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March 6th, 2013

Legal Shield has done it once again

Harry Alford

Legal Shield was first known as PrePaid Legal and that is where this story begins. This is a story of a relationship between the National Black Chamber of Commerce and this network of top legal firms and the company’s representatives selling the services it provides. Only in America could this relationship have happened.

My first encounter with the firm was back in the early 1990’s. We were based in Indianapolis with the start of our first experiment, The Hoosier Minority Chamber of Commerce. We hired a photographer to cover one of our events. The guy went well beyond scope and demanded pay for that mistake. I told him I will accept only the pictures I requested and will pay for only that. A week later I received a demand letter from renowned local attorney Linda Pence. The matter concerned $400 and I quickly decided to pay it rather than go head to head with this fierce and reputable legal ace. After that I called the photographer and asked, "How did you get Linda Pence to represent you?" He said: "Easy! I have PrePaid Legal coverage. They have my back."

Years later I was attending a Board of Directors meeting at the US Chamber of Commerce when one of the officers approached me and said, "Harlan Stonecipher, CEO of PrePaid Legal, wants to talk to you after the board meeting." He pointed out Harlan and I approached him after the meeting. Harlan explained to me that he has a very important form of legal service for common citizens. It provides insurance like service which clients can use whenever they have a need for legal service. It is affordable and gives them the use of top notch legal firms to serve their needs. "We are successful but, still, I want to share this service with more of the Black community. Can I and you figure this out and work together?" I agreed.

Soon I had lunch with one of PrePaid Legal’s top performers, Darnell Self, who happens to be Black. We map a strategy. I would go on the road motivating their representatives and Darnell would meet the NBCC Board of Directors and present at our conferences. Before long, that developed in my speaking via DVD’s and keynoting at their annual events. I even testified before Congress (Congressional Black Caucus African American Male Initiative) about the advantages of PrePaid Legal in the Black community.

It was an easy sell for me. I was witnessing Black males and females gaining wealth through the selling of this great service. Former postal workers, unemployed, ex-offenders, etc. were now making $150,000+ per year selling this fantastic service. While the service was answering the needs of many people with problems, quandaries and other legal aspects (saving a lot of youngsters from jail for example), the representatives were being compensated well. Many had been living in poverty their whole lives but were now buying homes, sending their children to college and building long-term wealth for their families.

The NBCC started telling the world about this phenomenon. Darnell’s division of the network is called Team NuVision and it is about 90% Black. At one of their regional meetings, I keynoted before 4,000 Team NuVision representatives. I got so motivated that I declared them all to be members (gratis) of the NBCC and to put that in their Bios. They all jumped up and cheered for 8 minutes. This gave them credibility as they worked in their communities. At this time, Darnell had about 40,000 representatives in his network. Today, he has over 470,000! His representatives are based from the island of Tonga to the east coast of the United States. We put him on our Board of Directors and gave him our prestigious "Entrepreneur of the Year Award".

At this time PrePaid Legal was publicly traded. Some "short sellers" on Wall St. wanted to defame them so that their stock would lose value. The New York Post would call me and rant why I supported them. In the end even Black Enterprise wrote a very scathing and unfair article about them. We were appalled and went to "war" with these naysayers.

Soon, Harlan Stonecipher would sell his company. He sold it for $650 million! Only in America can a boy from the Ozarks turn a dream into a fortune. The company is now privately owned and is known as Legal Shield. A few weeks ago, we met with the new executives of the company, including Darnell Self, and have decided to join together and promote their new product. Before, they concentrated on personal or family service but now they also have a plan for small business owners and that excites us immensely. Stay tuned as we take it to another level serving the needs of business owners throughout our great nation!

Harry C. Alford is the co-founder, President and CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce.

4.5 / 5 (41 Votes)

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Reader Response
  • F. Mcintyre
  • July 19th, 2013 My Uncle McIntyre had me attend a Legal Shield meeting in NYC because he is located in HI...I went and got on the elevator to the meeting. And on the elevator were men, and women talking about helping others in business.The people around me were talking about success and helping others to start their business in helping others. I had no idea who they were. Then I askedwho are you??? Everyone around me laughed and I found out it was Mr. Mason!!!(the head man) I still was so clueless until the meeting started. I had no idea my interest would spike. I was a non-believer before this meeting, when others told me about the services offered. I research everything. I contacted the Team Lawyers and it's working. I just started as a Member and an Associate. I'm telling everyone about my experience. Thanks Uncle Rudy for showing me the way!! It's up to everyone to decide.

    Reader Response
  • Kelly Sherrell
  • March 11th, 2013 The first thing I really noticed when I joined Legal Shield was that it was the most professional company I had ever seen.. Now that I know many of the leaders both local and across the country, It never ceases to amaze me at the caliber of leaders we have.. unreal. Many are African Americans and also Spanish, Asian and Caucasians. such a great diversity and that is what makes us GREAT!!!

    Reader Response
  • Beverly Ranis
  • March 10th, 2013 The only limit to your opportunity here is the one you set!

    Reader Response
  • Janet Launza
  • March 9th, 2013 Thanks so much!!!

    Reader Response
  • Gat
  • March 8th, 2013 Justice for all--yay!!!

    Reader Response
  • Randy Kosht
  • March 8th, 2013 Mr. Alford, I'm happy to see a fresh endorsement by you of LegalShield; I remember your appearances in the Justice For All videos produced by PPL. Darnell Self is amazing, as are many on his team, and it was always a big event when he would come to California to inspire us. The only thing I would point out is that we've had the small business plans in place for a while, as well as group legal benefit plans for employees. I look forward to our company continuing to get better, and I thank you for your support of LegalShield. Sincerely, Randy Kosht, Coos Bay, Oregon

    Reader Response
  • Wanda Jenkins
  • March 8th, 2013 It made me very proud to read this wonderful article. Mr. Alford, I appreciate you for writing this article! I have been a member of LegalShield/Pre-Paid Legal for over 10 years and just one call to my attorney firm saved me enough money to pay for my membership for those 10 years! I also market this service to individuals/families, small business owners and CEOs and HR execs as an employee benefit and would be happy to offer this to anyone interested.

    Reader Response
  • Gary Gilbert
  • March 7th, 2013 I just want to respond about this this awesome service that Legal Shield has to offer. I have had the service for almost 6 years and as well an Associate. My brother in law has had the service for about 15 years, my whole family has the service. The service that near and dear to me is the WILL. Ive seen my own family have arguements over who was getting what after someone passed, but this is a way everyone can have one with out the excuse of the cost. I will never be without this service, everyone needs it whether they think so or not, but at some point in there life they will.

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