Kalon Goodrich, Regional Manager of LegalShield on Vancouver Island, agreed to meet with our marketing coordinator, Shana Watson, to educate her on the benefits of becoming a LegalShield member.
Kalon, how did you become involved with LegalShield and become the Regional Manager for Vancouver Island?
Seven years ago, I was working as a real estate investor. I had rarely worked with lawyers; like most people, I tried to keep those types of interactions to a minimum. There were times of course when I had tenant issues, contractor and vendor issues, contracts to review and situations where advice from a lawyer could have helped, but I didn’t contact them, primarily because of cost.
When I learned what LegalShield does, as far as providing a breadth of legal services for a low monthly fee, I thought it was an intriguing concept. I was definitely skeptical, but figured I would give it a shot, and bought a membership. Pretty quickly, I was impressed with how having open access to lawyers and their guidance helped me to make better business decisions. I felt protected, and my business and assets were better protected. To have this open access to legal services without the worry of getting a bill was powerful.
LegalShield worked the way it was promised and I soon realized that everyone could benefit from the service. It was this desire to assist other business owners that drove me to be part of LegalShield as an associate. I was later asked to become the Regional Manager by the BC Leadership Team, where my job is to support the other LegalShield associates on Vancouver Island, and host events to raise awareness.
What kind of events do you have that raise awareness?
Networking events, luncheons, conference calls and business briefings that describe what we do. We have ongoing professional development and training for our associates and larger corporate events on the mainland, to keep current, educated and connected, just like you’d want your doctor to be.
Did having LegalShield change your original perception of working with lawyers?
Absolutely. Previously, I did what most people do, which is whatever I could to NOT work with lawyers. Now, since becoming a member, I’ve used the service over 100 times, on issues that range from the trivial to the traumatic, because I can. What I learned is that when we don’t have to worry about the cost, we’re finally able to be proactive and preventive, rather than reactive and defensive, which can be expensive. That’s why our tag line is, “Worry Less, Live More” – because of the protection, peace of mind and savings that LegalShield provides. In other words, it’s better to have it and not need it, then to not have it and need it.
The most important aspect of what we do, though, is why we do it. Sadly, in North America we have a major problem in terms of access to justice. A Canadian Bar Association report said that “The state of access to justice in Canada is abysmal and getting worse.”
Our Charter of Rights and Freedoms gives us rights, but economics takes them away. Then, if you don’t know your rights, you don’t have any. LegalShield addresses that, through our vision of “Providing equal access to the liberty, equality, opportunity and justice that every North American deserves and expects.”
This protection is for individuals as well as small businesses?
Yes. We are a 43 year old company, providing affordable legal and identity theft protection and restoration to millions of members, including 47,000 businesses. We have plans that are designed specifically for individuals, families, businesses up to 100 employees, and as an employee benefit for businesses of virtually any size.
Most business owners go into business because they have passion or skill in a specific area, but rarely are they experts in the legalities that affect them. They have collections issues, hiring and firing questions, contracts to review, and day-to-day questions. That’s where we come in, to partner, on an operational basis, and empower them when making decisions that affect their business, their family and their employees.
Being that you are in several provinces and forty nine states, do you utilize local law firms to be involved with LegalShield?
Laws vary by province and state, so absolutely yes. We serve BC, Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario, so that instead of your having to work with a firm as an individual and be faced with high hourly rates, which can be intimidating, you can join LegalShield and through sheer buying power, immediately be part of one of the top clients of one of the top law firms in the province.
When you contact them, you have the confidence of knowing that the firm has already been paid based upon all the memberships across the entire province. As a result, our lawyers are able to focus on serving rather than billing. That’s one of the reasons they enjoy being a part of our service. Most lawyers go to law school because they want to help people through the world of law, but many find that once they get into practice, they are doing a lot of corporate work because that’s where the billing potential is. They really aren’t able to help the general public as they want to. Our lawyers can just focus on helping our members. It’s a win-win relationship.
Just like our health care system, where we certainly wouldn’t want to pay doctors by the hour, LegalShield brings collective buying power to legal services – no stressing, no guessing.
Wills are something that you take care of as well.
Yes, preparing a member’s will, power of attorney, and representation agreement, plus annual updates, is included as part of our personal memberships, with the only potential other costs being a small fee for witnessing, depending on location, or for preparing a spouse’s documents, which the law firm can do. In comparison to having this done outside of LegalShield, the savings from just this one component of our service typically pays for more than an entire year’s worth of our membership, and all the other benefits like advice, document review, letter writing, and 24/7 emergency access for the entire family are essentially gravy. So, yes, will preparation provides immediate value to our members and one of the reasons so many people decide to become members.
Is there anything else that the public should know about LegalShield?
Yes. We are a mission-driven company, passionate about making “equal justice under law” a reality. With such strong service value and market potential, we are growing rapidly, and are looking to partner with good people and companies interested in helping us get the word out to business owners and families.
Kalon will be hosting a webinar this Thursday, from 10-11am, on the topic of “Affordable Legal Protection for Today’s Small Business Owner.” You can register at www.nanaimobizlegal.eventbrite.ca, free of charge.
Take a look and understand more about what LegalShield has to offer, and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Kalon Goodrich (www.kalongoodrich.com) or any other LegalShield representative you may know. Further information is available at www.legalshield.com.