About LegalShield

Based out of Ada, OK, LegalShield claims to have been providing “affordable attorney access and legal services” to consumers across 49 U.S. states and four Canadian provinces for more than 40 years. All LegalShield services are provided on a prepaid basis, and are available for both individuals and small businesses.

LegalShield holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, despite having 142 closed complaints within the last three years—most of which centered around problems with the product/service. From a customer satisfaction standpoint, online customer reviews appear to be primarily negative, with the most common complaints citing poor customer service, complicated contact procedures, patronizing/unknowledgeable lawyers, and high hidden fees.

How LegalShield Works

According to this study on the LegalShield website, more than 57 million Americans have some kind of ongoing legal issue. And, according to this study, nearly 60% of businesses have faced “significant legal events” in the past two years. As a result, the primary goal of LegalShield is to help individuals and small businesses obtain prepaid legal services from a network of provider attorneys, all for one low, flat rate. Their plans include:

Personal Plans:

  • Consultation – Letters and phone calls, document review, and trial defense.
  • Document Preparation – Powers of Attorney, wills, loan documents, etc.
  • Auto – Traffic violations and accidents.
  • Family Matters – Name change assistance, divorce & adoption representation, and more.
  • IRS – Audit services.

Identity Theft Plans:

  • ID Plan – Covers both you and your spouse for single credit monitoring and restoration services, in addition to unlimited consultations.
  • ID Premium – Includes everything in the ID Plan, with the addition of triple credit monitoring, web watch, SS number skip trace, and more.

Small Business Plans:

  • Includes legal consultation regarding debt collection, contract review, trial defense services, landlord/tenant disputes, and much more.

Regardless of which plan you choose, or whether you’re an individual or a business, LegalShield is supported by a team of hand-picked “Providers,” which are legal firms hired by the company, who are paid in advance for their services, and are supposedly fully committed to solving your problems.

Based on information found on the company’s website, using LegalShield’s services entails a six-step process:

  1. Sign up for a LegalShield account.
  2. Review your membership packet, which will give you your legal provider’s information.
  3. Register yourself on the Member’s website.
  4. When an issue or questions arises, contact your provider law firm.
  5. Explain your legal problem to the provider law firm, who will then assign a lawyer best suited to address your needs.
  6. Finally, you’ll receive a call from your lawyer within eight hours of your request.

Based on many of the complaints we read, it appears the majority of users found this process to be needlessly complex. For instance, if you happened to miss your lawyer’s call within the 8-hour window, you’ll have to re-contact the law firm, and wait another 8 hours to have your call returned.

LegalShield Pricing & Refund Policy

LegalShield’s pre-paid plans are as follows:

  • Personal Plans: $19.95 per month
  • Identity Theft Plans:
    • ID Plan – $14.95 per month
    • ID Premium – $29.95 per month
  • Small Business Plans: These plans are completely customized based on your business’s needs. As a result, pricing can vary.

For each plan, there are several different add-ons in a range of prices, so for full details, click here. Each month you’ll be automatically charged according to your plan, which can be automatically deducted from your credit card or bank account. Regardless of which membership option or add-ons you choose though, keeping mind that you’ll be assessed a $10 “enrollment fee” your first month.

Bottom Line: Is LegalShield a Scam?

So, with all this in mind, is LegalShield a scam? While the company appears to offer a legitimate range of products, there are a few things you should keep in mind prior to joining.

First—as with most things in life—you get what you pay for, and LegalShield is no different. Think of it this way: If you were required to hire a lawyer for a minor upcoming court case, it’s completely feasible to expect to pay anywhere from $5K to $10K, depending on a wide range of factors. With this is mind, the quality of legal services you could reasonably expect to receive for just $20 per month is fairly low. And, many of the online customer complaints we read referenced this specific fact more than anything else. So, if you’re expecting to receive personalized, responsive service from knowledgeable, highly rated firms for this amount, you may want to reconsider

Next, it appears that LegalShield has a relatively poor reputation for customer service. Most often, we read of difficulties encountered when trying to cancel plans, and service personnel who are more concerned about creating cumbersome processes than they are about solving problems.

Finally, when you consider that anything more than simple form-letter writing, a cursory review of your situation, or superficial advice (which may or may not be correct) will cost you much more than your standard monthly fee, using a LegalShield lawyer may be more expensive than hiring a lawyer direct. In fact, in one complaint we read, someone who claimed to have an immense amount of legal experience stated that you’ll be paying about 30% more overall.

With all this in mind, unless you’re looking for help with the most basic of legal services (which are often simple enough to handle yourself), you may want to think twice about joining LegalShield.

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13 Customer Reviews for LegalShield

Average Customer Rating: 2.8
Rating Snapshot:
5 stars: 5 4 stars: 1 3 stars: 0 2 stars: 0 1 stars: 7
Bottom Line: 46% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 13
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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Waste of money

    • Boulder, Colorado ,
    • Mar 13, 2017

    I purchase the identity theft protection over nine months ago.

    During that period of time, I applied for and received two credit cards. In neither case did I receive any kind of notification that someone had been applying for credit at all.

    Years ago (when I was with a competitor of LegalShield), while at a store applying for 12 months free financing, within minutes I received a text message asking if this was me applying for credit or if it was a scam.

    LegalShield did not do what was promised. As for a refund, they denied it. If you're looking for a great company for ID protection, this is not the company.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 5 out 6 people found this review helpful

    Have to call six times in three months to cancel

    • Arizona,
    • Feb 24, 2017

    This company is why people hate multi-level marketing companies.

    Their company is run by lawyers who want your money in small monthly increments. Once you realize you don't want it, they keep charging you, and you have to keep calling over and over again, and maybe you might get your money back. They keep saying that they canceled it and will issue a refund, but weeks go by, and they charge you again, and you have to keep calling, and once again they say that they will issue a refund and cancel it.

    Then you have to wait two weeks and hope you remember to follow up on it. I suppose they are legally allowed to operate like this because it was written by lawyers for them to make money.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 5 out 7 people found this review helpful

    Useful

    • Connecticut,
    • Feb 14, 2017

    I have used them every time I have needed advice or help, and they were always helpful. I have never had any issues with Customer Service and have even missed calls from attorneys, but they do call back (several times).

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 6 out 8 people found this review helpful

    The program is a rip off

    I think about all the dollars I put into this program out of my paycheck, and these people never took the time to listen to my issue. When they could have helped me out in a much easier way, I ended up paying for a paralegal. This was very upsetting because I was paying for a service that would have cost me anyways. This was even after they told me it was free at first.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 5 out 7 people found this review helpful

    Used service over 100 times in last decade

    My wife and I have used the service over 100 times in the last ten years, and we are not criminals. We have been completely satisfied with the results.

    We have had ten traffic tickets over the last ten years (five by my wife, three by my teenager and two by me), but we have zero points. We have five warranty issues that companies were not going to respond to, but after the attorneys wrote a letter, the warranty companies responded. The attorneys also helped us with a home contract that saved us $87.000. We had a cell phone bill that was $700 wrong, and the attorneys got it back.

    And those are just a few examples.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 10 out 13 people found this review helpful

    Terrible associates service

    This is the worst company for customer service. I signed up three weeks ago with an Associates Membership and haven't spoken to anyone in person. If I am going to be successful, I need someone to help me. After receiving numerous emails daily and wanting extra money in order to be successful, I decided to cancel my membership.

    My "sponsor" told me that I didn't need to do anything to cancel my Associates Membership. I called Corporate today and was transferred from department to department. They told me that I had to cancel with Associates Services. After holding for 45 minutes, I have still not spoken to anyone to get my Associates Fee reimbursed. My feeling is that they take your Associates fee, and the rest is up to you to figure out on your own.

    I will not ever recommend this company for services or to future sellers. If they treat their associates like this, how do they treat their clients? I don't know anything about their services, but my experience has been so bad that I would never recommend them to anyone.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 5 out 8 people found this review helpful

    Good deal, spotty advice

    I've been with Pre-Paid Legal/Legal Shield for at least 20 years and they have saved me thousands in legal fees and avoiding mistakes, even considering I've paid them just over $4000 in membership dues over that period of time. A couple of times the lawyers were very new and not as well informed as they should have been.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 3 out 7 people found this review helpful

    The real deal

    I have been a customer for 2 years and work as an associate of the company. I have used the services quite a few times. I got a ticket, called my law firm who gave me clear instructions as to what would happen next. An attorney went to court for me so I did not have to miss work. The attorney was able to get the matter dismissed.

    I am financing some furniture from a local company in town who tried to change the price that I was supposed to repay every month. So I called my law firm who asked me to fax in a copy of the contract I signed so I did. The law firm sent out a letter on my behalf and the company made the necessary adjustments. Originally they were not willing to help me when it was just me contacting them.

    I have family members and friends who have the services and love their memberships. I know what it's like to pay attorneys by the hour, and what it's like to have to face legal situations on my own because I couldn't afford legal help.

    Because of Legal Shield, I will never have to be in those positions again.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 11 out 16 people found this review helpful

    Poor Customer Service

    Do yourself a favor, when you consider using this card or starting this at all, kick yourself. It is a rip-off, the lawyers except for two barely talk to you and the Customer Service is a joke!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 9 out 11 people found this review helpful

    Amazing Service for an Unbelievable Value

    • Chino, CA,
    • Sep 30, 2016

    I have had an amazing experience with LegalShield. Amazing call back times, and half of the things in this article are way off. If the attorney's call isn't answered they will call you back again. You don't need to call in and give them your information again typically. The legal advice given is by top tier law firms in your state so I'm not sure how only paying 20 a month has anything to do with it. It's still the same law firm.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 33 out 37 people found this review helpful

    LegalFail

    • Savannah, GA,
    • Jul 31, 2016

    I had an issue come up not long after I purchased my LegalShield policy (convenient, right?) and called to consult with a lawyer. The lawyer during our conversation couldn't even get the basic details of our situation right. She just wasn't listening and at one point actually accused us of criminal behavior. She was just not paying attention AT ALL.

    When I called LegalShield they gave me the runaround about canceling my policy, did their best to harass me into staying by making the process to leave them as tedious as possible. When I asked to speak with a supervisor I was immediately hung up on and LegalShield's automated system refused to allow me to speak with a customer service rep afterwards, forwarding my number to an automated message. This company, much like many others that seem "too good to be true" is exactly that. You get what you pay for with legal services and what you pay for here is not worth the time. Xavier in customer service was particularly unhelpful.

    Also look at the positive reviews for LegalShield. They all follow a similar format for a very specific reason -- they have released advice to their associates on how specifically to "overcome" negative reviews by flooding websites with positive ones. All the positive reviews follow the same format but with slightly changed details.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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