7 Tips for Negotiating Legal Nurse Consultant Jobs

7 Tips for Negotiating Legal Nurse Consultant Jobs

I’ve asked the Certified Legal Nurse Consultant Pros to share tips for negotiating legal nurse consultant jobs with attorneys. In this blog they share 7 tips, one of which has nothing to do with attorneys and everything to do with negotiating with family and friends.

  1. Don’t underprice yourself.
    I know how much attorneys make from the work I do on their legal nurse consultant jobs, so I stick to my $150/hour fee. Those attorneys that want my CLNC® expertise pay my fee in the blink of an eye. After winning a $6.7M settlement for his client, one plaintiff attorney said to me, “You’re worth every penny and more.”

    – Connie Chappelle, RNC, MN, ARNP, CLNC

    Nurses sometimes have a misconception of their own value and don’t charge attorneys the going rate for legal nurse consultant jobs. Remember the attorney called you because you’re the specialist in that area. Charge them for your time and your brain. You’re a certified CLNC consultant and you’re worth it!

    – Mildred Mannion, RN, BSN, CNOR, CLNC

    I work with talented, successful attorneys. They want to work with me because I’m also talented and successful, not because I’m cheap.

    – Susan Schaab, RN, BSN, CLNC

  1. Never agree to reduce your fee.
    Be firm with what you charge. Recently I was asked to reduce my fee by an expert broker service. This had never happened to me so I was a little taken back. The broker contact told me that I was the “perfect fit” for this case, but when I stated my fee she commented that my fee was high and asked if I would reduce it. My answer was simple, “This is my fee.” There are plenty of other opportunities out there, so you can afford to charge what you know you’re worth.

– Dorene Goldstein, RNC, BSN, CLNC

  1. Don’t give your work away.
    It’s all too easy to give your time away. If you do the work and do it well, bill for it. That’s what attorneys do.

– Camille Joyner, RN, CCM, CLNC

  1. Negotiate only with the attorney.
    The person hiring you is the attorney-client, so you must talk with the attorney about his expectations for the legal nurse consultant job. A paralegal who gets involved may act like everything is her decision, but failing to negotiate directly with the attorney can hurt you in the long run. For example, you don’t want the attorney coming back to you after you’ve spent 40 hours preparing a detailed chronological timeline to tell you he didn’t want a chronology.

– Dale Barnes, RN, MSN, PHN, CLNC

  1. Always obtain a letter agreement or contract with the attorney.
    New Certified Legal Nurse Consultants are often afraid to get a contract. The only time I ever had an issue with an attorney was when I didn’t get a contract. I never made that mistake again!

– Dorene Goldstein, RNC, BSN, CLNC

  1. Require payment of invoices within 30 days.
    I do equal work for plaintiff and defense firms. In the 18 years I’ve been a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant, there’s only one plaintiff attorney I had to remind to pay me. Defense firms are reimbursed by the insurance company for the CLNC consultant’s fees. If you wait for the defense to get paid you could be waiting 3-4 months for payment. That’s not okay with me. I require a retainer from the defense attorney to be sent with the medical records. I tell him that I expect the firm to pay within 30 days. I remind them they must collect from the insurance company themselves. This works. Once I had this system in place with my biggest defense client, I implemented it with all my defense attorney-clients. It has been extremely successful.

– Dale Barnes, RN, MSN, PHN, CLNC

  1. Negotiate with family and friends.
    Because you work on legal nurse consultant jobs from home, family and friends don’t think you’re really working. Have a heart to heart with them and explain that CLNC consultants work the same as anyone who works in an office. It’s best if you can set up your office with a door you can close. Let older kids know they can only interrupt you with life threatening matters. You can also come out of your office every few hours to make sure no one has been tied to a chair or stuck in the laundry hamper. With small children, nap time is a good time to do work. Getting up a few hours before they wake up in the morning, or after bedtime may be the only alternative. Of course, once kindergarten begins, then a full day at school makes CLNC work much easier. You do what you have to do to make it work. The rewards are amazing. I was able to work from home making an excellent income, while being a room mother, going on field trips, and being home for my children every day. It doesn’t get much better than that!

– Jane Hurst, RN, CLNC

Thanks to all the Certified Legal Nurse Consultant Pros for sharing how they negotiate legal nurse consultant jobs.

Success Is Yours!

P.S. Comment and share your legal nurse consulting negotiation tips.

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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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