Freedom, independence, the time to do the things you love to do... These things are sought after today more than ever because everyone knows, the traditional career path is not what it used to be. But freedom and independence do not come without effort. In this Legal Shield review I’ll talk about their plan to you get there, and whether or not it’s any good.
Please note, I am not a member or an affiliate for Legal Shield. This review has been researched with information and/or testimonials that are available online in the public domain. Any recommendations and/or conclusions are strictly opinions and may not apply to, or agree with, all persons or situations. See full disclaimer for more info
What Is Legal Shield?
Legal Shield is a multi-level-marketing company (MLM) that provides legal services, such as trial defense, legal advice and document preparation.
They’ve been around a long time, in fact… long before they were Legal Shield. Prior to becoming Legal Shield in 2011, founder Harland Stonecipher, as far back as 1969, began thinking of ways to bring affordable legal care to the masses.
In 1972 what is now known as Legal Shield, began as a sportsman’s club until it was bought out by Prepaid Legal Services in 1976.
In 1983 Prepaid Legal Services adopted the MLM (or pyramid style marketing) approach that it's known for today.
MidOcean Partners purchased Prepaid Legal in 2011 and in September of that year, they became Legal Shield. They also own ID Shield which I'll explain more about below (and share a couple ID Shield Reviews).
Who Is Legal Shield For?
Legal Shield, as an opportunity, is generally for people who are good at multi-level marketing and sales. It's best for those with an outgoing personality and the gift of gab.
Having access to an existing network of people is also helpful.
But MLM's are not for everyone. Thought to be scams or pyramid schemes by many, the stigma of multi-level-marketing can be difficult for some people to overcome. And if you don't enjoy sales and recruiting, sustaining your enthusiasm will be challenging.
If MLM's are not for you, you can also make money doing things like online surveys with sites like surveyjunkie.com, or watching videos, searching the web, and visiting websites with sites like inboxdollars.com.
These of course can't provide anything close to a full-time income, but for a little extra spending money or simply a first-step into the world of making money from home, they are a simple option.
If you're more serious about creating an "at-home lifestyle", starting an online business may be what you're looking for.
Making money from home might even be something you need because of health, children at home or just a desperate need to escape the rat race. There are countless opportunities out there today, Legal Shield being one of them.
If an online business is what you want though, then a starting point is what you're going to need in order to get what you want.
What is The Legal Shield Scam Pyramid?
If you join Legal Shield, the two questions you’ll probably hear the most are “is it a scam?”, or “is it a pyramid scheme?”
For the first question, the answer is no… it’s not a scam. Unlike some shadier MLM type schemes like 30-Day Success Formula and Impact Mailing Club... Legal Shield is a legit company with a real product.
Having said that, the way in which some Legal Shield consultants market or sell the opportunity, may be a scam.
A scam is defined as being dishonest to gain someone’s trust and their money. So, although Legal Shield is not a scam, someone who lies to you about the income potential and the effort it takes to achieve it, would be trying to scam you.
To be very clear, I'm talking about individual consultants, not Legal Shield. Legal Shield would NOT encourage or condone these activities.
I'll share an example...
I used to work for a multi-level-marketing life insurance company. Our leads would primarily come from extended benefit cards that union members could request by filling out a card and sending it in.
As agents, it was our job to follow up with these members and book appointments to discuss life insurance options.
When I was starting out and sitting in on these appointments to learn, I witnessed one of the higher-paid agents "manipulating the truth" about what they were getting with their policy, as well as "white lies" to gain credibility by claiming they had just had lunch with their local union rep.
In truth, they didn't even know who the union rep was, nor did they care.
Needless to say, I didn't last at this company for very long. I was a lot younger (and flat broke) at the time so I didn't know how to handle the situation, but looking back... what that agent was doing could be considered a scam.
In fact, this seemed to be the culture among the well-connected and successful agents in that office.
BUT... that does NOT mean the insurance company was a scam. I'm pretty sure if they knew what was going on in that office, they'd have a serious problem with it.
Similarly, the potential exists that you may run into individual consultants at Legal Shield who may stretch the truth to gain sales or recruits, but that behavior is not representative of Legal Shield's policies. It's not something they encourage or condone.
And this applies to any MLM, or any company who sells products with a lot of fine print the sales person can gloss over.
So, a little common sense here goes a long way and the fact you’re reading this review and doing research makes it clear that you’re not buying into the hype.
The second question, “is it a pyramid scheme” is a little tougher to answer.
Most people involved in multi-level-marketing will swear on their lives that their MLM company is not a pyramid scheme. They’ll have a dozen or more reasons to explain why, and usually... from a legal standpoint... they'll be right.
In practice however, if you’re recruiting people, and those people are recruiting people, and so on… you will end up with a pyramid of people in which money flows up.
The main thing that differentiates a legal pyramid from an illegal one, is that the legal one sells real products and services (which Legal Shield does).
So, according to the law… Legal Shield is not a pyramid scheme. Your personal definition of a pyramid scheme may be different, but to call this a scam pyramid, or a scheme, would be false.
Legal Shield is legit.
When it comes to MLM’s, it’s all about recruiting and creating a passive income. Legal Shield is no different.
Sure, many will talk the talk about retail sales and how important real products are, but the big money is made by recruiting more members. By leveraging your downline.
You (and 7 plus other billion people) are limited by the hours in a day… but you can multiply those hours through the efforts of others.
Before that happens however, there is a cost to getting started.
Option #1 - $99.00 (plus $20.00/month for Legal Shield Advantage)
This option includes,
- Associate Portal
- Online Training
- Weekly Newsletter
- Support Center
- Associate Perks
- Help From Sponsor, Team and Local Leaders
Option #2 - $249.00
Option two includes everything from option one, plus 12 months of Legal Shield Advantage (a $240.00 value). Basically, with option two you are paying your monthly fee up front (for one year) and foregoing the $99.00 start-up cost.
And, since MLM’s rely heavily on face to face sales and home parties/presentations, you may want to factor in expenses such as fuel, parking and clothing.
If that's more than you'd like to spend at the moment, you can do other things to make extra spending money or even help you save for Legal Shield's start-up fees. Online surveys with sites like surveyjunkie.com are easy (and free) to join as and will pay you for your opinion. Other sites like inboxdollars.com are also free to join and pay you for doing tasks online that you do anyway like surfing the web, visiting websites and watching videos.
If money is currently a challenge but a full-time income from home is what you want due to medical issues, young ones at home maybe, or no jobs available, getting started for free is what you need in order to get what you want.
Legal Shield Advantage
The monthly fee (if you choose option #1) is for a package of business tools called Legal Shield Advantage. This package includes,
- Personalized Professional Websites
- Enhanced Associate Portal
- Lead/Contact Management System
- FranklinCovey® Personal Development Courses
- Branded Professional Communications
- Contests and Incentives
Legal Shield Compensation
Now that you’ve spent your money, it’s time to earn it back. The compensation works like this.
There are three ways to get paid.
- Selling memberships and earning personal commissions.
- Recruiting others and building a team. These sales (new start ups) are called overrides.
- You earn passive income through member retention (monthly fees).
The amount you earn is dependent on the product or service you are selling, but for this example (and the example Legal Shield uses in their presentation) the compensation plan is based on a $39.90 per month sale.
There are 7 base levels which include,
- Senior Associate
- Senior Manager
- Senior Director
- Executive Director
The compensation works on an “advance” system. So… as an Associate making a $39.90 (per month) membership sale, you will be paid an advance of $100.00. It’s important to note, that you can be charged back for membership cancelations.
The fine print states, “Commission amounts shown represent a one-year advance. If a membership cancels during the advance period, you will be charged back against future commission advances.”
As you progress from Associate to Senior Associate, your advances get larger. A Senior Associate earns $120 per membership sale. A Director earns $140 and so on… (see chart below)
In addition, as your team grows, a Senior Associate earns overrides which start at $20 and go up to $50 as shown below.
Like most MLM’s there is a complex web of advancements and bonuses. There is a Performance Club Bonus points system where you can earn special recognition and a pat on the back, all the way up to monthly BMW payments.
They also provide trips, contests and promotions.
If you’ve been to an MLM presentation before, you’ve probably seen them draw circles on white boards and fill them with dollar signs ($$$). It looks good... in theory... but there’s a big reason MLM’s have such high failure rates.
The simple truth is that most people do not like selling, and they don’t like recruiting. Those who can do it comfortably (while dealing with mountains of rejection), are very rare, and if that's not you... it's going to be tough.
It’s not that you can’t succeed, but doing something you don’t like doing (no matter what it is) is always a struggle, and that's why very few people earn money with multi-level-marketing.
Don't Like Recruiting?
Check out my number one recommendation. Learn how to earn from home without ever having to sell or recruit a single person.
Legal Shield Products and Services
You may already be familiar with Legal Shield products and services. With individual plans starting at $17.95 per month, you can gain access to services such as,
- Coverage for single adults without dependents
- Legal Advice / Counsel
- Letters / Phone Calls On Your Behalf
- Legal Document Review
- Trial Defense
Family plans with similar services start at $19.95.
With both of these plans you can add on home business and trial defense supplements.
Legal Shield also offers ID Shield, which is a service that helps prevent identity theft, and restore it (your identity) if needed. It's available for individuals ($9.95/month) and families ($19.95/month). The ID Shield service includes,
- Coverage for you, your spouse/partner, and up to 8 dependent children (family plan)
- Complete Identity Monitoring
- Unlimited Consultation
- Identity Restoration
- $5 Million Service Guarantee
- IDShield Vault Password Manager
- Child Monitoring (family plan)
Legal Shield Reviews
Like most products, you’ll be able to find both positive and negative reviews online. The complexity of legal services complicates this issue even more.
For example, in the following review you can read why one customer became frustrated with Legal Shield’s service. And, you can also see Legal Shield’s side of the story.
The above review is a great example of why it's important to fully understand what you're buying. It doesn't mean that Legal Shield is bad, just that every product has limitations (and you should be aware of what they are).
Other reviews range from great to not so great (examples below), so at best I’d call this a buyer beware product. Unfortunately, Legal Shield is not a product you can pull out of a box, try it out and decide whether or not it was worth the money.
By the time you ever do need it (which could be years from now) you may have spent hundreds, or even thousands of dollars.
If you buy a Legal Shield membership, my recommendation would be to read the fine print twice. If you decide to join and sell Legal Shield, make sure you do your homework so you're fully aware of the product you’re selling.
ID Shield Reviews
Like the Legal Shield reviews above, the Identity Theft reviews come in both positive and negative flavors. Again, I’ve yet to come across a product (of any kind) that makes everyone happy.
The big issue with IDshield, like Legal Shield, is that it’s an insurance type product that you’re paying for (monthly) before you need it. And hopefully, you never need it.
But, it is possible to spend a significant amount of money before you can actually put the product to the test. Here are some ID Shield reviews. (below)
What I Like About Legal Shield
- Start-up costs are relatively inexpensive when compared to some other MLM’s.
- They provide a unique product/service and... unlike some home-based businesses that sell cosmetics, jewelry or clothing… you won’t have as much competition.
- This is not a physical product, which means there are no inventories, no shipping costs or logistical challenges such as stocking levels and deliveries.
What I Don’t Like
- Legal Shield (when they were still Pre-Paid Legal) has a history of lawsuits against them for deceptive advertising and misrepresenting income statements. In one example “A Mississippi jury last week found both the company and its founding CEO, Harland Stonecipher, guilty of fraud and deceptive advertising, according to plaintiffs' attorney Doug Minor.” These are older lawsuits which have been dealt with (either through appeal or settlement) but you should be aware of them if you decide to represent Legal Shield as an associate.
- Like all MLM’s, you shouldn’t mistake this for being “your business”. Although you can choose your own hours, your income is still dependent on a single company and brand. You are under contract with Legal Shield and bound by their rules and restrictions, and… if you leave, your sales and organization (downline) which you worked so hard to build are left behind and belong to the company (similar to leaving your job).
- You may have Legal Shield coverage, but being an insurance type product, you may be selling something you haven’t yet tried yourself (or at least haven't made a claim before). Again, this is not unique to Legal Shield, it applies to every company who sells an insurance product and it's the nature of the industry, not a critique of any particular company.
Where Do You Go From Here?
As I mentioned earlier, your success with Legal Shield will be determined by your ability to sell, and whether you enjoy it.
There’s a lot of talk about passive income, but in truth, few people (if any) who succeed at multi-level-marketing get to kick back and do nothing. Even those at the top must consistently motivate their organization and bring in new people to maintain their income.
So you must enjoy it… and if you do, Legal Shield is certainly worth considering. The fact that you’re not dealing with physical products is a huge benefit. It means you’re not dragging a trunk full of inventory around to presentations, and you’re not dealing with logistics… which frees up your time to focus on selling.
If you hate recruiting though, you’re probably not going to enjoy this opportunity and as a result, you’ll have difficulty with it. I'm not saying you can't learn to enjoy it, but that's something you'll only learn about yourself from doing it.
If MLM's are not your thing (it's okay, they're not my thing either), you will probably do better with something like an online business where sales and recruiting are not involved.
You won't get rich doing surveys of course, but for a lot people, a little extra spending money is all they need.
Still, as mentioned earlier - if you need to make money from home because of health challenges, little ones to look after or a soft job market, starting sooner rather than later is what you want, and a place to begin is what you need in order to get what you want.
I hope this Legal Shield review was helpful, and if you have any questions or comments… or even a review of your own, please share it in the comments section below.
How To Earn Passive Income if MLM's Are NOT For You
MLM's are great opportunities for the right kind of person. I went down that path as well, but discovered it wasn't for me.
If MLM's are not your thing either, you can click HERE to learn the exact formula I used to earn an income from home.