Is LegalShield a Scam? Legitimacy Isn’t Guaranteed!?

Welcome to our LegalShield Review!

I’m guessing someone has approached you, telling you that LegalShield is a great way of getting affordable legal protection with the opportunity of becoming your own boss at the same time…

But something is making you wonder, is LegalShield a Scam or even a Pyramid Scheme?

First off, it’s great to see that you’re doing your research before buying into any “seemingly good” product.

That is how you avoid scams and find only legitimate ways to make money online!

To be completely transparent with you, we’re not associated with LegalShield in any form. We’re not here to pitch or sell you anything.

Instead, we’re here to reveal all the details you need to know about this MLM company.  With 99% of people losing money from MLM opportunities, it’s important you don’t jump in with both feet until you have all the details. 

That way, you can ensure this is the right decision for you.

Is LegalShield a Scam?

Let’s find out…

LegalShield Review Summary

Product Name: LegalShield

Founder: Harland Stonecipher, in 1972

Product Type: Prepaid Legal Services MLM Company

Price: $99 for Associates Fee + $20/month for Legal Advantage, or $249 for Associates Fee + 1 Years Legal Advantage

Best For: People looking for affordable legal services, as well those that can market these services

Is LegalShield a Scam - Company Logo


  • No Physical Products
  • Positive Reviews
  • Unique Service That People Want


  • No One’s Making Money
  • History of Lawsuits
  • Complaints about Customer Services & Products
  • Issues With Refunds & Cancelling Membership
  • Pyramid Scheme in Disguise?

Summary: LegalShield is an MLM company that provides a variety of products, with a focus on prepaid legal services at its core.  It does boast an A+ rating on BBB and has been in operation for over 40 years.

However, the company also has many loopholes that actually make it really difficult for members to actually claim this legal protection.  They then make it really difficult for members to cancel their memberships.

When it comes to their business opportunity, the majority of associates are unable to sell any of these memberships.  This leaves the only route left to them is to recruit new associates to join their MLM program.

All of this makes LegalShield very similar to a Pyramid Scheme in Disguise!

Rating: 25/100

Recommended? No

Table of Contents

What is LegalShield?

LegalShield is a prepaid legal services MLM or Multi-Level Marketing company.  It was formerly known as Pre-Paid Legal Services before becoming LegalShield.

They claim to offer “Affordable Attorney Access & Legal Services” to consumers across 49 US states and 4 Canadian provinces.  The company is currently based in Ada, Oklahoma and have been in operation for almost 50 years.

LegalShield does hold an A+ rating with the BBB or Better Business Bureau, which you would expect from a company that has been around for so long, despite having 197 closed complaints within the last 3 years alone…

All services provided by LegalShield are on a prepaid basis, and are offered to both individuals and small businesses. We’ll get into more detail about their products later in the review…

Aside from their legal products, they also offer an opportunity for everyday people to make money working from home.

You can learn more about this opportunity with the 5-minute video below…

So, it may sound like a great opportunity, bases on that video alone…

But you’re smart enough to know that this is just a hyped up sales video, created by LegalShield.

So, you might still be wondering if LegalShield could be a Pyramid Scheme…

Is LegalShield a Pyramid Scheme?

In the strictest sense, no LegalShield is not a pyramid scheme.

They sell legitimate legal services that people can sell and in return earn a commission from the sale.

However, the reality is that the only way to make a good income from this is by recruiting people into the MLM program.

This is what makes LegalShield very similar to a Pyramid Scheme in Disguise…

What’s A Pyramid Scheme?

A pyramid scheme is a company that promises payment for recruiting more people into the company instead of having to sell any products or services.

When recruitment is the only way of making money from a company, it is a clear sign that it is operating as a pyramid scheme.

Pyramid Schemes are illegal in most countries, as it’s actually impossible for everyone within the company to make money.  The diagram from Wikipedia below shows you why it’s impossible…

pyramid scheme

Most MLM companies do have legit products or services to sell.

However, the success rate is really low with MLM companies.  The reason is that they actually make it really difficult for you to earn a decent income by just selling their products or services.  The only option is to recruit people, as it’s the only hope of making more money than you spend on running your business.

Consider this, LegalShield will cost you around $600 a year as an associate.  Yet you’ll only earn around $25 per annual membership that you sell.  That is before you consider any other costs/expenses too.

The main way to make money from their compensation plan is to recruit people to join their MLM program, this is what makes them very similar to a “pyramid scheme in disguise”.

The 5-minute video below will give you a good explanation around this…

But what do the numbers tell us, what is the success rate like at LegalShield?

Success Is Rare at LegalShield

In fact, the success rate at any MLM is pretty rare.

Did you know that between 73% and 99% of all MLM representatives lose money?

LegalShield’s income disclosure statement for 2019 shows that 73% of all associates earned less than $1,000 for the year in 2019. 

Does that sound like an opportunity that can really make you your own boss working from home or “live life in your own terms” like the sales video make it seem?

Another thing to consider is that income won’t take into account the expenses and costs associated with running this type of thing… 

We’ll go into more detail later, but for know let’s go into how it all works…

How Does LegalShield Work?

LegalShield’s main premise is that more than 57 million Americans face some kind of legal issue every year, and then there are over 60% of businesses that have also faced significant “legal events in the last three years.

Is LegalShield a Scam - Product Line

LegalShield claims to provide their clients, both individually and for small businesses, with prepaid legal services from their network of attorneys.

They don’t advertise through conventional means, as in advertising campaigns and the like.  What they do is rely on everyday people to do the advertising for them. In return for promoting their services, associates can get paid commissions and bonuses for selling their products.

It is pitched as a win-win.  As they keep their costs low, and gives people a chance of making money.

LegalShield Product Line

When it comes to their product line, for a small monthly membership fee, LegalShield will provide you with legal assistance in relation to:

  1. Landlord/Tenant
  2. Consumer Finance
  3. Traffic
  4. Estate Planning
  5. Real Estate
  6. Employment
  7. Collection
  8. Family Law
  9. Civil Litigation
  10. Criminal

LegalShield has three plans that they can provide (prices are per month and are subject to change(:

#1 Personal Plan $24.95/month

The personal plan covers the following:

  • Consultation – through letters, phone calls, document review, and trial defence
  • Document Preparation – Wills, Loan Documents, Powers of Attorney, etc.
  • Automobile – Traffic Violations, Vehicular Accidents, Insurance Claims, etc.
  • Family Matters – Divorce, Annulment, Adoption Representation, Name Change assistance, etc.
  • IRS – Tax and Auditing services

#2 Identity Theft Plans – $14.95/month

  • ID Plan – Covers you and your spouse for single credit monitoring and restoration services on top of unlimited consultations
  • ID Premium – Includes everything from the previous plan, only with triple credit monitoring, web watch, SS number skip trace, and more

#3 Small Business Plan

This plan provides legal consultation for a variety of legal issues, including…

  • Debt collection
  • Contract review and renewal
  • Trial Defence services
  • Landlord/Tenant disputes

For each of these plans, you choose from different add-ons with different ranges of prices, which you can view on their website or from one of their presentations.

Each month, you will be automatically charged from your bank account or credit card based on the plan you’re on.

Whichever plan you go with, you should know that there is a $10 enrolment fee that will be charged on your first month’s payment.

Do The Products Work?

If you go with what the LegalShield website tells you, they do offer a wide range of products and services for you to take advantage of, but that is just what they want you to think…

There have been examples of many customer complaints that describe some of the services not being made available to them.  That is because when you dig into the details (as you should always do), these services are “at the discretion of the Provider Lawyer”.  In other words, they cover you but it’s down to the lawyer if they will actually do it or not.

LegalShield - Not Full Coverage

Basically, when you look at it, and there are many other complaints similar to the screenshot above. Legal Shield only functions as a DISCOUNTED LEGAL SERVICES provider, rather than a full prepaid legal cover service.

So, depending on your specific needs, this may not actually cover what you are thinking it will.

It should also be noted that within the services provide, criminal charges and cases involving medications are not covered. There are also some family matter issues that are not covered, such as child custody for example.

I also have to question why a monthly plan would benefit people.

Identity Theft for example, there are free credit checker services that you can use to identify where issues are present.  Then, you just get in touch with the company directly and inform them.  No Need for a monthly subscription!

Also, you should know that there are many different companies out there that are selling the same stuff as LegalShield.  The most notable are…

If you’re considering the MLM business opportunity, this presents a whole lot of competition for you to compete against.  Then there is the fact that if you were to sign up to their flagship product, which is the $24.95 monthly fee for their LegalShield Legal Plan, you’ll have spent $2,994 over ten years.

If you just saved the money instead of paying for this service, you could afford a really good lawyer who can really help, rather than just get the generic advice from the LegalShield provider, and there won’t be any hidden surprises, like you have to spend more and more just to get what you though was included in the first place.

A lot of the generic stuff, could also be found on Google with the right search and that is what makes the services offered by these companies becoming more irrelevant as technology progresses…

Maybe when LegalShield first started it was a great business model, but Today not so much…

Below is a 90-second clever sales video that explains the service for you…

Haven't Made Your First $1 Yet?

Studies have shown that more than 70% of the people who want to make money online have not made their first dollar yet. So, you’re not alone!

Can You Make Money with LegalShield?

The truth is that hardly anyone is making good money with LegalShield.

The few that are able to make good money will operate as full-time sales people who are good at recruiting people into the MLM business…

Here’s the truth from their own website…

LegalShield - Income Claims

Only 1.4% of all members made any sales.  When you also work out the numbers, you can see that 0.384% of all members made over $1,000 in 2019.

Think of it another way, 299 out 300 members made less than $1,000 for the entire year!

LegalShield - Income Claims 2

When you factor in all the running costs that go with running a business, and the actual effort required to either sell these services or recruit people.  The numbers tell you that the majority of their members are actually losing money, and not earning enough income to live off…

How to Make Money with LegalShield?

LegalShield offers you three ways of making money with them…

  1. Sell memberships and earn personal commissions
  2. Recruit people into your team or downline
  3. Earn Passive income through member retention (monthly fees)

You can earn passive income through member retention via the monthly fees. They are very similar to Primerica, only with no physical products to work with and only services to sell.

Before we delve into their compensation plan, let’s first explain to you the cost of getting started with LegalShield…

Getting Started with LegalShield...

There are naturally two choices when it comes to LegalShield.   You could just be a member and avail of their prepaid services.  You won’t be selling anything here, so there won’t be any earning potential.

LegalShield’s prepaid plans are as follows:

  • Personal Plans  – $24.95 per month
  • Identity Theft Plans:
    • ID Plan – $14.95 per month
    • ID Premium – $29.95 per month
  • Small Business Plans – These plans are customised based on the business’ needs, so the price will vary depending on that

The second route is to sign up as an associate and sell their memberships to earn commissions.

Option #1 – $99 + $19.95/month

This option will cost you the initial $99 fee and then the $19.95 a month subscription for the LegalShield Advantage plus state licensing fees (varied) and includes:

  1. Associated Portal
  2. Online Training
  3. Weekly Newsletter
  4. Support Center
  5. Associate Perks
  6. Help from Sponsor, Team and Local Leaders

Option #2 – $249

This includes everything listed above in the first option, plus 12 months of LegalShield Advantage (which is a $240 value).

This second option is equal to you paying the monthly fee upfront and foregoes the $99 start up cost.

After the twelve months is up, you will then go onto the monthly subscription cost.

LegalShield Membership signup

But there is another thing to consider when it comes to costs, as they don’t just stop there…

LegalShield Monthly Costs

To “remain active” you will need to do one of two things…

  1. Maintain a LegalShield membership yourself
  2. Sell 3 memberships every 3 months (3 sales a quarter)

I mean, if you are planning on promoting LegalShield, it does make sense that you have your own membership.

Otherwise you cannot really test it out.  It’ll also come across as though you don’t believe in your own product you are promoting.  As we’ve already said it is going to be difficult enough for you to sell these memberships, as proven by the numbers.

So, you’re only option to remain active is to have your own monthly subscription.

So, the total cost for your first year will be…

  • $99
  • $19.95 x 12 months
  • $24.95 x 12 months

Minimum total for the first year expenses = $637.80

That is before you add on any additional training that LegalShield provides, or any marketing materials you may require, travel expenses, etc.

P.S. This program enabled us to Create a 4-Figure Monthly Passive Income Stream.  It’s Free to get started and costs only $49/month to go full-time!

LegalShield Compensation Plan

MLM compensation plans are complex, and I’m sure they all compete to see who has the most complicated compensation plans around.  Don’t worry, if you have already had a look at LegalShields and still can’t make head nor tail of it.

We’ll do our best to keep it simple for you…

Basically, the amount you can earn depends on the product or service that you’re selling.  For the examples below, I’ll be talking about the $39.90 per month sales.

There are 7 base levels which include:

  1. Associate
  2. Senior Associate
  3. Manager
  4. Senior Manager
  5. Director
  6. Senior Director
  7. Executive Director

The compensation works on an “advance” system, so if an associate earns $39.90 per month on membership sales, they will be paid an advance of $100.

Now, it is important to remember that all associates and upwards are charged back for membership cancellations.

As you progress through each level, your advance will increase.

A Senior Associate earns $120 per membership sale, A Director will earn $140, and so on.  You can see the figures with the chart below… 

To earn from your team, you will need to be at least a Senior Associate rank at the minimum.   These overrides start at $20 for Senior Associates and also increase depending on your rank.

As we said, their compensation plan is complex and full of advancements and bonuses.

There are plenty of ways to earn from their compensation plan, whether everyone is able to is a different matter.

Here’s the 7 ways you can earn from their compensation plan (based on selling the $39.90/month membership:

  1. Personal sales advance ($34.57 commission straight away… that’s only 8% commission for the yearly membership)
  2. Team override ($34.57 on any downline sales)
  3. Fast start qualification (double your bonuses if you earn 5 points in 30 days: A membership is worth 1 point and recruiting an associate is 2 points)
  4. Performance club bonus (5 points every month to get $150 bonus after months 3 and 6)
  5. Car bonus ($500 when you reach a certain “rank”)
  6. Residual income (keep your own membership active and receive monthly commission on anyone that continues their membership past 12 months)
  7. Contests and promotions (reward trips if you sell and recruit during these promotions)

If you’re still no nearer understanding their compensation plan, don’t worry.  This is because the MLM company wants you to be confused.  They are trying to make it out like there are so many ways you can earn, that you just join without second guessing yourself.

The bottom line is that all you need to know is that there are two ways you can earn money:

  1. Sell their memberships
  2. Recruit People

And if you took another look at the ways you can do this, 6 out of the 7 are all about rewarding you for recruiting new associates and not selling their memberships.

Their associates will typically be their biggest customer group, as they all need to maintain a membership themselves… 

If you want to know more about their compensation plan, you can check out this 9-minute video…

Tired of MLM? Check Out Our #1 Recommendation Here!

Is LegalShield a Scam?

No, LegalShield is not a scam.

They do sell a range of legitimate services and they also pay their associates like they say they do…

However, whether this is the right “opportunity” for you to “be your own boss” will be down to you…

Only you will be able to decide whether it’s right for you, but the rest of our review will help you make an informed decision…

Just to be completely transparent with you, I’m not a distributor of LegalShield, nor do I endorse LegalShield in any way.  I have researched the website, testimonials, and information available on the internet to get the details about what this program genuinely does.    I do this, as I have been caught out by a scam in the past, and am trying to help others avoid a similar fate…

What We Liked About LegalShield

Here’s what we liked about LegalShield:

#1 No Physical Products

The vast majority of MLM companies, like Isagenix, InteleTravel, Ariix, or ACN sell physical products.

Their distributors are then often expected to buy a certain amount of the products every month, just to “remain active”.

This often leads to a couple of problems… as the products are usually really expensive with an MLM, the expenses are enormous.  Then there is the other problem of where to store all this product that you have little chance of selling on…

So, as LegalShield only offer digital products, you won’t have to worry about the inventory getting out of hand…

#2 Positive LegalShield Reviews

There are some real positive reviews online about LegalShield, such as the examples below…

LegalShield Positive Reviews

If you take a look on Consumer Affairs, you’ll find a fair few 5 star reviews, so for the right people the service works…

With so many fake reviews out there, put on by associates or distributors, it’s good to know that there are some real people getting benefits from LegalShield.

#3 Unique Service That People Want

This is a big selling point when it comes to LegalShield. 

There are thousands of MLMs that exist now, and there are always new ones cropping up.

But when you inspect the details around them, most are pretty much an exact copy of what is already out there and when you think that you can buy the same products on Amazon for half the price, they make no sense.

But when it comes to legal services, some will have no idea on where to start…

So, having the convenience of someone putting this all together, may be worth more to them than having to figure it all out themselves.

What We Didn't Like About LegalShield

Here’s what we didn’t like about LegalShield:

#1 No One’s Making Money

Based on their 2019 Income Disclosure Statement, the first thing I noticed is that only 1.4% of all active members are Associates who’ve made at least one sale in 2019.

What we can’t determine is whether they have gone with membership option 1 or 2.

But according to their document, Associates who’ve been members for less than two years earned an average of $798 for 2019.

Even experienced members took at least four years to earn $1,181 on average.

So, how much is that?

Well, if you were an associate for that year, you would have earned an average of $66.50 per month and that is only to get to the average of $798.  It’s $98.41 to get to the $1,181 average.

So, 4 years of work only to earn an additional $31.91 per month!!  That’s Crazy!!

That is astonishingly low, even for an established MLM company.

If you were looking to earn a consistent monthly income, then our recommendation would be to check out affiliate marketing.

#2 LegalShield Has a History of Lawsuits

Wikipedia shows a wide array of lawsuits against LegalShield, including ones in 2001, 2004, and 2007.

In one case, a Mississippi Jury found the company and it’s founding CEO, Harland Stonecipher, guilty of deceptive advertising and misrepresenting income statements.

For a company that provides legal services, it tends to find itself in regular trouble of its own making.

#3 Complaints About Customer Service & Products

There are a surprisingly high number of complaints against LegalShield on the BBB (Better Business Bureau) page.  Most are relating to either customer service or the products themselves not covering what they thought they did.

Check out the examples below…

Like I said, the common issues are…

  • People feel like they are not getting the service they deserve or expected
  • The customer service is terrible
  • They were misled into buying something that doesn’t deliver

There are 197 closed complaints on the BBB website for LegalShield, and that is high even for an MLM company.

LegalShield BBB Profile

#4 Issues with Refunds & Cancelling Memberships

Another issue that keeps coming up is both customers and associates struggling to get a refund or even cancel their membership…

There are loads of similar complaints, which you can go through if you would like on their BBB profile page.

So, if you thought you could always try it out and then cancel your subscription if necessary, it’s not as simple as it sounds.

#5 Is LegalShield A Pyramid Scheme in Disguise?

We covered earlier, that LegalShield isn’t a true pyramid scheme.  But there is an argument that they could be operating like a pyramid scheme.  

This owes to the fact that you are not going to be able to earn a decent income just by selling their memberships alone.  The associates are earning a good income will be those that divulge in heavy recruitment of new associates into their downline.

Another example is that their compensation plan shows that 6 out of the 7 ways of getting paid is all based on how well you can recruit people.

Haven't Made Your First $1 Yet?

Studies have shown that more than 70% of the people who want to make money online have not made their first dollar yet. So, you’re not alone!

My LegalShield Review - Final Conclusion

LegalShield does offer a unique service that could interest some people.  However the number of complaints that show that the service is not the quality service they claim it is.

Discounted products do not always guarantee quality, especially when it comes to legal stuff.

When it comes to the business opportunity, I think the story gets even worse.  Based on the last few years income statements on there, there is only a $20 monthly difference between a new associate and a Senior Associate who has been doing it for 4 years.

There are much better alternatives out there to earning passive income, and LegalShield is not one of them…

How We Make Money Online

We are not fans of MLM, the business model is legit, but the success rate is extremely low (only 1%).

We prefer affiliate marketing, the reasons are simple:

  • No need to sell face to face
  • No need to recruit other people into your downline
  • You are not tied down to one MLM company
  • There are endless possibilities
  • Affiliate programs are usually free to join
  • No monthly quotas

We prefer to help people with their purchasing decisions and not push for sales or go face-to-face, we have found a way of making a passive income online and we would like to help you achieve the same thing.

Still want to stick with financial and insurance products, then that is fine you will find that there are tons of affiliate programs out there of products that work and are something people will be interested in.

But finance and insurance stuff is quite boring and technical.  Why not choose something that you are passionate about, why not find out how you could turn a hobby into a money-making business opportunity.

If you want to make money online or from home, without all the MLM stuff, then we highly recommend you read our Wealthy Affiliate review.  Find out how with the right training, you can turn your hobby into a profitable online business.

If you want to learn more, click the button below and read how we did it…

Thanks for checking out our LegalShield review.  If you have any question or comments to add, then please write them in the comments section. 😉

Sharing is Caring…


$99 + $20/month, $249

Overall Rating



  • No Physical Products
  • Positive Reviews
  • Unique Services People May Want


  • No One's Making Money
  • History of Lawsuits
  • Complaints about Customer Service/Products
  • Issues with Refunds & Cancelling Memberships
  • Pyramid Scheme in Disguise?

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