Legal Nurse Consultant Success Story

CLNC® Success Story: Just 2 Months After I Became a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant I Landed My First Big Client

For the first two months, nothing was happening. What was I doing wrong? My husband said, “Give it a chance, Melanie. Let me help.”

He began calling the attorneys I had sent postcards to, and he got results. He booked me for presentations at law firms where I discovered that face-to-face interaction is my strong suit. Once an attorney agrees to a presentation, and I show what I can do, closing the sale is a given.

My first big attorney-client, however, came by way of a referral from my insurance agent. My agent’s neighbor is an attorney who referred his medical malpractice and personal injury cases to another attorney. That’s when I found out how useful it is to know people who know people who know people. He passed my name along, and I got a call.

“What can you do for us?” the attorney asked. Boy, did I answer that question. Amazingly, their firm hadn’t used legal nurse consultants. Their paralegal was pulling her hair out, unable to provide what they needed. In closing I asked, “When may I come to your office and show you what I can do?”

The Work Started Flowing and We Replaced My Husband’s Salary

I handle all of that attorney-client’s cases, including medical malpractice, personal injury and workers’ comp. This single attorney-client can keep me busy full time, but my goal is to grow big enough to hire CLNC® subcontractors. We’re almost there. We have four attorney-clients now, and the work keeps flowing.

I say “we” now because my husband left his job and came to work for me full time as an office manager. That was one of the smartest moves I made. A disabled veteran, he’s able to take care of our children and still help with our marketing. He also answers the phone, which means an attorney gets a live voice, not an answering machine.

Being responsive is one important reason our business has grown so fast. We make $5,000-$6,000 per month and have already replaced my husband’s salary.

I Like Educating Attorneys – Once They Know You, They Need You

The most amazing thing happens when I give a presentation at a law firm: attorneys pay attention. I wow them with the CLNC services I can provide to help them win cases and they treat me as a professional. I use their feedback to refine my presentation for the next time I deliver it.

After attorneys learn what a CLNC consultant can do for them, they see the value. Later, when I actually work with them, they begin to rely on me in more and more areas, on more and more cases. Just recently, our biggest attorney-client emailed us to say we had become their best friends and they cannot function without us.

One thing I learned from the Institute is to hold my ground on nonmeritorious cases. That principle is working for me. After I review a case, my client will ask, “Melanie, what’s your recommendation? What do I do with this?”

If the case has merit, fine. I lay it out. But I sometimes have to say, “I understand that something bad happened, and your client is upset about it, but I don’t see merit here.” In the long run, the attorney saves money by not pursuing cases he can’t win.

My attorney-clients listen to me and respect my judgment. That makes me feel that my nursing experience and knowledge are making a difference.

While taking my CLNC training, I came up with the slogan we use in our marketing: We make you look best. My attorney-clients love it.

I Enjoy What I Do Every Day

Being a nurse is important to me, and my CLNC business makes me happy in many ways I never expected. I enjoy my attorney-client relationships. I enjoy feeling that I’m still helping people, even though it isn’t at the bedside.

On every case, I learn something new, which I can then use on future cases. That’s exciting. While I’m teaching my attorney-clients about medical records and the healthcare side of a situation, they’re handling the legal side and I’m learning from them, too. Together, we make a brilliant team. I help identify issues that will help them look good in the courtroom and win the cases that deserve to be won.

I also enjoy knowing that my children are not spending time at daycare. I used to feel guilty about leaving them, but now they’re getting the best care at home with their father. My CLNC business has positively impacted our entire family.

After serving his country in Iraq, my husband came home with limitations that make it hard for him to work outside the home. I created a job for him, and he’s a valuable asset to my CLNC business. No one could do a better job running the office, and I love working with him. This could never have happened if I’d stayed full time at the hospital. I’m proud that ours is a family business, that we can grow it together.

Recently, I’ve begun traveling for my attorney-clients, which is another exciting aspect of what I do. On one case, the attorney requested that I meet with his client who needed to be assessed for a life care plan. When I asked the attorney if he wanted me to find someone local to assess his client in order to save on travel cost, he insisted that I go myself because of the quality of my work. I was flattered. My office manager husband made all the travel arrangements for me to fly in early one morning and come back the same day. This was a wonderful experience! I had never had a frequent flyer card before now. I feel professional!

We Keep Marketing Smart to Attract New Attorney-Clients Like the Institute Taught Us

One day we drove past a billboard for a law firm that specializes in personal injury cases. I told my husband, “We should call on them.” He called and booked me for a presentation.

That’s the sort of marketing that gets big results at low cost. This month we’ll be mailing out and following up on a hundred postcards, which is also low cost.

We offer a discount on the first case. Attorneys are like anybody else when it comes to saving money, they expect to get value for their dollars. The discount encourages them to take a chance, and it costs us nothing until a prospect actually hires us. We do a great job, the client is impressed and hires us again at our full rate. Marketing can be effective without draining your bank account – the Institute taught me that too.

LegalNurse.com Made It All Possible

I feel very lucky to have been trained by the Institute. They’re amazing. It has been a year now since my CLNC Certification. A very happy year. I think back to those first two months, when I doubted myself, and I have to laugh. My life has changed in so many wonderful ways since I became a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant.

Guest Blogger Profile

Melanie V. Paquette, RN, BSN, CLNC is co-founder with her husband of Paquette Legal-Medical Consulting Services LLC based in Texas. She has more than 13 years of clinical experience in emergency care, intensive care, level 1 trauma, cardiology, interventional radiology, neurology and has hospital and insurance experience as a case manager.

P.S. Read more CLNC® Success Stories and send your CLNC® Success Story to [email protected].

P.P.S. Comment if you would like to congratulate Melanie on her CLNC® success.

17 thoughts on “CLNC® Success Story: Just 2 Months After I Became a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant I Landed My First Big Client

  1. Wow! Congratulations on your success, Melanie. Lot’s of lessons to be learned from reading about your experiences. And very inspiring! Thanks for sharing your story.

  2. Dear Melanie,

    I am so happy for you! You look familiar; we may have met in Houston last June when I completed the VIP CLNC® Certification Seminar, or this last March in San Antonio @ NACLNC® Conference. Anyway, I am very proud for you AND your husband. My husband is also a disabled vet and is very supportive of my CLNC® business.

    You mentioned that you wanted to start working with subs. My background is oncology and IV infusion. I would be honored to work with you anytime.

    By the way, I am a Texan transplanted in South Carolina.

  3. Bravo Melanie! This is one of the most inspiring CLNC® Success Stories that I have read to date. Teaming up with your husband was a great move for you. I am sure that in his service to our country, he also learned many lessons in teamwork, not giving up when the pressure is on, standing firm in the face of adversity, and holding his head high. I am certain that in many ways, he is the wind beneath your wings. Vickie may share some of the same sentiments about her husband, Tom. We often strive for so much independence in our lives that we forget what it is like to live interdependently. Living with a disability is not easy. I know this firsthand. I am so happy for your success, but I am equally as happy for your husband and your family for finding a way to overcome tragedy by picking yourselves up, brushing yourselves off, and starting all over again. Remember all the little stories that Vickie told about engaging even your children to help with paper shredding etc.? Congratulations to you, and thank you for sharing your road to success.

  4. Melanie-sending Congratulations from Northern California!! You made it sound so easy! Good for you to have made this a “famly business” (I never thought about it, with 2 teenaged sons both active in school and in sports and a hubby in management, my family is pulled in all directions). I aspire to be like you in pulling my family into the business (there’s little jobs each could do. I already hired my oldest son Jeff to make my financial spreadsheets. He did a great job, and Joey could shred things! You motivate me…..Warm wishes for your continued success!!

  5. Congrats Melanie!!
    VERY VERY IMPRESSIVE AND ENCOURAGING! It gives me the continued support to go after my goals for success! My prayers of thankfulness and continued success for you and your husband!

  6. Melanie,

    You are an inspiration to me. I think that it is wonderful that you have had the success like you have. I would love to talk to you or your husband about your marketing strategies. I wish you the best and that you continue to be successful. Way to Go!


  7. Congratulations Melanie! I wish you continued success. Thank you for sharing your story. Actually, your story sounds very familiar. I wonder if Vickie identified with your circumstances. My husband would die if he had to answer the phone and make appointments because he is so shy. But he is my chauffeur when I go on marketing campaigns and he loves to see the retainer check that accompanies the medical records.

    I also second everything you said about Vickie and the Institute. My experience has been nothing but positive.

  8. I certainly agree. Business and life are adventures that are best when shared. Shared success is much more fun and rewarding than solitary success.

  9. Your testimony is amazing, Thank you! Your inspiration came at the most perfect time. Congrats on your accomplishments. I agree, this is one of the most inspiring stories I have read.
    I am in Northern California and would be honored to work with you!

    Wishes you and your husband continued Success.

  10. Hi Melanie….congratulations on your success. I have been trying to follow all I learned from the Institute but your comments have inspired me to use my husband also…I wish you continued success and hope to be sending in my success story soon!

  11. Dear Melanie,
    You’re awesome!
    I’d like to have my husband talk with your husband about what he says to attorneys. I know my husband would be a great asset to my business in marketing. He was top recruiter in the Navy more than once. He’s now retired and layed off work. Feedback would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks for your inspiring story.

  12. Wow Melanie, what an encouraging story! Did you quit your job right away after becoming certified? Are you willing to share your marketing strategies? My background is in surgery for 22 years. It would be my pleasure working with you. Congratulations and wish you continued success!

  13. This is a wonderful testament to the power of the human spirit, both yours and your husbands. I am going through my packet of information that I just received Friday and trying to work up the courage and finances to get to the seminar. I recently went through a divorce and then my employer releveled my position and I lost 20,000 a year in salary. I have 20 years of experience as a nurse and feel like I am backing up, not going forward. I am very disillusioned at this point. I hope I can make this work. I really feel it is what I am being guided to do.

  14. This is a great story. I too, would like to know what your husband says to get the initial appointment. Also, did you ever try and not get the appointments? Was just wondering if it’s a male/female thing.

    Love the stories. I, too, work with my husband. They are great office managers.

    I do NICU and IV therapy, but also have a history of working with adullts. Thanks for the story.

  15. Thanks for sharing your story. Congratulations. You worked hard, and you and your husband deserve success.

  16. Good luck to all, we can do it. Would love to hear some marketing strategies. I am newly certified, but have 30 years in nursing.

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*The opinions and statements made by Vickie Milazzo, the founder of Medical-Legal Consulting Institute, Inc. are based on her experiences and expertise, should not be applied beyond the specific context provided, and do not guaranty or project actual results. Vickie Milazzo is no longer involved in the operations or management of the business, but is involved as an independent education consultant.

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