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Harland C. Stonecipher, the founder of the company, started LegalShield after a car accident in 1969. Even though the other driver was cited as being at-fault, Stonecipher was sued. He depleted his life savings trying to fight the lawsuit. He founded the Sportsman's Motor Club in 1972, which eventually became LegalShield, as it is known today.

LegalShield is an American company that sells legal service products as part of an MLM business model. The company is one of the oldest MLM businesses in the United States. It was originally branded as Sportsman's Motor Club in 1972, becoming Pre-Paid Legal services in 1976.

The company made its initial public offering in 1984. The company was bought by MidOcean Partners in 2011 and is now known as LegalShield, an individual brand of MidOcean Partners.

The company develops and sells pre-paid legal service plans through about 7,000 independent attorneys throughout the United States and Canada. The company has developed identity theft monitoring and reputation services, offered partly through a company known as Kroll, Inc. The company has three different marketing strategies.

It provides its legal services through a business-to-business marketing platform and through its MLM business operations. For employees, they are sold with a payroll deduction plan. The company also markets small business legal services.

The most renowned small business plan offered by LegalShield is known as GoSmallBiz, with former NFL star Fran Tarkenton as the spokesperson.

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The Good

  • Inexpensive Monthly Service
  • Identity Theft Products
  • Affordable for Small Companies
  • Training
  • Mobile App

Inexpensive Monthly Service

The basic legal service offered through LegalShield is relatively affordable. Depending upon a person's needs, $20/month provides access to the following legal services:

  • Advice/Consultation/Representation: A person can receive legal advice, representation at trial, will development, and other basic legal services.
  • Document Preparation: Help with residential loan paperwork, power of attorney, and other legal documents.
  • Automotive: Moving violation assistance and accident defense.
  • Family Issues and IRS: This service covers name changes, divorces, and IRS audits.

Identity Theft Products

There is also an identity theft product available, starting at around $14.95 per month. The basic plan includes the following items:

  • Coverage for spouse and member.
  • Credit Report with Score and Analysis
  • Credit Restoration Service
  • Unlimited ID Theft Consultations
  • Minor Protection
  • Single Credit Bureau Monitoring and Alert

Affordable for Small Companies

The small business protection plans are also all-encompassing. In Utah (cost depends upon location), we found that the Small Business Plan for under ten employees started at $39.00 per month and included the following: Legal consultation on unlimited matters:

  • 20 consultation calls or letters per year.
  • 5 collection letters per month
  • 20 documents reviewed per year.

Optional upgrades and larger business plans will include trial services for small businesses on a wide arrange of matters. For associates, the earnings seem promising.

As a Junior Associate, you get $25 as an advance and another $25 once you get started as a regular associate (the fast track option). In your first 30 days as an associate, you get $75 as an advance. While the startup cost is a little high in comparison to other MLM industries, our phone-in assured us that the training materials for LegalShield are substantial and useful.

Training

LegalShield offers videos on their website explaining key aspects of their process. They also provide weekly and monthly events, in addition to online and in-person training options. 

Mobile App

They offer a mobile app called Prospect by LegalShield. This app allows employees to access a variety of resources. They can calendar events, unenroll prospective clients, and send resources to prospects, etc. 

The Bad

  • Expensive Startup Kit
  • Issues with Compensation
  • Legal Issues

Expensive Startup Kit

We found that getting started with LegalShield was easy. However, the startup kit and fee of $99 is more expensive than other multi-level marketing companies. Here is what the kit includes:

  • The "Business in a Box" Associate Kit
  • Comprehensive online training program and materials.
  • Support through a sponsor and a team.
  • Online "kits" that function as your office.
  • Access to the Associate Support Center
  • Benefits Plan membership upon completion of marketing and sales requirements.

Issues with Compensation

There are two drawbacks to being a sales associate with LegalShield. When the sale happens, the associate receives an advance for the year.

If the customer cancels their year membership to LegalShield, the company will take back an appropriate amount of the advance the "unfulfilled" part of the customer's contract. Another issue with LegalShield is the various tiers of sales associates.

The compensation program rewards senior sales associates with large teams, but makes it difficult for those who are struggling to earn enough to support their business.

Legal Issues

LegalShield has had some problems in different states with its products and services that have resulted in litigation:

  • In Wyoming, LegalShield has run into problems with how it reports its compensation to sales associates (LegalShield reported them as assets, rather than liabilities).
  • In 2009, LegalShield received a letter from the FTC alleging that the company misrepresented the products and services that they sold.
  • Several lawsuits regarding similar issues happened in Missouri in the early 2000's. LegalShield won two of these cases in jury trials, but other lawsuits resulted in a settlement against LegalShield.

The Bottom Line

We would recommend LegalShield as a viable company for associates with a background in legal matters and paralegal experience based on the following:

  • There is a generous and viable source of compensation for those who can sell LegalShield's prepaid legal services in an MLM sales setup.
  • LegalShield has a fair number of leads available to sales associates.
  • Forbes has listed LegalShield as 78/100 of the best companies in America.

We also liked that LegalShield offered its services through a call center, on some occasions, guarantees some business leads for its sales associates. Also, we found that LegalShield will offer some perks and benefits for its associates, whereas in the field, other MLM providers only offer compensation and training for its sales associates. We had some concerns with LegalShield, however, mainly in the following areas:

  • If a customer cancels their prepaid service, the associate loses a certain amount of revenue paid out to them via commissions.
  • The high number of sales associates in the field makes it hard to guarantee leads as a viable source of income.

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User Reviews

Star Rating

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19 Reviews

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Guy Williams
June 18th, 2019 Clovis, CA DETAILS
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I have been with LegalShield for 20 years. The legal services provied are an incredible value for the dollar spent. As a business proposition the services are affordable and there is virtually no competition. The Identity Theft Services are the best in the industry. In additionthe company provides great customer service. The Business model is a blend of MLM and traditional Insurance. The company makes available top quality business building Web Sites and Mobile Apps . The compensation plan is generous for anyone who is willing to seriously work and be consistant. For the Associate that writes quality business the Advanced Commissions are a definite advantage. With only about a 5% market penetration there is great financial opportunity for years to come.

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Jason Jackson
May 6th, 2019 Stockton, KS DETAILS
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I have used this service time and time again and yet to be charged. From document review, traffic ticket review, and general phone counsel. Great company!!

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Taylor
May 7th, 2018 Los Angeles, CA DETAILS
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Legal Shield will never tell you that a common practice is to EXHAUST MEMBERS ON ENTIRE AREAS OF LAW INDEFINITELY WITHOUT ANY WARNINGS, GUIDELINES, DOCUMENTATION, OR INFORMATION We have been paid members for over 18 years and it is obvious that Legal Shield is great for minor questions; however, if you have an area of low that requires additional help, all they do is tell you to go hire an attorney. I think this can be done without paying for a Legal Shield Membership. Basically, members pay #legalShield, LEGAL SHIELD connects you with a providing Law Firm, ideally in your area, they ask you what the matter is about, any time you call about a new matter - if it is in the same area of law, i.e. Family Law, they can, may, and have LINKED ALL MATTERS TOGETHER AND EXHAUST YOUR MEMBERSHIP INDEFINITELY WITHOUT WARNING OR TAKING INTO ACCOUT WHAT THE MEMBER HAS TO SAY. For instance, if you have a call that is missed for some reason or another, an attorney referral who is not knowledgeable, a change of circumstances (i.e. a new matter), their phone system not working, or their internet system being down - LEGAL SHIELD WILL CONSIDER ALL OF THESE CALLS AND EXHAUST YOU FROM USING YOUR MEMBERSHIP ON ANY MATTER IN THE ENTIRE UMBRELLA OF MULTIPLE LEGAL AREAS, stating they are all related issues and therefore it is best for you to hire an attorney. I have seen them do this with CIVIL MATTERS, DOMESTIC MATTERS, FAMILY LAW MATTERS, CRIMINAL MATTERS, IT DOES NOT MATTER IF YOU ARE THE PETITIONER OR THE RESPONDENT, OR IF THE CASES ARE IN DIFFERENT COURT HOUSES, BEFOR DIFFERENT JUDGES, WITH DIFFERENT PARTIES - LEGAL SHIELD CAN AND HAS LINKED ALL MATTERS SO AS TO AVOID COVERAGE. GOOD LUCK - LS does not care about their paying members - only if you pay and do not use the membership.

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Fabian Taylor
April 9th, 2018 Richmond, VA DETAILS
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The LegalShield app gave me the opportunity to have my lease reviewed before I signed it. My attorneys found a mistake in my lease that saved me $480. I never sign anything without having my attorney review it.

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Grace Pignatello
April 2nd, 2018 Surprise, AZ DETAILS
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The LegalShield memberships have saved me and my family so much. We also are Associates. I stay at home with the kids and can easily promote my business. I have no legal experience other then talking with my lawyers. LegalShield is very easy to share. Yes, LegalShield is for you.

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Judy Anstess
May 8th, 2017

I have been a member and associate for 22 years. The absolute only problem that I have found, is that if you reside in a town, where YOUR PROVIDER LAW FIRM does not have their offices, you will get refered to another attorney, and they just don't, in my opinion, do not give the the same customer service as YOUR PRVIDER LAW FIRM. Itis like they just don't care. Our service does offer telephone councel onany subject. It that case, you will be directed to YOUR PROVIDER LAW FIRM, and not jjst some attorney that stands in for them..You do have the option to call the LEGAL SHIELD HOME OFFICE, in Ada Oklahoma and ask to be refered to a other attorny. Ypu can also ask to speak with another attorney in YOUR PROVIDER LAW FIRM'S OFFICE..I find that a good amount of members, that were not happy with what their attorney, just gave up, instead of calling the home office. The associate that signed the member up, should make that very clear when persenting the membership. Not only that, when one calls an attorney, you may not like the attorney's answer to their particular issue. The attorney is not ALWAYS GOING TO TELL YOU WHAT YOU WANT TO HERE.They follow the law. Period. This is one of the nest and most needed services around. Also, the member may say that it is't worth the price, because they haven't USED THE SERVICE..That is just silly. It is like saying "I HAVE NEVER HAD AN AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENT, SO IT IS NOT WORTH IT TO HAVE INSURANCE " For Gods sake, are you not going to carry insurance because you haven't had an accident? Of course not. BE THANKFULL THAT YOU DIDN'T HAVE AN ACCIDENT. Many large companies offer it as a BENEFIT for their employees..It is a great company, or I wouldn't have been a member and an associate for 22 years. IT IS A GREAT COMPANY

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Danielle Boileau
March 27th, 2017

Great service for such a low monthly fee!!! Have used my Law firm multiple times over the last 2.5 years. Will never give it up!!

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gary church
February 17th, 2017 Temperance, MI

I have had the membership since 1998 with incredible results and now that it is an app driven company all the better. You can get an attorney on the phone in emergencies 24/7/365, do your Will and have docs reviewed from your app. Many other great services. BTW start up fee is $99. Gary Church

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Jackie
January 19th, 2017 Ada, OK

I love this company and their products. Completely worth it!

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Joshua brooks
January 18th, 2017 Concord, NC

I have had the membership for 5 years and it helped me several times! Traffic ticket, discount on dui lawyer, reviewed contracts and found mistakes in my favor! Last yr i decided to become an associate and love it, i have had so many satisfied customers from legalshield!

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Laura Gonzales
January 17th, 2017 Kingston, PA

I've been a member of LegalShield for over 17 years. To be able to pick up the phone, talk to an attorney, and not get a bill for that is convenient. To have your college student be able to do that too is peace of mind. LegalShield is a great company to work with. There is a free on line or in person training to help you get started. There are opportunities to specialize in different markets of your choice with comprehensive training. The compensation plan is the best I have seen. There are opportunities to earn bonuses, trips, etc., on top of your commission. You work, you get paid. It's that simple.

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Lisa Jennings
January 4th, 2017 Hephzibah, GA

This is the worst company for customer service. I signed up 3 weeks ago with an Associates Membership and haven't spoken to anyone in person. If I am going to be successful, I need someone to help me. After receiving numerous emails daily and wanting extra money in order to be successful, I decided to cancel my membership. My "sponsor" told me that I didn't need to do anything to cancel my Associates Membership. I called Corporate today and was transferred from department to department. They told me that I had to cancel with Associates Services. After holding for 45 minutes, I have still not spoken to anyone to get my Associates Fee reimbursed. My feeling is that they take your Associates fee, and the rest is up to you to figure out on your own. I will not ever recommend this company for services or to future sellers. If they treat their associates like this, how do they treat their clients? I don't know anything about their services, but my experience has been so bad that I would never recommend them to anyone.

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Anthony Carter
December 26th, 2016

Legalshield is a great company and the products are awesome I will always be a member. Every time I call my provider law firm they handle my situation very professionally and go beyond their duties to help.

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Jane Lehman
November 18th, 2016

LegalShield saved me $480 from a fraudulent insurance company that had lied to me about their services. One letter from my attorney and the company cancelled my services and zeroed the balance. I will never be without this incredible service. And I will never have to go belly up again when presented with life's obstacles.

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Donny Short
October 12th, 2016 Capitol Heights, MD

LegalShield has adopted a 21st Century business model that is perfect for our time.

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Hema
March 31st, 2016 Bayside, NY

I find Legal Shield to be a very professional business Model and do use the services with much success.

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Mike Scalf
March 28th, 2016 De Pere, WI

As an associate the only draw back I have found is that to sell to businesses, offer as a company benefit or sell the CDL product you must pay to get certified, something they don't tell you from the beginning. In my area there is no one to train you so I have to travel great distances to get certified or go to the national event several days early to pay to get certified. Other than that it is a solid network marketing company with no product to stock or deliver.

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Jo-Ann
January 14th, 2016 Lexington, SC

I would never be without the service and the opportunity is truly powerful...

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P.A. Jackson
August 3rd, 2015 Wilson, NC

Excellent service! Outstanding Business Opportunity! ... with wonderful benefits for both the Service users and the Business Associates! Very affordable access to quality legal and identity theft protection services.

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