Legal Shield is a legal plan MLM. If you're here reading this review then you're probably wondering if this company is a scam or not.
In writing this review I want to find out if Legal Shield is a pyramid scheme, a scam or a legit business opportunity for someone looking to get out of the rat race and build a new life for themselves.
You're going to see the flaws in the legal plans, the issues with the compensation plan and discover why they have so many complaints and lawsuits filed against them.
I am not a Legal Shield Associate trying to sign you up.
I’m just an honest guy on the outside looking in, doing my best to give you upfront and honest information on how to make money online when you need it.
Legal Shield Review At A Glance
Founded: 1976 but relaunched in 2011
Current CEO: Jeff Bell
Enrollment fee: $249
Overall Rank: 65/100
On the surface, being able to contact an attorney and get legal advice about any issue for as little at $17.95 a month seems like an ideal solution.
As far as the business opportunity goes, you plug into a commission structure and become an independent self-made entrepreneur – what's not to like about that?
But dig a little deeper and you'll find that all is not as good as it seems…
The truth is 99% of people who join MLMs like Legal Shield fail to make any sales and sign up recruits and end up quitting the business altogether. Of those who are too stubborn to quit, 90% of them make less than $31.25 per month
Even if you're great at sales, due to the many restrictions of the legal plans, 50% of customers cancel within 12 months which means you'll have to hand the commissions you were paid back to the company.
This is definitely not a company you want to get involved with if you're looking to make enough money to quit your full-time job.
If you're interested in turning that passion of yours into a thriving, profitable online business then check out my top-rated training program which turns complete newbies into successful online entrepreneurs.
The best part is it's free to start and there's no selling or recruiting required.
Wanna Make Money Online But Sick Of MLMs?
What Is Legal Shield?
The name change was partly due to new ownership but it also gave them an opportunity to distance themselves from the enormous amount of customer complaints and lawsuits.
The problem is there are so many disqualifications and loopholes that people paying for the plan will find it hard to actually make use of it.
Reading through them it's easy to what the common Legal Shield complaints are:
- Too many disqualifications – if you've got any pre-existing conditions, getting divorced, have a criminal record or need a document reviewing that's over 15 pages long then you're not covered and will need to pay extra.
- Inaccuracies and misspelt names on important documents like wills and user agreements.
- It sounds like you've got a lawyer on hand 24/7. In reality, the lawyer will only talk to you until he feels the subject's been covered. You are not in control.
- If a lawyer feels like they're going to lose, they will not take the case. This is not proper legal cover.
In most cases when you contact them with an issue you find out you are going to have to pay extra to have your issue resolved. It's no wonder 50% of customers cancel in the first 12 months!
Is this really something you can proudly promote to your friends and family?
What Is Legal Shield's Business Opportunity?
Watch the 4 minute Legal Shield presentation video below and you'll see a Bentley, a Ferrari, a countryside mansion, hot tubs, a home gym and movie theatre.
You'll also hear lots of big and bold claims about how much money you can earn as a Legal Shield associate…
Like any multi-level marketing (MLM) company, Legal Shield has qualifying levels you can climb if you make enough sales and sign up enough recruits:
You can view the full compensation plan here (PDF), but basically there's 4 main ways you can make money with Legal Shield:
1. Selling Legal Plans To Those Around You
You get paid 20% commission on any legal plan you sell yourself so when a customer signs up for $19.95 per month plan, you'll get paid $3.99 commissions per month.
2. Earning Team Commissions
This is where the recruiting comes in. As a Senior Associate, you can sponsor other associates into the business and make a percentage of everything they generate.
3. Renewal Bonus
If a customer chooses to renew the 12-month recurring legal plan in the first month of a new plan you earn a little extra on top of the usual commissions.
4. Extra Bonuses
Every time you sign up a new customer or recruit you earn points which can be saved and used for things like contests and promotions, special trips, discounts and deals and ‘tax advantages' (I don't know what that is but hope it's legal…!)
For more details on how you can make money with Legal Shield take a look at this:
You'll need to pay the $149 enrollment fee to become a Legal Shield associate plus any License Application fee (varies state by state) which will enable you to promote their legal plans and recruit other independent business owners under you.
You may also be encouraged to attend conferences and events at $150 a pop, plus travel expenses.
Why It's Near Impossible To Make Money With Legal Shield…
The owners at the top of the Legal Shield food chain really haven't done a good job of making this a viable business opportunity; with this MLM you've got a bad product, a bad commission structure and record-breaking refund rates.
For example, read the fine print and you'll discover if you don't make 3 sales every 3 months you don't qualify for team commissions, but worse than tat:
Fail to meet these requirements and you lose your entire team and future team commissions. The profits just get passed up the chain.
Another big problem you'll find as an associate is that when you sign up new plan customer you'll receive your 20% commissions for the full year, but nearly 50% of all plans are cancelled and refunded before the 12 months is up, meaning Legal Shields will take money back from you.
The hard truth is that hundreds of thousands of people have signed up as a Legal Shield associate only to quit after not making any money at all.
75% of associates fail to sell more than one plan.
In 2006 the New York Times ran a story on the decline of network marketing where they found Legal Shield (then known as Pre-Paid Legal) sold 500,000 plans in 2005 but they had 438,000+ associates selling those plans.
Take a look at Legal Shield's Earnings Disclosure (PDF) for 2015 (the most recent available online) and you'll see the average associate with less than 2 years' experience makes a grand total of $878 a year.
Remember this isn't including the 75% who couldn't dupe anyone into buying a Legal Shield plan.
Because this is a hard sell! And the number of legal plans being sold year on year is going down.
With this product and this commission structure, do you really expect to make any serious money?
Is Legal Shield A Pyramid Scheme?
There's a very fine line between an illegal pyramid scheme and a multi-level marketing company.
Sometimes the only difference is a slightly stronger emphasis on products vs. recruiting.
Here's a helpful definition from Wikipedia:
“A pyramid scheme is a business model that recruits members via a promise of payments or services for enrolling others into the scheme, rather than supplying investments or sale of products or services.
As recruiting multiplies, recruiting becomes quickly impossible, and most members are unable to profit; as such, pyramid schemes are unsustainable and often illegal.”
So what about Legal Shield? Is it a pyramid scheme?
Well… they are based on a multi-level marketing company structure, often referred to as a network marketing or direct sales company and they do focus heavily on recruiting others into the system.
As far as MLMs go, this is definitely not a business opportunity I would recommend because clearly, you're going to struggle to make any money at all.
Even if you keep pushing and manage to break though, you're going to be earning a measly couple of hundred dollars a year. It's a lot of stress, a lot of hassle, a lot of recruiting for very little reward.
Should You Become A Legal Shield Associate?
In my honest opinion, I would recommend you stay away from this company. You will lose money, not make it as hundreds of thousands of people have already done.
With a substandard product and a terrible compensation plan designed for failure, the odds are stacked against you.
On LegalShield.com you're told:
“It's up to you how you run your business. It's all up to you to create your own business and go after your dreams.”
But here's the deal:
As a Legal Shield associate you don't own your own business.
As we've already seen, don't meet their sales criteria in any 3 month period and your whole team is taken away from you overnight.
The big wigs at the top of the triangular-shaped structure can adjust the commission structure any time they want and there's absolutely nothing you can do about it.
This is by far the biggest deal-breaker for me – I don't want to invest all that time, energy and money into building a downline only to lose it. I won't be putting any of my eggs in that basket.
As far as my financial future is concerned, I need to own it. It should be mine to control and I'm not about to had it over to someone I've never met. This is why I started an online business.
I completely own it, I'm my own boss and the earning potential is limitless.
Oh and guess what?
There's no face to face selling required. There's no need to recruit and once you get your websites up and running, they'll generate an income for you 365 days a year.
5 years ago I was a complete newbie, didn't know anything about websites or affiliate marketing but I learned everything after accidentally stumbling across a free training course at Wealthy Affiliate.
I went from being tied to a call centre job and living at my mum's house to where I now make more than $7,000 per month and live in Thailand doing what I love.
You can read my online success story but basically, I learned how to build profitable websites based on any topic you're interested in and make money. If I can do it then you definitely can.
It's not a get rich quick scheme and as with any type of business, you'll need to put the work in upfront, but if you're seriously looking for a legit way to make money online I think you'll really like it.
Questions Or Thoughts Of Your Own?
Have you ever been a customer or Legal Shield associate? I'd love to hear your experience, good or bad! Join the conversation! : )
Do you have any questions about anything I've covered? Be sure to ask below and I'll always do all I can to help point you in the right direction.
Simon Crowe is the founder of The Make Money Online Blog and is on a mission to help as many people as possible kiss their bosses goodbye.
Get his free Affiliate Marketing Guide For Newbies to learn exactly how to build a real income online and make your dream business a reality.