When you have a legal nurse consultant job to do, it pays to communicate directly with the decision-maker, i.e., the lead attorney. At any moment in time, you need to know what the attorney is thinking about the case and where he plans to go with it.
Email can inspire Certified Legal Nurse Consultants to greatness, or it can ruin your day by overwhelming you and dragging you into territory best left for after you’ve had a strong cup of coffee.
To consult with attorneys as a legal nurse consultant you must first be able and willing to talk to them. Why am I stating the obvious? Because when first starting out in the legal nurse occupation, many registered nurses are terrified of talking to and approaching attorneys.
If you’ve never had a hospital management job as an RN you’ve probably never taken a leadership class. Yet leadership is required of every registered nurse no matter your RN job. Remember that new resident you guided to give appropriate medical orders? And the patient you educated about a chronic health condition? And that attending physician that you had to hand-lead to a correct diagnosis? Those are just a few examples of how RNs exercise leadership every day on the job.
Let’s face it. Silence can be uncomfortable. Especially when you’re in an interview with an attorney-prospect. The attorney just said, “$150/hr. sounds expensive” and you’ve replied, “My hourly fee will pay for itself with the money you’ll save on expensive MD experts.” Now you’re both sitting there quietly waiting for someone to break the silence.
One of the building blocks of your business as a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant is training your attorney-clients to give you adequate time to do justice to a medical malpractice case or any type of personal injury case. Setting a minimum fee (e.g., 20 hours minimum) sounds intuitive, but it’s not. Here are three reasons to never charge attorneys minimum legal nurse consulting fees:
In my legal nurse consulting career I’ve met attorneys who I’ve loved and attorneys who I didn’t. But one of the most important lessons I learned came from seeing two attorneys who had just been going after each other in the courtroom like two raging bulls, casually scheduling a golf game and laughing together outside the courthouse at the end of the day.
3 Questions for Certified Legal Nurse Consultants Guaranteed to Work with Attorney-Clients Every Time
The more the attorney talks, the more likely you’re going home with a case. Ask these three questions guaranteed to get attorneys talking:
The Japanese own a concept called omoiyari which is best described as a combination of empathy and active sensitivity to others. When you express omoiyari, you are anticipating the needs and desires of another person on a fine-tuned level. In Japan omoiyari is cultural, so it is also pervasive in customer service.
My housekeeper Tina speaks very little English and I speak absolutely no Vietnamese other than my daily xin chào. Despite this fact, we somehow manage to communicate through a strategy that also works for Certified Legal Nurse Consultants with attorneys. Tina and I have learned that the fewer words we exchange, the more we understand each other. The two rules we’ve developed to eliminate, or at least minimize, confusing communications are: