In 1987, Pre-Paid Legal made a major shift in its legal services. Instead of offering an open plan, in which consumers could select their own lawyers, the company began selling only closed plans in which clients had to choose from a network of lawyers created by Pre-Paid Legal. The providers' lawyers received a fee for each client in their area. Pre-Paid Legal continued to honor open plans signed before 1987, but these gradually declined over time.
By 1997, around 85 percent of the Pre-Paid Legal business involved closed contracts. In October 1986, Prepaid Legal switched from using the NASDAQ to the United States Stock Exchange. The modern era of prepaid legal services in the United States began in 1971 in Shreveport, Louisiana, with the General Contractors Association providing limited legal services to union members. Two years later, the company partnered with a public accounting firm to launch its Tax and Financial Services Plan, designed to help Prepaid Legal sales associates receive the legal advice needed to prepare their state and federal income tax forms.
Despite barely surviving by the late 1980s, several other firms had entered the rapidly growing legal insurance field. With more lawyers graduating from law school and the rising costs of consulting with lawyers, Pre-Paid Legal offers plans based on monthly payments similar to insurance for medical care or car accidents. The American Institute for Prepaid Legal Services, based in Chicago, represented the country's various plans. Between 1899 and 1910, the Physicians' Defense Company offered doctors prepaid legal protection against malpractice lawsuits.
LegalShield (formerly known as Prepaid Legal Services or simply Prepaid Legal) is an American company that sells legal services products directly to consumers through employer groups and through multi-level marketing in the United States and Canada. Prepaid Legal was also developing a cooperative marketing strategy in which insurance companies and other service companies would use their established agents to offer the various legal prepaid plans in addition to their usual policies. Pre-Paid Legal is the only public corporation in the country dedicated entirely to developing and commercializing prepaid legal services. It was founded by Harland Stonecipher in Ada, Oklahoma as an automobile service club that offered reimbursement of legal expenses.
The Columbus law firm of Maguire, Vivyan and Schneider was the only law firm in Ohio authorized to provide legal services to Prepaid Legal clients. Other firms that used direct mail to promote legal insurance were Hyatt Legal Services and Jacoby & Meyers. Pre-Paid Legal is a publicly traded company on the US Stock Exchange with a stock symbol of PPD. It is one of the leading providers of prepaid legal services in America and has been providing quality legal advice since 1971. The company offers a variety of plans that allow customers to pay a monthly fee for access to a network of attorneys who can provide advice on a variety of topics such as tax preparation, estate planning, contract review, and more. Pre-Paid Legal's prepaid legal services are an excellent way for individuals and businesses alike to access quality legal advice without breaking the bank. With its stock symbol of PPD on the US Stock Exchange, Pre-Paid Legal is an easy way for investors to get involved with this growing industry.