Founded | 1972
Headquarters | Ada, Oklahoma
Top Executive | Warren Schlichting, CEO
Products | Legal Services
Finding the balance of honoring and evolving is every legacy organization’s greatest challenge. With five decades of service to its name, LegalShield has found it, celebrating the essential legal services it’s given to more than 1.8 million members (4.5 million individuals) and finding new, innovative ways to serve them. With a new corporate brand, a newly appointed CEO and an exciting new vision, LegalShield has built fresh momentum for the next 50 years.
Access for All
Since its inception, Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. (PPLSI) has been dedicated to breaking barriers in the American legal system and providing support for those who need it most. The company launched this mission in 1972 by offering legal services related to vehicle accidents, in a time where legal services were cost-prohibitive for the average American household. But LegalShield Chief Executive Officer Warren Schlichting reminds us that most basic legal services still aren’t accessible to most consumers.
“We sell something people really need: affordable access to the full representation of their rights,” he explained. “Here’s just a couple of common struggles: a staggering 65 percent of individuals in the U.S. lack a basic will. In this country, 70 percent of credit collection cases end in default due to lack of legal representation, and countless couples and families face important decisions without the guidance of an attorney. LegalShield can address these and many more issues for about a dollar a day.”
PPLSI is the parent company of two unique brands: LegalShield, which offers pre-paid legal service plans for individuals, families and small businesses and IDShield, offering privacy management services. Today, the company is home to approximately 650 corporate team members, 6,000 partner lawyers and a national field of 250,000 active associates, all working together to ensure that every day Americans can afford access to legal services.
“We recognize that the legal system can be complex and intimidating, leading many people to avoid seeking legal assistance due to cost and perceived inaccessibility,” explained Warren. “Our mission is to collaborate with technology and our partner lawyers to demonstrate that LegalShield offers a superior, more accessible path to legal solutions, just like Windows or the MacOS make computers accessible and easy to use for hundreds of millions.”
LegalShield’s prepaid plans start at $24.95 per month for individuals and families with a suite of additional plan add-ons so consumers can customize the legal services they need. For small businesses, plans start at $49 per month, or aspiring entrepreneurs can work with LegalShield to help them start new businesses.
Powerful Stories, Exceptional Results
Warren joined the company in December 2022, eager to bring his deep C-Level experience to the direct sales industry—a new frontier for the seasoned executive.
“What attracted me was LegalShield’s Net Promoter Score (NPS),” he explained. “The company had an NPS score that was up there with Starbucks and Southwest Airlines. This was an NPS score that was multiples of any of the best NPS score I’d ever had in the past. And I fell in love with the mission—I have never experienced such a mission-based culture.”
One of his biggest tasks when he took the helm of LegalShield was achieving the balance of honoring all that the company had become over five decades in business and identifying areas where it could grow. The latter is Warren’s specialty.
“I’m the guy with the adjustable wrench in the belt,” he laughed. “I like fixing stuff, so if it’s not broken, then you probably shouldn’t bring me to the party.”
Warren’s focus is making sure that all four of the company’s sales channels are firing on all cylinders. From the beginning, LegalShield has embraced different sales strategies to connect with its consumer audience. In the 1980s, founder Harland Stonecipher adopted direct selling as a tool to engage people through transformative stories and relationship building. By the 2010s, LegalShield had added a direct-to-consumer channel to the business. Today, the company works through four sales channels: business-to-business; direct-to-consumer; direct selling; and Primerica, a white label product.
“There’s a renewed sense of moving forward,” Warren shared. “We’ve gotten three out of four of our channels growing at the same time, and I want all of them to grow at the same time.”
While new to the direct sales industry, Warren recognizes the incredible power of stories and has been immersing himself in associate and customer stories since he stepped into LegalShield’s top leadership role. Just as founder Harland Stonecipher’s own story of needing affordable, accessible legal services served as the foundation of what the company would become, today’s associate stories continue to make a powerful impact.
“Our network associates are an amazing asset,” Warren shared. “Through their narratives, we can share with prospects the true impact LegalShield can have on one’s life. These stories—told person to person—showcase the power of our mission and demonstrate our unwavering commitment to making a positive difference.”
Warren believes the mission and profound impact LegalShield makes in people’s lives are compelling differentiators for prospective associates, but the differences don’t stop there. Attractive incentives, rewarding compensation and invaluable mentorship also draw new prospects to the company.
“I was just blown away by the opportunity,” he said. “They are so many people who wouldn’t have had this opportunity if they’d gone and tried to get a job at a big bank or a consulting firm, and yet they’re making really nice incomes—some of them extraordinary incomes. If you want to work; if you’re willing to be mentored and listen and be coached, you can do extraordinarily well. I love that piece. It’s democratic. It’s diverse. It’s America.”
Legacy Mission, Inspired Vision
Armed with an adjustable wrench, a listening ear and a collaborative vision, Warren is excited to be telling the next chapter of LegalShield’s story.
“Our vision is to revolutionize how the law is accessed and experienced by selling remarkable products that truly make a difference in people’s lives,” he shared. “With an unwavering commitment to innovation, we will continue to push boundaries; leverage technology; and deliver unparalleled legal solutions to meet the evolving needs of our customers.”
With exciting associate events, training and incentive opportunities on deck for this year, along with enhanced technology and innovative solutions in development, Warren is confident that LegalShield will remain at the forefront as both a business opportunity and consumer partner.
“With a clear plan taking shape and a focus on our customers, we are poised for great progress,” shared Warren. “Our mission serves as the foundation for everything we do, unlocking countless opportunities for our network associates. As we continue to forge ahead, supported by our community of members and partners, there is so much to look forward to. LegalShield is thriving, and our collective efforts are driving us towards a future filled with success and fulfillment.”
From the September 2023 issue of Direct Selling News magazine.