs would you recommend?
    Hello and welcome to

    I sent you a private message regarding the litigation software.
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    Thank you for this series of articles. As an RN interested in this profession and yet wary of going into even more debt taking one of the big certification classes, I welcome all the advice I can get ahead of time! I am very interested in the work and have no doubt of my ability to produce a quality product but am a little trepidatious of the marketing aspects and the start-up process itself. My parents used SCORE before and I will definitely be contacting them but your articles are great because they are specific to the specialty!

    A couple of questions

    1) Since I will have to continue working my hospital ICU and ER job while getting started with LNC is it feasible to tell clients that I cannot work on cases that involve my current employer? I'm afraid that if I limit myself from the start that it will be harder to sell myself to attorneys. I don't want any antitrust issues but also don't want to run off potential clients.

    2) On that same note... Since it would probably be easier to work with attorneys not in my general area (because of the above limitation) in your opinion is it harder to market oneself at a further distance (other than the actual travel involved)? I.e. will attorneys be more liable to hire a local LNC than one elsewhere??

    3)I would love the information on the legal software mentioned above. Can you send me the info also??

    Thanks in advance!

    Kellie G., RN
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    I'd like to share a few thoughts as an attorney and a registered nurse who has practiced medical malpractice defense law. First, please understand that attorneys are extremely busy and our "gatekeepers" are doing their jobs in keeping us on schedule. You might want to ask for a meeting with the attorney's legal assistant or paralegal if you are unable to meet with the attorney. Regarding pricing, I agree that you should not undervalue your services but know that defense attorneys must follow a budget and often must obtain their client's approval for outside consultants. So set a price point that is competitive.

    Regarding case summaries v. testifying in court, if you can hold yourself out as a testifying expert witness I recommend that you pursue this route. Many firms will not pay someone to summarize the record if they are unwilling to testify because that means that we will have to pay another nurse expert to look at the record again to prepare to testify. I agree that you should clarify this with the attorney up front. Few things are worse than having an expert back out on the eve of trial.

    Kellie G., I recommend that you not summarize records from your employer's facility. This presents a conflict of interest because you may be placed in the position of giving an opinion that is adverse to your employer. Most facilities prohibit an employee from undertaking other employment that is adverse to the employer.

    Finally, I am not convinced that LNC is the only track into working in this arena. When I have hired nurse consultants in the past my decision was based on their expertise in the relevant field of nursing. I look more at a nurse's clinical certifications and involvement in professional organizations, publications, etc. than whether they are a certified LNC.

    Best of luck to everyone!