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

Legal Article   (21,206 Views 43 Replies 973 Words)

sirI has 30 years experience as a MSN, APRN, NP and works as a FNP/WHNP(E)/Educator/MedLeg Consul.

12 Followers; 18 Articles; 136,041 Visitors; 12,989 Posts

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Working with Defense Attorneys can be challenging. You are helping to defend Nurses, Physicians and other fellow nursing colleagues/practitioners. Your goal(s) is fair representation and to prepare a case from Discovery to Case Closed. This article will help you understand what you need as an Legal Nurse Consultant (LNC) when working with a Defense Attorney.

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, 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, pocket. 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 and/or iPad/Tablet

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 an 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/tablet 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 the 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 individual and dynamic selling points when marketing 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 client.

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sirI is an OB-GYN NP-BC, (Emeritus), FNP-BC, and Legal Nurse Consultant. Specialty areas include OB-GYN, trauma, med-legal consulting, forensics, and education. She conducts seminars for Nursing Students, Nurses, physicians, and other healthcare providers regarding how to avoid litigation, assisting with depositions, and conducting "Mock Trials" where the students are the players in the court proceedings. sirI is a Senior Administrator for allnurses.com.

12 Followers; 18 Articles; 136,041 Visitors; 12,989 Posts

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karen.kor24 has 14 years experience and works as a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant.

631 Visitors; 2 Posts

What legal-software programs would you recommend?

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sirI has 30 years experience as a MSN, APRN, NP and works as a FNP/WHNP(E)/Educator/MedLeg Consul.

12 Followers; 18 Articles; 136,041 Visitors; 12,989 Posts

What legal-software programs would you recommend?

Hello and welcome to allnurses.com

I sent you a private message regarding the litigation software.

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ScrappyED is a BSN, RN and works as a ED-Trauma RN.

1 Article; 3,446 Visitors; 49 Posts

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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TXJDRN has 16 years experience and works as a Attorney.

1,428 Visitors; 26 Posts

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!

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sirI has 30 years experience as a MSN, APRN, NP and works as a FNP/WHNP(E)/Educator/MedLeg Consul.

12 Followers; 18 Articles; 136,041 Visitors; 12,989 Posts

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?

Yes, it is feasible. You will be in conflict of interest as pointed out by TXJDRN.

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??

Yes, they may choose to work with an LNC who is local. But, do not hold back marketing out-of-state. It is common for many to do so.

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

I sent you a message about the software.

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CDFJR has 18 years experience and works as a Process Improvement Engineer.

487 Visitors; 1 Post

Thank you for your articles. I am a nurse of 18 years, and am moving into the LNC field. I have a certificate (not certification) and am ready to start marketing my services. From the first time I considered LNC, my goal has been to do so for the defense, and this article will prove very helpful. Thank you again.

Could you please send me information regarding the legal software you referenced in your article?

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sirI has 30 years experience as a MSN, APRN, NP and works as a FNP/WHNP(E)/Educator/MedLeg Consul.

12 Followers; 18 Articles; 136,041 Visitors; 12,989 Posts

Thank you and good luck, CDFJR

I sent you a message regarding the software.

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414 Visitors; 1 Post

I am just starting out and in need of a short case study that I can give to potential lawyers/clients.

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bklynbaby has 18 years experience and works as a Nurse Practitioner.

4,901 Visitors; 85 Posts

Hi

I'm a Nurse Practitioner with about 18 years of nursing experiencing ranging from LPN in LTC to RN and NP in a major medical center. I have been looking into LNC for quite some time. My biggest challenge has been the marketing. I bought the books and even developed a brochure with card but calling and showing up at law offices has always left me discouraged I plan to take a LNC course this spring and actively purse this field. Any advice you can give would be extremely helpful.

Naomi

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sirI has 30 years experience as a MSN, APRN, NP and works as a FNP/WHNP(E)/Educator/MedLeg Consul.

12 Followers; 18 Articles; 136,041 Visitors; 12,989 Posts

Hi

I'm a Nurse Practitioner with about 18 years of nursing experiencing ranging from LPN in LTC to RN and NP in a major medical center. I have been looking into LNC for quite some time. My biggest challenge has been the marketing. I bought the books and even developed a brochure with card but calling and showing up at law offices has always left me discouraged I plan to take a LNC course this spring and actively purse this field. Any advice you can give would be extremely helpful.

Naomi

Hello, bklynbaby

If you have specific questions relating to LNC, please list them here.

Yes, marketing is tough, but the key to success. I never liked "Cold Calls" either, but they do work. You will have doors shut, but some will open.

Good luck with your plans this Spring.

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bklynbaby has 18 years experience and works as a Nurse Practitioner.

4,901 Visitors; 85 Posts

Thanks Siri.

So regarding Cold calls, how many calls to a firm is acceptable before giving up and moving on to another/ . Like I don't want to be labelled the LNC that called 20x and didn't get the point lol . ( laughing but very serious)

I noticed in my city there is a lawyer association. They have a committee on health law that meets monthly for discussions. Is it acceptable to attend and try to network? or would that be considered rude

When going to a law firm in person to attempt to market, is bringing cookies/donuts for the receptionist or staff acceptable. I know they are the gatekeeper so I'm thinkin chatting them up would be helpful

One last question on marketing , do I give my price or do I ask what price they feel comfortable paying. I'm in NYC so in thinking around 100-125/hr is acceptable but I may be wrong

I also noticed you mentioned legal software to create documents, do you have any recommendations?

I know its a lot of questions. Thank you in advance

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