Business Legal Management Spotlight
Patrick Hodges



Patrick Hodges has an extensive background in company development as an executive and as a leader. Patrick has decades of experience growing, training, and improving business teams to increase sales and improve performance.

He’s all about raising the “B.A.R.” in that as you increase people’s belief and improve people’s attitudes, the results will follow and feed further into the belief and attitude of the company.

Patrick helped take LegalShield®, previously Prepaid Legal Services, through a dramatic turnaround and grow the business into a multi-billion dollar company. His roles ranged from VP of Training and Development to the SVP of People and Development all the way to the Head of Sales and Marketing as President of the North American business.

Patrick has joined Business Legal Management as an Executive Board Member, and is focusing on strategic growth through the company’s sales and marketing efforts.


What Would You Say Is Your Biggest Accomplishment?

I think the biggest accomplishment I’ve had in my lifetime is convincing my wife of 35 years to say yes to marrying me.

She’s been my primary source of joy and support ever since. We’ve been blessed with six kids and seven amazing grandkids, so far.

I’m probably more proud of that than I am of anything in my work career, but it all kind of ties together.

I made a determination early in my career to prioritize my wife as my partner, my life partner, my eternal partner. This is something that I hold very dear and her opinion matters.

The reason I go to work, the reason I try to earn money is because I’m trying to be a provider and a protector for her and our family.

If it wasn’t for that, I’d probably just be a couch bum, watching Netflix and eating bonbons or something. But I have a priority and at this stage in my life, it’s to fund her ability to spoil our grandkids. 

That’s what life is about for me right now. Work is fun because I make it fun. I enjoy it, and I have a sense of purpose in it.  It’s not just to make a paycheck, it’s because I believe in what I do, and I believe in why I do it.

The term “work-life balance” is thrown around a lot in the business community. Some achieve it, some do not.

I had an experience early on that kind of shaped me. We have six kids, five boys and one girl. My daughter, who you can imagine I’m very close to, battled with a severe case of asthma when she was an infant.

I got a call while I was at work that my daughter was in the emergency room and was being prepared to be airlifted to a Children’s Hospital.

They told us she might not survive the flight. Talk about a change of perception of what’s important.

It’s a quick reality check. Walking into that emergency room and seeing her looking up at me and saying, “Daddy, fix this.” 

Then not even being able to pick her up and fulfill her desire for dad to fix it.

That’s what I’m supposed to do, fix things for my kids and I couldn’t do it. That was life changing and altering for me.

From then on, I realized that work will still be there tomorrow morning, but my kids play is only once a year, my kids concert is only once a year, the recital is only once a year, the activity or the game time is only once a week or whatever it is, and I’m gonna be there for that.

I started getting away from work and making sure I attended baseball games and basketball games and dance recitals and other things.

And I’m so thankful that I learned it. I had to learn it, I had to learn it the hard way, but it certainly made a difference in my life.

And we have six amazing kids, mostly to the credit of my wife, but I have great, great memories of being there with my children and they tell stories of it today.

So if I don’t have any work successes, I have life successes and I’ll take that.


How has prioritizing your family affected things with your work experience and long-term goals?

Having career and financial goals are all important. I don’t want to diminish those. You need to have those. I have those.

But if you’re doing them at the expense of what’s really important in your life, what you will get is regret. One day you’re going to retire, one day you’re gonna be sitting in that rocking chair and either the kids are going to be picking up the phone and calling you or not.

I, for one, want to be able to enjoy my retirement because I’m enjoying time with my family. I want to know that I have a relationship with them and they’re not trying to finally get to know me because I’m finally retired.

Finding and striking that correct balance will actually fuel you at work.

If you have the right balance of activity and focus outside of work, it’s going to energize you. You will do the right things at work for the right reasons and it’ll only benefit you.

If you’re taking away from your personal life and focusing only on work, you’re going to get bogged down and any results you achieve will be diminished because of it.


Tell us about your career and your experiences. What was your journey with LegalShield®?

I was working for Bose®.  I had a great time working with them and had a lot of cool products show up on my door that I got to play with.

That was a great time. I was in a good position there and things were going great. I wasn’t looking for another opportunity.

One day, I got a phone call from a fast talking British gentleman named Alan Fernley. He had been hired by a private equity firm in New York City that had recently purchased a company called Prepaid Legal Services.

He and his business partner, Rip Mason, came on as the CEO and Alan came on as the President and CCO.

Their first task was to fill out their executive management team. They needed managers and executives to come on board and help the great team that was already there.

If you know anything about private equity, it’s all about building a business so it is more equitable. They buy a business, fortify it, and build it up so they can sell it for a lot more money than they purchased it for. It’s kind of like flipping a house, but with businesses. And I was part of that executive team that they recruited to come in.

It took some convincing because I wasn’t looking for something new, but they had a compelling opportunity for me.

And after enough investigation and research, I made the decision to go ahead and join LegalShield®.


What was your role and responsibilities at LegalShield®?

The specific need they had identified was there was no centralized training and development function. They had a few hundred thousand independent sales reps across North America broken into different teams.

Each team was developing their own training programs and that only works if you have good leaders in those teams. But some team leaders were better and stronger than others.

Each of them saw the world through different lenses because of their own life experiences. So as people would move and transition or add to their team and expand to other markets, the training was inconsistent. This was preventing the true growth that the company needed to achieve.

My task was to come in and create training and development functions. I set up processes and procedures, a learning management system, and hired a design team. The goal was to produce core quality training that would be consistent market-wide.

That was very successful. It took two years to complete that project and at the end of the two years it was doing exactly what we wanted. It was performing above expectations, but sales revenue was not performing above expectations. It was actually struggling. 

They had had three consecutive years of month over month decline in sales revenue and it was a 48-year-old company.

Jeff Bell joined the company as the new CEO and he noticed that I had a lot of sales and marketing in my background, not just training and development.

Jeffbrought me in for a cordial interview and said, I have been looking at what you have done and it is impressive, what would you do if you had control of the revenue?

He wanted to know what I would do to turn things around. I already had a plan in place. I shared it with him and he said, okay, well, I like that and that sounds like that’s gonna work. Let’s give it a try. 

So I took on the role of SVP of sales and marketing for North America.

Two months after that, we had our first increase, month over month. And a few months after that, I was elevated to President of North America.

From there we generated 27 consecutive months of month over month growth year over year and set all-time revenue records for the 48 year old company.


Can you tell me a bit more about what you mean by Raising the Bar?

There’s this concept of raising the B.A.R that I learned early on in my career. B.A.R. stands for Belief, Activity, and Results. And it has been successful everywhere I’ve been.

This concept starts with generating the right level of belief by your staff and your team, the belief that what you’re doing is important and has value.

But, more importantly, they also have to believe that they have a role in creating that value and delivering on the importance of that objective.

If they believe in what you’re trying to do and they believe that they are important and can add value to it, then they are going to be more active and more energetically pursue the company goals.

As the activity increases, the results will increase. Just a law of numbers, just simple math, right?

You do more activity, you’re gonna get more results. When you get results, it automatically fuels the belief. When you fuel the belief even more, you get even more activity, you get even more results, and you get even more belief.

And eventually it’s called momentum. Everybody believes in it, they have a common vision, a common method about going about it, common objectives, everything’s clear, and they’re self-motivating themselves.

And to me, that’s the best way to lead people is to have them buy in to what you’re doing and feel like they have a value to add to it and want to drive it themselves.


What were some of the hardest obstacles to overcome during that time? 

Well, when you have individual team leaders that have type A personalities. They are developing training programs on their own. They’re convinced that they know the right way to do things. The problem is, other leaders of other teams designed their program a different way and believe their way of doing it is the right way to do it too. Now, how do you bring that all together with a common theme at a corporate level and push it back out to the field?In a  way that they’ll buy into it. 

First of all, you have to create belief by those individual team leaders, that there is a better way than their way. That’s not easy but it comes through commonality. Getting their input, having simple dialogue, letting them feel a part of the process, and sharing their feedback back.  Showing elements of the new program that came from their ideas and their suggestions, making them feel like their input is valued and appreciated.

Once you’ve got the training and development down, then it’s a matter of implementing programs out in the field and getting them to believe in what you’re doing.

America is the most litigious society there is. There’s tons of legal issues out there. Some that are falsified and fabricated, but either way you gotta defend yourself against them.

And in today’s world, the person bringing the lawsuit usually doesn’t have to pay for it. They get set up with an attorney that’s gonna take a piece of the winnings if they win, but the defendant doesn’t have that option.

They have to pay full bore for all their defense. And so it became a matter of bringing justice to the masses, justice to all.

True liberty and equality of justice. We pushed that message, which drove that belief that it wasn’t about a paycheck, it wasn’t about selling another plan, it was about bringing justice to those who needed it and deserved it.

And when people started to believe in that and buy into that, that’s when the activity came, that’s when the results came, which generated more belief that we could actually achieve our goals, which drew more activity, which generated more results and on and on. We had momentum.


Why did you choose to join business legal management and what are you hoping to accomplish as an Executive Board Member  and Interim CMO?

My experience at LegalShield® was a great opportunity for me to learn and gain a lot of exposure into the legal services industries. There are a lot of players out there that provide legal services of one type or another.

What business legal management is going after is pretty unique and that’s what drew me in.

Owners of these companies have put a lot of sweat and tears into their business. It’s growing but they have a lot of legal needs, and they don’t have the legal support and bandwidth to address it.

They can’t afford last name, last name, last name law firm or they can’t afford a full-time general counsel or chief legal officer with a legal staff. But they do have real legal needs and issues that they need help with.

That’s what Business Legal Management does. We have a simple subscription plan so you can budget exactly what your legal expenses are going to be.

It could be part-time, and doesn’t have to be a 40 hour/week retainer. It could be a few hours a month even. It’s there, it’s consistent, it’s ready for you and you’ve got that protection. It’s like having a teammate on your executive team that you can go to with all your legal questions and concerns. 

That is highly valuable and that is what Business Legal Management provides.

Most of my peers at Business Legal Management have been attorneys, corporate attorneys, chief legal officers, general counsels, or CEOs. They understand the growth mindset that a company needs to have. The key is that we focus on legal being an asset.

It’s there to help protect and to grow your business, not to be a sales inhibitor. Instead of giving you the 15 reasons why you shouldn’t sign that contract with this customer, let’s give you the 15 reasons why you should. Then adjust anything that needs to be adjusted to keep you safe in that transaction.

It’s all about growth management and protection along the way and that’s what Business Legal Management provides.