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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Read 77 LegalShield Customer Reviews and Complaints

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Average Consumer Rating: 2.3
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 23 4 star: 1 3 star: 0 2 star: 4 1 star:  49
Bottom Line: 34% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 77
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  • 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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  • 1 out 1 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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  • 1 out 1 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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  • 1 out 1 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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  • 2 out 2 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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  • 4 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Amazing experiences

    • Colorado Springs, CO,
    • Aug 16, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I'm one of the "lucky" ones in the world who has an ex-spouse who causes me to be in court ALL THE TIME. Essentially, this has been my life for the past 6-7 years. I used to have predominantly negative experiences in the courtroom (to include negative experiences with my own attorneys) and it was frustrating, in general. It felt as though I was always getting taken to the cleaners (as the bread-winner) yet never had anyone in my corner. Well, this was all before I discovered LegalShield. I cannot rave about this company enough. The first issue they assisted me with was one of my former attorneys overcharging me like crazy (one month, he charged me $12K). LegalShield helped me recoup approximately $10K of that bill. Next issues surrounded my children's complaints of abuse at their Father's home. The LegalShield attorneys I spoke with said they'd never heard of a father and pediatric nurse Step-Mother withholding asthma medications from children nor withholding eyeglasses from children. They strongly urged me to hire an attorney (they said it didn't matter if it was in or out of the LegalShield network) to represent my children's concerns. They do not work off commission and they truly care about their client's (and children's) safety and concerns.

    My most recent issue was regarding a small claims matter. My LegalShield online consultation was rep was amazing (as always) and they taught me how to prepare to self-represent in the courtroom. The ultimate outcome in court was better than I ever could have anticipated. I just can't rave enough about this company. It's truly intended for folks who understand valuable legal advice when they hear it. Additionally, it's for people (like me) who have had negative legal experiences with attorneys who charge around $300/hour to not even represent your family's best interests. I feel the LegalShield attorneys I've had the pleasure of working with (from Riggs/Abney in Denver) are all amazing and I like that they are able to differentiate between things that may seem shocking/terrible/traumatizing but aren't exactly illegal...and really help their clients hone in on the true crux of an argument in a legal/court setting. I don't receive any money from LegalShield and I'm not a representative of theirs, but am thinking about becoming one.

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

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Multiple assistance

    • Manchester, TN,
    • Aug 8, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Somebody signs up and doesn't get what they want, ask for someone else. The bad reviews make little sense when LegalShield is rated A+ by BBB. Not that I always agree with BBB, but that's pretty impressive. I've had some trouble with some businesses and wasn't going to get a refund or the services performed again when I complained and one simple phone call saved money, time, or saved vehicle's life expectancy.

    Here's the bottom line for my review...without signing up, go find out how much it'll cost you to do your WILL and then come back and read these reviews. The bad ones could have gotten at least their will done and this service paid for your monthly payments tenfold.

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

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    It's ok if you need help with paperwork maybe?

    • Flat Rock, MI,
    • Jul 30, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Someone called and offered me legal help with my legal matter making it seem like someone would represent me in court. They don't do that though. And he also told me to call him directly Monday morning...He never answered and I never heard from him again. I called the main number and they told me to fax or e-mail my paperwork. You have to call them and let them know you would like to speak with the lawyer they assign you. If you miss the call you have to call back and ask for the lawyer to call again. After faxing in 33 papers I was given advice to get a lawyer at a 25% discount for being a member. I'm not sure what I paid for. Then I asked her if she would help me a little with the paperwork. She said, "No, I'm not doing that." So I proceeded to ask questions about what I filled out on the paperwork. She did answer my questions even though she said she wouldn't. I called to cancel the service and was told I had to send an e-mail asking to cancel my membership. I did that 6 days later I got an email saying it was canceled. So I don't exactly know what you pay for...

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

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  • 4 out 6 people found this review helpful

    I didn't get what I paid for! I got MORE than I paid for!

    • Los Angeles, CA,
    • Jul 27, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I just don't get the reviews that use terms like SCAM, HORRIBLE SERVICE, THEY ARE BIAS [sic] ATTORNEYS, to describe their experiences. Many of the bad reviews I have seen were issues about billing, missed appointments, etc. By some descriptions, it seems that they weren't using their benefits properly. Whenever I use them everything is initially transacted by phone, and I always make it a priority to be available for the callback.

    I have never missed a callback and they never failed to call me back.

    It may be that it's because I live in Los Angeles and Parker Stanbury, a big downtown law firm is my LegalShield provider. But they always give me good advice, and with an attorney that specializes in the area of my legal concern. I have never had anyone be rude or condescending and I always get a good feeling of their competence.

    Addressing the theme of getting what you pay for...at $24/month the ability to have extensive communication with an attorney at this cost is a no-brainer. If your legal issue is something that can't be resolved by phone consultation or documents, then you would need to upgrade to full representation which you would have to do anyway if you didn't have LegalShield! If I were to get just a consultation with any other law firm, it would cost me a few Benjamins for something that would cost me $0.00 (FREEEE) with LegalShield attorneys. Anyone that doesn't think that is a bargain is a fool.

    I have used LegalShield attorneys a lot for the past 12 years, and the cost (at $3,450) has been paid back many times over. I once saved $8,000 with just ONE issue that was resolved with a letter and a phone call. This doesn't even include all the other times they saved me money with good advice. I call that a real BARGAIN, with convenient and FIRST CLASS service.

    What do you carry in your wallet? I carry my LegalShield membership!

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

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  • 5 out 8 people found this review helpful

    TOTAL FREAKING SCAM

    • Texas,
    • Jul 27, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Please do your research regarding this scamming, stealing company. They won't let you cancel and will hold on to your $25 per month as if it were gold and all the business they had. They are deceitful and money stealing. I say we get together and file a class-action suit about this. We need to stick together and sue companies like these lying, rude, accusatory people who work there. They act like hey man, I work for the lawyer so screw you. I've filed complaints where I can and I am building my proof at how deceitful they are. I plan on filing in small claims court as I am a licensed paralegal and I know the law. Companies like these should not be allowed to remain in business, period. I asked nicely and canceled nicely and now forget it. SAVE YOURSELF THE TROUBLE AND DO NOT SIGN UP.

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

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  • 3 out 4 people found this review helpful

    There is no legal protection

    • Portland, OR,
    • Jul 23, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    The service provided provides no legal services. The law firm can give you advice, but don't count on them spending any time on your issue. I was given factually incorrect information by the law firm provided. The product is really a bust.

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

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Showing 1-11 of 77

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