Nurse attorneys

  1. Has anyone thought of going to law school to become a lawyer specifically aimed at defending nurses? Is there such a thing. I was reading some of the posts of nurse up before the BON and not being able to afford legal counsel. Makes my blood boil. Then it got me thinking. Maybe there is a place for an affordable nurse attorney. Someone who charges reasonable or sliding fees (like in the range of 30-50/hr) for nurses w/o malpractice insurance. I imagine the bread and butter would be from malpractice insurance companies for defending nurses in lawsuits (probably doctors too). Just wondering if such a job exists.
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    About ayndim

    Joined: Jan '04; Posts: 488; Likes: 24
    Former School teacher heading back to finish nursing school


  3. by   fiestynurse
    Yes, nurses do go to law school in order to become advocates for nurses. They defend nurses in medical malpractice claims and against BON complaints. Law school is expensive, difficult, and time consuming. You will not be charging $30-$50 per hour when you realize the amount of work it takes to get a JD and when you realize how much money it takes to run a law office. However, there are many attorneys who do pro bono work and charge reduced fees in some cases. I do admire your altruistic spirit!

    Frankly, If my license and livelihood were being threatened I would do whatever it takes to defend myself.
  4. by   Allaroundnurse
    I went to the School of Nursing that I graduated from and took a fantastic Legal Nurse Consulting course. This course prepares you to help nurses where it really counts in preventing some of the situations that we get caught in. I went to class one day a month and had to do assignments each month. There was a practicum at the end of the class that we had to complete with an evaluation from our preceptor (legal). I also paid 1/2 the price charged out side of the university setting. The next course that is scheduled is going to be on mediation and it looks like it is going to be as good as the first course.

    How does it help nurses? I was able to come back each month and present to my peers a workshop on some of the pitfalls that I could now easily identify that attorneys would tear up in court. By doing this we were able to find better ways to document the care that we were giving. It worked so well that I have gotten a promotion and now get to work from home with the corporate legal team. So what do you think? Does it help?

    Just check with your school of nursing's continuing education department to see if they have some thing similar if not they can check with the larger universities because they do. You really need more than a week to learn this stuff and you need a nurse attorney teaching you. I hope I know what I am talking about because my teacher literally wrote the LNC book.
  5. by   Lawnurse
    I'm a nurse in my 3rd (final) year of law school. I work in medical malpractice defense litigation. Our clients are insurance companies, and we defend the hospital, doctors, nurse, etc, that has insurance with the company.

    Right now the legal market is very, very tight - the exact opposite of nursing. New lawyers go where they can get a job and there is little choice involved. For a lawyer to offer pro bono services, he or she generally needs to be his or her own boss. When you work for a firm, you don't get to choose who you represent. :/
  6. by   fiestynurse
    I agree with Allaroundnurse. If your goal is to be a nurse advocate, there are many ways to do this. You can become a Nurse Attorney, Legal Nurse Consultant, Risk Manager, Nursing Union Representative, Writer or Editor for a Nursing Publication, to name a few.