Once again here amidst a snowstorm, I am thankful that I am a legal nurse consultant who can work in the comfort of my own home office by the fireplace and even in my pajamas at this early hour. When the children are home from school on days like this, if they get ill or have appointments, I have the flexibility to schedule my working hours to meet those needs. Can you do that working in an office? I think not.
Much of my workload comes from subcontracting, mostly because I love the flexibility it gives me. I can work as many cases as I want, and I can say no if I need a break or want to go on vacation. I also make a better wage than if I worked in a office.
If you are truly committed to becoming a successful legal nurse consultant, subcontracting is a great place to get your feet wet. You do this through networking with other LNCs who belong to national and chapter associations. This is great free marketing. I was asked to speak at an association event last year, and as a result, I now have a well-established working relationship subcontracting for an experienced LNC.
Subcontracting for seasoned LNCs is advantageous, because they have already established rapports with many attorney clients. They also handle a variety of cases, which is a great resume builder. Think of established LNCs as invaluable mentors — often times they will take care of communicating directly with the attorney, an aspect of the work that you may not initially feel comfortable with, or they might coach you if you are asked to speak with the attorney yourself.
Subcontracting also gives you the opportunity to work on cases in consulting areas that you might not have previously considered. For instance, I get calls weekly to work up cases in areas of medical malpractice, personal injury, products liability, and will probate (i.e. cases where wills are contested due to potential dementia at the end of the deceased person’s life).
When I work for other LNCs, I usually ask for advice for how to best meet their attorney-client wants. For example, in medical malpractice cases that are very detail-oriented, there may be timelines that attorney clients prefer you use. These can be as simple as a word document or more expensive software like CaseMap® (a great timeline resource once you learn the program).
The key to keep legal nurses calling you back for subcontracting work is Excellent communication, meeting deadlines, performing quality work, loyalty and maintaining confidentiality are key to maintaining kosher relationships with the LNCs for whom you are subcontracting. While you may subcontract for more than one LNC, always maintain the professionalism that you would for any other attorney client.