IT'S ALL FREE! LNC Listserves

Need an expert? Trying to locate standards of care from 2008? Don't know an abbreviation? Want to keep up-to-date on legislation impacting legal nurse consulting? Listserves are wonderful resources for new legal nurse consultants to help with all these issues and more.

What is a listserve? It's an automated email that broadcasts messages to its members. Some listserves are also used for networking. Joining a listserve can be a good way to get to know some of the listserve members, to help others solve problems and to be helped with your own LNC problems. 

I belong to several listserves but the one that I recommend for new LNCs is LNCExchange. It charges a small annual fee, and its membership includes LNCs of all experience levels. The moderators take an active role in keeping the listserve professional and meaningful to legal nurse consultants. When you sign up, you can tell the moderators that you learned about LNCExchange at Other listserves can be found at Yahoo Groups or by Googling legal nurse listserves.

Listserves have there own set of social rules. Each listserve is different but listserve etiquette includes the following suggestions:

* Introduce yourself. When you first join a listserve, provide other members with a brief description of your professional experience.

* Remember to provide your name when you post a message.  When you sign your email, use your name, credentials, and other information that you want to include such as your address or website. Be sure that your email address is professional or at least neutral; this is no place for

* It's OK to lurk. When referring to listserves, lurking means that you read the listserve's posts without posting anything yourself. At some point, you might want to post messages but lurking for awhile is OK too.

* Check the archives and files. If you have a question, check the listserve's archives and files first. The answer to your question might be there. For example, if you want to know the differences in LNC certifications, the answer is in the archives. Some topics, such as Marketing your new business, have been extensively discussed. You'll not only find information in the archives about marketing but also several files on the subject.

* Stick to topics of interest to the group. For example, invitations to local, regional, or national meetings which pertain to legal nurse consulting are of interest to the group; invitations to the JazzFest your firm is sponsoring may not be.

* It's OK to disagree but don't flame other members. Courteously recognize the other point of view and then present your own.

* Don't clog up the listserve with sentiments such as "Thank you," or "I agree".  Send these types of comments directly to the poster instead of to the listserve. This helps to keep the listserve emails to a manageable size.

* Consider using the email digest feature. If you don't want to get an email every time a member posts, use the digest feature. Instead of getting an email each time a members posts a message, you'll get one or two a day containing all the postings for that time period. An added benefit is that the emails are grouped by topic.

* Use a descriptive subject line when you post. This helps members decide whether to read the email or not. And yes, it's OK to skip reading posts that don't interest you.

* Send an email thank you to those who have helped you. Be courteous and thank other listserve members who have responded to your requests.

* Don't be self-serving. Many listserves can't be used for sales of commercial products or to advocate for political or social issues.

Many listserves are private, meaning that email messages aren't searchable by Google or other search engines. But be aware that your posts can be forwarded or used against you. For example, if you request help on a topic and then testify as an expert on that topic, you are opening yourself up to a challenge of your expertise. Even though listserves are private, their members can do whatever they want with the information contained in the messages. That includes using your own words against you.

...Katy Jones