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.


Read 83 LegalShield Customer Reviews and Complaints

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Average Customer Rating: 2.3
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 24 4 star: 1 3 star: 0 2 star: 5 1 star:  53
Bottom Line: 33% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 83
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  • 2 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Overcharged with no service

    • Colorado,
    • Nov 7, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    We signed up for the $19.95 plan and were charged $160 immediately. When I called the next day to try to utilize the service which I desperately needed, I was informed that they had canceled my account, however, would not reverse the charge of $160. Furious with this scam.

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

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  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful

    LegalShield experience

    • Clearwater, FL,
    • Oct 23, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have been with LegalShield since Pre-Paid Legal days. I have had a few, legal issues, one was fairly major. The attorney I had, won the case. The price was very much less than it would otherwise have been.

    In my experience - I have had no issues. I feel the monthly fee has been well worth it.

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

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  • 2 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Middling quality that puts profit over service

    • North Carolina,
    • Oct 22, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I'm a longtime member of LegalShield (over 10 years) and have sold their plan as an associate. I am dissatisfied with their service of providing attorney advice as a monthly membership. The plan works by allowing you to call a phone number for a local provider firm and then speaking to an attorney by phone about your legal matter and having them perform legal services for you. Don't get me wrong, the plan is a good value for the money and you get a lot. However, it has serious limitations that you need to be aware of if you choose to get it. Here are some problems I have come across. First, you get too much bad legal advice. I had one case where I spoke to attorneys to file two cases against a landlord and a moving services company. Advice was adequate to cover the case filing but they neglected to warn me to file against all of the parties involved. The outcome was that I couldn't collect on the judgment because the moving company didn't have property in its name. Had I questioned the owner and learned of his banks and other business names I could have collected. Case fail.

    I had another time when a tenant in an apartment complex retaliated against me for complaining to the complex about her noisy children who were loitering in the street outside my apartment. The mother falsely claimed that I was stalking her and the complex decided to get rid of me by filing for eviction on the false claim that I was a stalker. All through that case, I followed advice from the provider firm to the letter yet when I was sued and filed to use my legal defense hours benefit the firm rejected my case as unlikely to win. I appealed to the state attorney general for help and the company reversed the policy. The supervising attorney was sent to help me and attended the eviction hearing, however, he seemed to not spend any time on the stalking charge. The mother lied on the stand and the attorney didn't question and discredit her. I lost the case and ended up appealing and settling, however, it damaged my credit because it showed that the apartment complex filed to evict me.

    My most recent case was a Whistleblower case against a government approved housing authority for fraud. Their service failed to help with this one also. First, they said that they couldn't review the case because there was a 10-page document review limit. Next they said that they didn't have any attorney specialists that handled this area of law. Third, a supervising attorney told me, without even reviewing the case documents, that the case had no merit. I was able to find attorney specialists on my own but I expected for Merrit Webb to be able to do this for me. I also had a disability insurance case where they referred me to a local attorney. However, this attorney didn't bother to read my doctor's notes and didn't strengthen the case by asking me to do a pain and fatigue journal and to have friends and family write letters about how impaired I was because of the condition. The case dragged out four years with a positive conclusion but it was hampered by the lack of initiative of the LegalShield referral attorney. I've spoken with Legal hield's corporate office and they have no interest in correcting these problems. Their stance is use the service if you want and if you don't like it then quit.

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

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  • 5 out 6 people found this review helpful

    Scam

    • Tennesse,
    • Oct 12, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Their partnering law firms are ridiculously priced; therefore, making this very close to a scam. I feel like I've paid monthly all these years for nothing. When it was time for me to finally use their services, I was charged 10 times more than the usual fee of service (literally). Unbelievable!

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

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  • 2 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Ripped off my account!

    • Newark, DE,
    • Oct 9, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    They will continue to bill your account even after you cancel. They make you jump through hoops to actually cancel their service. The fees they charge for an attorney is ridiculous, you will be better off with a Google search. They will give you no more than what you can find out online. They continued to charge me after I canceled and refused my refund. I spoke with a supervisor who said nothing she can do and no one else to speak with. Poor service.

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

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  • 1 out 2 people found this review helpful

    My worst attorneys of all time!

    • Arlington, VA,
    • Oct 9, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Worst attorneys of all time! I’ve been with them for 20 years. I’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars. And their attorneys just up and walk off in the middle of being returned and working active cases.

    Every one on my list of worst attorneys came from there.

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

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  • 6 out 8 people found this review helpful

    Scam!

    • Orangevale, CA,
    • Sep 19, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    They are a scam, they hold onto your money like it was never yours. I did not receive any services and they did not refund my money, so I am out $419 for nothing. Their customer service supervisor did not help me at all. They denied my review for my refund and they sent me a $171 check and I can’t cash it in, my bank says it’s a duplicate. I’m gonna give them another call today, this is my first time calling them, wish me luck to get my own money back for services I never got.

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

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  • 6 out 7 people found this review helpful

    Very close to being a scam

    • Colorado,
    • Sep 7, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Unless you have a job where you can sit next to a phone and receive personal calls at work, you will never be able to connect with them. You will also be auto renewed with no warning, they will take their own sweet time canceling your membership because they will then prorate your refund to pay for the days they took canceling your membership.

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

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  • 7 out 8 people found this review helpful

    Got ripped off and a bad lawyer

    • Ontario, Canada,
    • Sep 5, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Used a LegalShield lawyer as I have been a member for a long time. We were looking for a certificate of probate to sell our parent's home after our mother passed. Our father passed a few years ago. We were told that it takes about 4-6 months and costs about $4-5 thousand. We were good with that. He didn't apply for the certificate until 11 months after getting his retainer. He claimed that there were issues. This house was free and clear and no heirs were disputing the will. All taxes were paid. We eventually got a hold of our MP and he looked into the matter. No papers were ever filed with the court. We called the lawyer and after a few more months he filed and we received the certificate in a week. He also charged us over $6000.00 and this was after the LegalShield discount.

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

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  • 6 out 8 people found this review helpful

    Great experience with LegalShield

    • Copiague, NY,
    • Sep 4, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I've been a LegalShield member since it was called Prepaid Legal back in 2009. They have helped me with at least 12 legal issues that I've had with other companies, and people.

    They were successful in getting money owed me and stopping a freeze on my account. I had my Last Will and Testament and Power of Attorney done by LegalShield. They represented me in traffic court and received a reduced fine because they were present.

    LegalShield works for me. I've never had any issues with attorneys calling me back or payments of their monthly fee.

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

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  • 9 out 12 people found this review helpful

    You get less than you pay for

    • Michigan,
    • Sep 2, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I was told by someone at my tax attorney’s office that LegalShield is like a concierge doctor - you pay a monthly fee ahead of time and when you need a lawyer for something that comes up they provide one. He must have been getting compensation for referrals, because their service is nothing like that. If you call, they want documentation about the issue emailed to their server in a complex process and in a week or so an associate of the law firm assigned to you by the app calls you and agrees to write a letter in response to whatever letter you got that need legal help with. That’s it. They will not do anything more. If you try to go beyond that first communication, they refer to ANOTHER lawyer at a different firm for a supposed discount rate. It is clear they don’t even really read the material you sent to them. Their advice is always "pay the fine/bill/etc." or "you’ll never get that money back," and if you tell them again why you don’t think you should have to pay or why the money is owed you, they say "sorry, we’ve done your one letter already." Their detailed contract review always consists of "Yeah it seems pretty standard to me. Ok bye." The advice you pay for is basically "do nothing" in every case, or else "here go pay another lawyer more money, we’re done with you." They make it very hard to cancel the membership and auto-charge your credit card. I had to change my credit card to a dummy card issued to me by my bank so they’d stop charging me even after I asked them to cancel my membership. I read that they are basically just a pyramid scheme.

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

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