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Become a Legal Nurse Consultant

Posted on May 25, 2019 in Uncategorized

If you are interested in two particular fields of study, such as law and nursing, have you ever considered the fact that you can merge the two? This is best shown in the career of a legal nurse consultant. Nurses who have a passion for law can use their medical background to assist in legal proceedings. If this type of career peaks your interest, read on to find out more.

Legal nurse consultants have the advantage (as well as disadvantage) of merging two different fields of study: law and medicine. As long as you have worked as a registered nurse for at least 5 years, you can choose to become a legal nurse consultant. These types of consultants are able to provide assistance to attorneys by interpreting medical documents and explaining any medical-related issues that pertain to their case. They are also able to provide their services as expert witnesses on the stand, if necessary, so these nurses are very well trained.

Being well versed in the field of medicine is absolutely a requirement for this career path. Since lawyers are not usually learned in the field of medicine, they need consultants who know the ins and outs of healthcare, especially when it comes to legal issues regarding medical insurance. As legal nurse consultants have worked as registered nurses for at least 5 years prior to their work for attorneys, they have the knowledge from their schooling and job to show they are capable of being considered the experts.

It is important to know that legal nurse consulting does not require a legal education. In this way, legal nurse consulting is very different from the work of paralegals, who are required to study law. Instead of studying law, these nurses will usually attend legal seminars, especially those related to medico-legal information.

Salaries for legal nurse consultants are usually paid by the hour, at a rate of anywhere between $100 to $250 an hour. Working in this field can be very lucrative, and although there is much to learn, you would find it difficult to combine law and medicine in a better way. The downfall that many nurses talk about is that there is not much patient interaction in this type of job. If you enjoy being around patients and helping people directly, this kind of job is probably not right for you. There are several other ways to get involved in the legal system, if that is what you want. Working with patients is more of a sidebar when it comes to legal nurse consulting.

All in all, there are several different kinds of nursing programs and fields. You can take your time figuring out which is going to be the best fit for you. Reading about nursing profiles may help you make decisions about your future career in nursing. If you are working full time and feel that you could not possibly spare any hours in the day for schooling, consider taking courses through a nursing school online. There are several options for online nursing schools, and you can choose one based on your situation and location.

Legal Assistants and Paralegals – The Future Is Bright

Posted on May 23, 2019 in Uncategorized

One of most common ways to become a legal assistant or paralegal is through a community college program that leads to an associate’s degree. Another common route; primarily for those who already have a college degree, is through a program that leads to a certification in paralegal studies.

Many legal assistants and paralegals have associate degrees in paralegal studies or a bachelor’s degree paired with a certificate in paralegal studies. Currently, a small number of schools offer bachelors’ or masters’ degrees in paralegal studies. A few employers train paralegals on the job, hiring college graduates with no legal experience or promoting experienced legal secretaries. Others have gained experience in a technical field useful to law firms, like tax preparation for tax and estate planning, criminal justice, nursing or health administration for personal injury practice.

With 250+ paralegal programs approved by the American Bar Association (ABA) and an estimated 1,000 colleges and universities, law schools and proprietary schools offering formal paralegal training programs – the field is highly represented. Although many programs don’t require ABA approval, graduating from an ABA-approved program can enhance one’s employment opportunities – it’s a credibility thing for some employers.

Program admission requirements vary greatly – from a few college credits or courses to a bachelor’s degree for others, to high school graduates, those with legal experience, passing a standardized test, to simply having a favorable personal interview.

Many legal assistant and paralegal programs include 2-year associate degree programs, 4-year bachelor degree programs and certificate programs that can take as little as a few months to complete. Most certificate programs provide intensive and specialized paralegal training for individuals who already hold college degrees. On the other hand, associate and bachelor degree programs usually combine paralegal training with courses in other academic subjects.

Obviously, the quality of paralegal training programs can vary with the higher quality programs usually including job placement services.

Courses range from introducing students to the legal applications of computers, including how to perform legal research on the Internet to more and more paralegal training programs offering internships to assist students in gaining practical experience by working for several months in the real world. Internships could be with a private law firm, the office of a public defender or attorney general, a bank, a corporate legal department, a legal aid organization or a government agency. Clearly, the experience gained is an asset when one is seeking a job after graduation and for many can lead to a job with the company they interned with.

Most employers don’t require certification but earning a voluntary certificate from a professional society does have its advantages when it comes to finding a job. The National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) has established standards for certification that requires various combinations of education and experience. Paralegals who meet their standards are eligible to take a 2-day examination, offered three times a year at one of several regional testing centers. Those who pass can then use the Certified Legal Assistant (CLA) designation. NALA also offers an advanced paralegal certification for those who want to specialize in specific areas of the law.

The Paralegal Advanced Competency Exam offers professional recognition to legal assistants and paralegals that have earned a bachelor’s degree and have at least 2 years of experience. Once they pass this test they can use the Registered Paralegal (RP) designation.

Legal assistants and paralegals must have the ability to document and present their findings and opinions to their supervising attorneys. They also need to understand legal terminology, have good research and investigative skills and be able to do legal research using a computer and the internet. They also need to stay abreast of new developments in the laws that affect their area of expertise. The most common way many legal assistants and paralegals expand their knowledge is by participating in continuing legal education seminars.

Because legal assistants and paralegals deal with the public on an ongoing basis they need to be “shining examples” of ethical standards for the legal profession. The National Association of Legal Assistants, the National Federation of Paralegal Associations and a few States have established ethical guidelines for them to follow.

Employment Outlook

Legal assistants and paralegals held about 224,000 jobs in 2004 with about 70% being employed by private law firms; most of the remainder worked for corporate legal departments and various levels of government. Within the Federal Government, the U.S. Department of Justice is the largest employer, followed by the Social Security Administration and the U.S. Department of the Treasury. A small number of paralegals own their own businesses and work as freelance legal assistants, contracting their services to attorneys or corporate legal departments.

As a whole, employment in this field is projected to grow much faster than average. The current trend of employers trying to reduce costs by hiring paralegals to perform duties formerly carried out by lawyers is expected to continue into the foreseeable future. As a result, employment opportunities are projected to grow much faster than average for the next 10 years or so.

As in all fields, compensation varies greatly due to the high number of variables but in general, salaries depend on education, training, experience, the type and size of employer and the geographic location of the job. As a whole, legal assistants and paralegals who work for large law firms or in large metropolitan areas earn more than those who work for smaller firms or in less populated regions. In addition to salary, many also receive bonuses. In mid 2004, the average salary for all legal assistants or paralegal was a tad over $39,000 per year.

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Continuing Legal Education (CLE) – Disarming a Judge’s Verbal Attack

Posted on May 21, 2019 in Uncategorized

This Continuing Legal Education for attorney-client relationships is going to show how to communicate with your client in a way that builds trust and communication quickly, effectively, and efficiently. These skills also work with hostile witnesses, judges, juries, and even your office staff.

There is a story that one attorney told me after taking one of my classes. He used the skills that I taught on one of the judges. The judge was arguing with him about a case and the attorneys lack of preparation. Being embarrassed in front of the client and court, eventually the attorney remembered some of the skills that he’d learned in the communication class.

As he tried the skills on the judge. The judge looked surprised, immediately stopped arguing and looked over at the opposing attorney and started arguing with him. The attorney goes on to tell me that he received everything that he asked from the judge and more. Even the attorney was amazed how he had calmed the judge so quickly and disarmed the judge from verbally attacking him and helping to side with his case.

How Could this Happen?

This Continuing Legal Education article will offer any attorney a giant advantage as you will have just read. Can you imagine the comments I receive when I tell people that I teach Attorney Continuing Legal Education communication skills.

Then I explain the benefits of what I teach to the attorney and client. The comments and laughing stop and now they are intrigued. Learn to build instant trust in minutes, maybe seconds and help your client to be calmer, go deeper, faster with more confidence because they are feeling understood. This communication skills series can also be helpful to build connection with clients, hostile witnesses, juries, and even your office staff.

Parts of The Skills

1. Set the Intention:

The attorney set his intention to want to understand what the judge was really wanting and not taking it personally. Before learning the skills and using them, the attorney would argue back with the judge or being scared, not say anything. By setting his intention to want to be calm and to want to understand the judge, anything the judge would say would be heard. Not as criticism. yet as what the judge would like to know. So, setting the intention before you even walk into a courtroom or your office is really important, before you start your day..

2. Set the Focus:

Another step that the attorney performed was to place the focus back on the judge. Again, easier said than done. Yet as the judge was admonishing the attorney, the attorney was calming himself by preparing to put the focus back on the judge. So instead of arguing with the judge or not saying anything, the attorney asked the judge a couple of questions.

3. The Magical Questions:

The questions were very simple. They start as: Are you wanting __________? The blank refers to the judges values or needs. So the attorney asked the judge, are you wanting authenticity of what you are hearing? Authenticity is a value that we all have. The attorney also asked, are you wanting to keep the integrity of the courts?

Again the word integrity is the value of the judge. These values are the magic words to connecting with another person, whether it be with the judge, a client, a hostile witness, or even the jury. This question template is the magic formula for connecting and building trust with other people.