About LegalShield

By HighYa Staff

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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58 Consumer Reviews for LegalShield

Average Consumer Rating: 2.3
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 18 4 star: 1 3 star: 0 2 star: 3 1 star:  36
Bottom Line: 36% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 58
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  • Poor coverage for the money

    • Illinois,
    • Mar 23, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    ID theft and legal help $19.99 a month. Call and they say refer you to call someone else. No immediate help. Only lawyers suggest things unless you pay more money. I got legal advice for free elsewhere. Save your money. It's as bad as buying a car or house warranty from a TV ad. Scam pyramid scheme!

    I was dumb enough to have a friend of mine convince me to join so he could get to the next level. After a year it's impossible to quit so I change my bank account numbers at my bank to stop this scam. They say they never received my certified letters or emails, so they just keep taking money out of your account even though you told them on the phone, email, and certified mail. Don't join. Play the lottery. At least you get a paper ticket instead of nothing but grief!

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

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    LegalShield scam

    • Milwaukee, WI,
    • Feb 26, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    LegalShield is a scam. You will pay the monthly membership fees, but when it comes time to represent you, you will not get representation. You are better off saving your own money in the event of needing to file a lawsuit.

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

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    About my son's death

    • North Carolina,
    • Feb 26, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I would never get them on another death. They were on my son's death for three years and told me nothing but lies and fed me BS. And yet said my mama was supposed to have gotten the money that my son worked for and his 401k went to my sister and her husband because they forged papers and yet the lawyer was on this for three years and didn't even try to get my son money that he worked for and said the bank can be held accountable for the money that was my son 401k. And they led me to believe that even after I signed the discharge papers that I had no idea I was signing, they called and still said they were sending a note to the company to see who the beneficiary was. That was a lie, they said they couldn't find the beneficiary, and I know that's a lie because the company gives a check straight to the bank about the 401k. That's okay though. I'm writing Trump on this matter and I'm also going to SBI on this matter, and if I have to, I'm going to the IRS next because this ain't right how everyone is taking my money and are feeding me lies and lemons and BS and yet think I'm stupid...

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

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  • 7 out 7 people found this review helpful

    Always a scam

    • Texas,
    • Feb 16, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    You cannot get what is promised, despite paying on time for a decade.

    You cannot sue them in small claims court when they refuse to comply because they will lie and say you legally agreed to mandatory binding arbitration.

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

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  • 13 out 14 people found this review helpful

    Customer service

    • New York,
    • Feb 6, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I had been a member of Pre-Paid Legal/LegalShield for about 11 years. The advice that they usually have to offer, well don't be too optimistic and expect to be disappointed. Almost every time I had called on an issue, they had responded along the lines with "I don't know what to tell you" or something else that adds with that type of logic. Sounds like they are acknowledging that they are unknowledgeable, inexperienced lawyers. I don't remember a time when their advice helped to get me out of a jam. I only stayed with them because I didn't know of any other Pre-Paid Legal plans, but now I do and I'm hooked up with another plan. I hit the end of my rope in October 2018. I was calling about a specific legal matter. In the past, I spoke to the receptionist and got calls back from attorneys. At this point, September/October 2018 that started to change drastically.

    I called and spoke with the receptionist and I was told I would get a callback. Well, that never happened. Then I called back and got the same runaround. I was told the supervising attorney Anita was handling my matter and had to have one of the lawyers call me back and that wasn't happening. They put me in contact with Anita and I told her I was tired of the runaround. She gave me some lame story and said I was being rude and raising my voice. So would she if she was in my position. I explained my reasoning and she hung up on me. Really professional right? I called back the receptionist and I was getting really aggravated and telling them that I was paying for this service and to stop with the games. They said a lawyer would call back. Well, no callback.

    Then when I called, I kept getting transferred to someone's voicemail through the receptionist and I had called honestly about 15 times in about an hour trying to reach a human, not a voicemail. I finally called another number in billing and got a human. I told her the ongoing issues and I was trying to reach the attorney. She was nice and said she would have someone call me back and that did happen. I communicated with her and she got me in contact with the attorney that I needed to talk to so I could finish the business that I started with her.

    Days later I had noticed an unexplained refund on my bank account. I checked it out and yep you guessed it. LegalShield canceled my account. Without my consent or request. I called about it and they gave me some excuse and said they could not communicate with me. I'm not the one who fails to return phone calls. I should be saying that. They mailed me a letter about it. Then I got a phone call from them in which they wanted to be sure I knew of the canceled account. I guess they wanted to throw that in my face some more. I told the lady that I was going to make a negative review about this experience and she replied "Thank you." Like she didn't care since it was not going to impact her.

    Well, the fewer the clients with LegalShield, the less revenue is collected and they have to start laying people off. Why should she not be counted into it? I'm sure that the supervising attorney Anita was behind the canceled account. There are other Pre-Paid Legal plans. Save yourself the headache and aggravation. They screw up and cancel my account like I'm being punished for bad behavior. I'm set up elsewhere and this review will follow them. Now who's being punished. At least I'm honest.

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

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    • Feb 7, 2019

      Marleen C.

      What company are you set up with now? I would like to look at different options.

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  • 13 out 13 people found this review helpful

    Paying for ID protection and monitoring, charged for 15 months, ID got stolen, called and was told I never finished enrolling

    • Brutus, MI,
    • Jan 14, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I had been a victim of the Wells Fargo ID protection scam, so when we still wanted protection and monitoring but unsure where to go I asked our financial advisor, who came in and signed us up for a monitoring service he recommended. He took all four family members info, got the credit card entered, etc., which covered the whole family for monitoring and recovery up to 5 million dollars as well as unlimited counseling.

    My credit card started paying $22/month to "Legal Shield" which was different then the name he gave me but the amount was what he said would be charged. I started wondering why we weren't getting any sort of alerts when we were applying for mortgages, then last week the state police called us that our identity had been used to open a fraudulent account. When I called to ask how this happened, they said I never finished signing up. When I was upset by the fact they would charge $22/month if they weren't doing the service the guy abruptly said "bye" and hung up.

    Since then I can't get through to the company, and the emails I've sent go unanswered. They told my advisor who signed me up that I "unenrolled" which I would never do amidst actual ID theft since I need the counseling and recovery services.

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

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  • 13 out 14 people found this review helpful

    Garbage

    • Colorado,
    • Dec 4, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    These people charged me 40 bucks a month to tell me I need to talk to an attorney...I had the basic + business, I gave them 1 month and several opportunities to do what they claim, but could not. I asked for a refund 1 month in, it has now been 2 months since I asked for the refund, and I spoke with the people and followed their method for a refund request. DO NOT use this service, and for heaven's sake, if you do, DO NOT PREPAY, you will be disappointed and will not get a refund on the unused/prorated term.

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

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  • 14 out 16 people found this review helpful

    Was OK, now it is a terrible waste of money

    • San Francisco, CA,
    • Nov 16, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I used them for many years, never had a complaint but generally, it was average at best.

    Recently, they lost my account, my phone number magically changed, they don't call back AFTER 4 DAYS (the guarantee is 4 hours). Now that they finally called me, by a lawyer who sounds like he could care less about anything, possibly suffering from depression (due to the crappy job I'm sure).

    Don't waste your money! I will contact my bank and see about disputing the fee, these guys are a joke.

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

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  • 13 out 14 people found this review helpful

    Scam, fraud, horrible customer service

    • Liberty, IN,
    • Nov 10, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I am still waiting on a refund. I canceled the same day, it has been two weeks. I get the runaround. I talked to a real attorney. I get from them that it takes 10-15 days for a refund and prorated. No, it doesn't. They can refund the same day and it may take three business day to show back in the bank.

    Stay clear of these people.

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

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  • 12 out 17 people found this review helpful

    Great service

    • St Louis, MS,
    • Oct 30, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I had an excellent experience with LegalShield. I had a traffic infraction and they referred me to an attorney that helped me get it dismissed. They also helped my family with our wills, power-of-attorney, medical POA, etc. I have the IDShield product as well and I really really like that service - check it once a month and helped me detect someone trying to open a credit card using my identity.

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

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  • 11 out 13 people found this review helpful

    Immediate response and great customer service

    • Cranston, RI,
    • Oct 6, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I should have become a member years ago. I had friends always say to me in college "get a wife and get an attorney, they will always have your back." As I'm not married yet, I'm happy to be a member of LegalShield as legal resources are scarse for private renters in this state and many who can't afford a $300 an hour retainer fee off the bat.

    Not only was it easy to sign up, the call back was remarkable! And the law firm I was assigned is reputable and the attorney who called me back had already had my case briefed and investigated before we spoke. I didn't even have to say much and he gave me the right advice in order to rectify my legal issue with my landlord. I was in desperate need of legal guidance and LegalShield came right on time!

    I would like to thank Michael Clarey for not only listening to my situation, but for calling me and assuring me that I would be in good hands, and I had legal standing in my situation BEFORE I enrolled and that's why I know for a fact it isn't a scam like some of these reviews alleged. I paid no money and spent 30 minutes on the phone in regards to my legal matter, and that shows interest in the customer and not just the customer's money in my book. I will have them for the rest of my life from this point on. It's a dog eat dog world in court! You gotta know the game! And just like health care, I will never be without legal representation. It's worth it just as long as you don't expect unrealistic results. They are not scams. This is not a scam program.

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

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