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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53 Consumer Reviews for LegalShield

Average Consumer Rating: 2.5
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 18 4 star: 1 3 star: 0 2 star: 2 1 star:  32
Bottom Line: 40% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 53
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  • 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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  • 3 out 4 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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  • 6 out 8 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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  • 5 out 6 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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  • 7 out 9 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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  • 7 out 9 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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  • 15 out 17 people found this review helpful

    Poor customer service, masked Terms & Conditions, false advertising

    • Houston, TX,
    • Sep 14, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I received a moving violation ticket outside of Houston - the police didn't like that my insurance card was displayed digitally. Noted it on the ticket. Even though I have insurance on the vehicle and that portion of the ticket was already dismissed in court later, conveniently to Legal Shield, Ross and Matthews refuse to defend their customer in this matter of a moving violation.

    After months of conflict resolution, arguing, poor customer service, and rude representatives, especially ill-mannered and rude head of the department at Ross and Matthews - Jeff, it was made clear that company are not interested in defending their customers but instead interested in putting as little of effort as possible.

    A simple matter that could have been taken care of based on the benefits advertised. After paying them every month for services and they aren't willing to provide the benefit for a simple traffic ticket, I wouldn't trust them with anything more complicated.

    Someone else said this would summarize well - "They will find a reason not to represent you." If you need advice, use AVVO!

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

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  • 13 out 16 people found this review helpful

    Terrible, I can never use my plan!

    • Miami, FL,
    • Sep 11, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Do not waste your money. They will find a reason not to represent you. The communication is terrible, you must call so many times, and they are so complicated, they end up doing nothing.

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

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  • 16 out 18 people found this review helpful

    Very bad experience with assigned attorney and LegalShield Corporate Office

    • Georgia,
    • Sep 6, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    When I finally needed legal advice I turned to my LegalShield assigned law firm. It was also a conflict of interest matter as the law firm I received the legal notification from was my assigned law firm. I was never allowed to ask my legal questions on my behalf because of the conflict of interest the attorney refused to discuss the matter. I was told that the firm would see that LegalShield assigned my case to another attorney by the end of the day. On the fourth day, I had not received a call, so I called the attorney back. She then told me I had to call LegalShield. I called and was told they attorney firm should have placed a conflict of interest request into the system, which they had not done. I turned in the information regarding the conflict of interest.

    I then received a call from LegalShield Corporate. The Corporate representative was extremely rude, condescending and said she would not assign another attorney! So, just because the other member got to the attorney first, I have to now go without legal representation. So I paid all the months of membership fees, then at the whim of a LegalShield Corporate Office Representative, I am refused access to an attorney.

    Do NOT trust LegalShield to be there when you need legal advice or representation!

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

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  • 14 out 16 people found this review helpful

    Scam, won't be there when you need them!

    • Royal Palm Beach, FL,
    • Aug 31, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I canceled my service today because they refused service. The fine print "We can refuse service if we feel your case doesn't have a defense." I was speeding out of state, and the attorney said there wasn't a defense. WHAT! This means that they can refuse service for anything, and they won't actually be there when you need them. I suspect this is about money - my law firm would have had to come out of pocket to pay for an out of state lawyer and they didn't want to do that. So if you're ever in serious trouble, don't rely on Legal Shield, they do whatever it takes to save the money, including not taking your case.

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

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  • 11 out 13 people found this review helpful

    Great service

    • New York, NY,
    • Aug 20, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have been a LegalShield member since November 2016 and have used the service several times. I had a local store take my order and then not deliver the goods I purchased. LegalShield took care of it. My son is going off to college, and I had LegalShield do a medical power of attorney at no additional costs. Also, I had a neighbor conflict where they wrote a letter for me and took care of the issue. Very prompt, very responsive.

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

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