Is Legal Shield A Scammy Pyramid Scheme Or Legit?

is Legal Shield a scam pyramid scheme or legit

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.

We’ve reviewed many MLMs here on the blog like Younique, ZijaNikkenWorld Ventures and Pink Zebra so let’s see how this one does.

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?

Legal Shield was founded by Harland Stonecipher in 1976.  Back then they were known as PrePaid Legal and only rebranded themselves as recently as 2011 when they were bought out by MidOcean Partners.

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.

For $19.95 a month you can buy a legal plan that claims to give you 24/7 access to top-notch legal advice and assistance for whenever you need it most. For full plan, details visit

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.

I am surprised at the sheer number of complaints on sites like Better Business Bureau and Pissed Consumer.

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.
legal shield scam complaints

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.

Making money online isn't complicated…

This video will show you exactly how to get started. Tap to watch now »

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.

legal shield review scam or legit

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?

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 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.

5 thoughts on “Is Legal Shield A Scammy Pyramid Scheme Or Legit?”

  1. Good Day sir,
    I have to say I agree with Rose above, It seems that some of your information is not accurate. I myself am a member an associate with LegalShield, I signed up as such going on 3 years ago. Now i will agree with you that the majority of associates do not make much off of being an associate, if anything at all really. In fact up until just this year (2018 at time of writing) i wasn’t making any money off of LegalShield at all, But that’s also because i was sitting on my but not trying to do anything. But once I got some hobbies that I wanted to continue to do, and I made my first commissions off of getting someone to sign up for it. And honestly, the services provided by LegalShields provider law-firms are stellar, and in my line of work that I do outside of LegalShield, its not a matter of If i end up in court but when. They also cover vehicle moving violations as part of the service, and anyone over the age of 18 with a drivers license in the US has gotten a ticket at some point in time, or will get a ticket, which does require going to court, or paying the fine. So its nice to have that coverage in all 50 US states.

    Now i will agree, the commission rates are kinda confusing, I still constantly have to go back to look up what it is for me when i make a sale, and I dont particularly like the aspect that on the Advanced Commissions, that if the member cancels before the 12th month then i have to pay back the remainder, But they do have an alternative to the Advanced commissions and that is the As-Earned. that one being that you get paid the commission rate for your level each month that the membership is paid for, for the lifetime of that membership. This is by far the safer route in the longterm to stay with because there is no chance of charge backs. But the initial commission isn’t going to be that great. it will be about $4 USD per membership (just the standard Family plan) per month rather than the roughly $35 Advanced commission. Mind you this is at the lowest level of associate. which once 6 memberships are sold, or 3 memberships and 1 recruit it bumps you up to the next level, then you keep bumping up levels as you make sales. once you hit 100 sales you are at the director level. Mind you these sales counters are permanent so once you get there your there for as long as you keep your associate status. (I want to say even if the member cancels, but I don’t have an answer for that at this time. As i haven’t had a member cancel on me yet, but its probably safe to assume that the sales counter will remain) And the way to keep your associate status active is to keep your membership active as the fee for the associate level is only 1 time. you only loose this if you cancel your membership and that’s when you loose all that you worked for, If you just go inactive, then you will still receive residuals. and as the people below you continue to produce, it will positively affect you. Even if you decided to no longer actively sell.

    Then they have the member perks, which is a service provided that offers cost discounts on a great multitude of things, be it hotel costs, phone bills and everything in between including groceries of all things. Sure you do have to use this religiously, but in doing so, it on average is able to provide up to $50 in monthly savings, which is more than enough to cover the cost of the membership. So there are ways in that even not contacting the law firms you can end up saving money just by having the membership and keeping it active.

    Now yes, granted most people will not make much money being an associate, I have to completely agree with you here, as most people are not going to go out and actually do anything. Then they will just sit and whine and complain about how they aren’t making anything, but this is because they aren’t doing anything or even trying. The thing is, if you just talk to 2 people a day about this, 5 days a week making 40 people a month, statistically at least 1 of those people will sign up as a member. I mean, even your own website business probably nets more traffic than people actually buying whatever product your offering right? but even you have to keep the site updated with relevant information. Whether or not you actually interact with people. Sales people have to talk to many people before they get that 1 yes, most of the time its going to be No’s. But you never get those yes’s if you never even try to get them. To make money takes effort. Even under regular/normal employment, you wont get paid if you don’t work. The benefit of LegalShield is that you can continue to get paid for the work you did in the past. And i think that is quite alluring. At least to me anyway, As while i’m not at the point where this is able to sustain even just my hobbies, it has the potential to, as long as I put in the effort. And it has the potential to provide for more than that, But I have to put in that effort. And that is why most people don’t succeed, because they are never willing to put in the effort.

  2. Hi Simon,
    I was pretty surprised to read your blog.
    Almost everything you wrote was factually incorrect. Any small amount of homework would have made this obvious to you. I do not work directly for LegalShield; my risk management firm offers their services because they are stellar.

    Note: Attorney Generals and former Attorney Generals actively promote LegalShield and IDShield. I’m confident they would not put their hard-earned reputations on the line if they were not completely educated on the company and product… and this article clearly demonstrates you are not.

    From commissions (You said 20%. 20% commissions is only the first 6 sales. I currently earn 40%) to retention rates (You said 50%, company average is 78%, I have coworkers at 95%), your basic “facts” are wrong.

    4.5 million individuals are covered through LegalShield and are so grateful for the service. They are educated on what it does and does not offer (you can’t take someone to court and have free representation, but you are covered if you are named in a civil lawsuit). Write good business and the membership will be used. I’ve spoken to my attorneys on at least 20 issues and was never once asked for money.

    The individual plan is $17.95 and the entire family is $19.95. You referred to Michael D. who paid $49 monthly – I’ve no idea how this happened, unless he had a small business plan… which has fabulous coverage.

    I have zero sales quotas. No inventory to buy. No one to recruit. I choose to help out my community, and the company pays me well. This is my sole income.

    Please do not slander a company without bothering to do due diligence.
    It is clear your objective is to put down legitimate companies so well-intentioned individuals will believe you and buy your product instead… unethical and ingenious.


    • Hi Rose, thank you for such a thorough and detailed response.

      I think your experience does go to show that Legal Shield can work for some people as clearly you are having great success with it. I’m happy to hear you’re achieving better than average results and your feedback is really helpful.

      My only objective is to help people avoid programs or scams that won’t make them money or even worse, put them in worse situation than when they first started. I’m not trying to be ingenuous in any way, I am merely looking at this as a business opportunity for someone with no legal background or training.

      As a UK citizen I am unaware of the local law there, are there any restrictions on promoting a legal service if you have no formal legal or financial training?

      Again, I appreciate your feedback Rose, great to hear you are doing well with this. All the best to you!

  3. Hi Simon, it’s very nice to meet a you! My name is Teresa. I really enjoyed reading some of your great content and advice! I can’t believe a so called “legal website” is out here scamming people, it’s so sad. This proves to me, that some people will do anything to scam money from unsuspecting, honest people trying to make an income from online. Great share and post! I look forward to reading more of your posts. Cheers,

    • Hi Teresa, thanks for checking out Legal Shield review.

       I’m not sure they’re a scam exactly but they do make it as difficult as possible to claim their services. I read complaints from people who have been paying their monthly subscriptions for years and then the one time they need help they couldn’t it, realised how substandard the packages are and walked away.

      It’s all those hundreds of thousands of people who have joined the compay with the hope of starting their own business that I feel for. I think they could do a better job at setting realistic expectations about the work involved to be successful at this.


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