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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27 Consumer Reviews for LegalShield

Average Consumer Rating: 2.6
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 10 4 star: 1 3 star: 0 2 star: 1 1 star:  15
Bottom Line: 44% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 27
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  • 0 out 2 people found this review helpful

    LegalShield is AMAZING! Member for 16 years.

    • California,
    • Nov 1, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I highly recommend this company. My experiences are based on many years and countless conversations with attorneys at my law firm and other law firms in several different states. It is impossible for me to imagine not having this membership for me and my family. A vast amount and type of legal issues were handled for me. I am a small business owner, married, mother of 3 children.

    LegalShield has been there for me through many life issues and events. Such as, protection for my daughters when they went away to college, elder care, child custody, many documents reviewed, motor vehicle, consumer purchases, business start-up and development (more phone calls than I can count), mortgage loan advice, tax concerns, real estate questions, and much, much more. I have spent hours in consultation seeking advice, with conversations being as long as I needed to get my questions answered and develop a legal strategy.

    Not all attorneys are created equal, and I have learned that sometimes personalities may not match. If there is a problem ask to speak to another attorney, as I did two or three times in my 16 years. I have discovered there can be different legal approaches. More importantly, I think it is about managing my expectations and clearly communicating what outcomes I am looking to achieve. I call it managing my attorney, just like I would anyone invited into my home to do a job.

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

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  • 16 out 18 people found this review helpful
    Updated review

    You can't get them to cancel your membership

    • New York,
    • Oct 16, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    As of 10/13/17, these con artists are still charging my card. What the heck!

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

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    Comments (2)
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    • Sep 14, 2017

      David Roth

      What's your complaint? You joined "yesterday" then immediately decided to cancel. Then you found it difficult to cancel online. So based on that, you chose to write a scathing "review," baselessly trashing someone else's business. It just makes no sense.

    • Oct 12, 2017

      Janet R

      Follow up. YES, a SCATHING review is sometimes necessary. Your company has not yet canceled my membership. This was canceled by phone three months ago. How on earth can that be? Who is in charge of this process? Who can get this done? I bet if I had the help of the Better Business Bureau I would get a refund and a cancellation. I'm waiting for your response.

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    • Previous review
    • Jul 26, 2017

    Buyer beware

    I joined yesterday. I called to cancel today. I was told to write to support@legalshield.com This email address doesn't actually exist. I followed the directions for canceling, and it's bull. I am now going to contact the Better Business Bureau. This should be shut down for poor practices.

    P.S. I would have given it zero stars if I could have. Suck it up and hire a real attorney.

    (read moreread less...)

  • 9 out 11 people found this review helpful

    Not for people who need legal advice

    • Georgia,
    • Oct 16, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    If you have a basic form that you need completed, like a will or a contract, try LegalShield. If you come to them for any other legal advice, buyer beware.

    I was fighting my HOA and was told to just let things lay because I live in a 55+ community and if I got a roommate, he would have to be at least 55 years old, even if he were my boyfriend or we got married. Luckily, a friend told me to sue the HOA for harassment for three different false accusations it had made against me, including that I had violated two of the Covenants. The attorney at LegalShield said she couldn't handle that and then referred me to an outside attorney. He supposedly cut his rate by 25%, but his rate was still more than that of another attorney I had spoken to earlier who was unaffiliated with LegalShield.

    I ended up going with the LegalShield recommended attorney because he knew my father. That attorney told me that I did not have to have a roommate who was 55 and said I had rights to fight back. There appears to be attorneys who work directly for and get paid by LegalShield. And there appears to be outside attorneys who pay LegalShield a fee to get referred to them. I had experiences with two different LegalShield attorneys (those that work directly for the company), and I have nothing good to say about them.

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

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  • 9 out 9 people found this review helpful

    Don't join!

    • Portland, OR,
    • Oct 12, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    My wife joined this through an Aflac representative that was pitching their product at her employment.

    We've tried using the LegalShield folks for a couple of things. They never do a damn thing to help, it's ridiculous. Also, they take $39.90 per month automatically (the only option they offer when you sign up, of course). We tried to cancel their service and payment to no avail. They told us we had to write up a cancellation request and fax it. We tried faxing, but the fax number doesn't work and is no good. They told us to email it, but the email didn't go through and the email is no good.

    Now, we have to cancel our debit card, savings and checking account and start a new. This is not cool at any stretch of the imagination. Stay far away from this rip-off. If you don't, you'll end up angry and regretting it; very much so.

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

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  • 3 out 7 people found this review helpful

    LegalShield was great!

    I had gotten a "Will and Healthcare Proxy, DNR and Power of Attorney" from this company long ago. It was totally covered and my family and I are still protected. I also have the ID Theft Protection which I love because it can be so expensive to restore credit without it.

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

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  • 9 out 9 people found this review helpful

    Lawyer committed fraud with support from Head Office

    • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada,
    • Sep 26, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I contacted LegalShield in April of 2016 about a wrongful dismissal claim I had against my previous employer. I phoned them up as per protocol and the lawyer called me back and asked me to complete some tasks outlining the situation. I really did my homework and asked for legal help where I could from other lawyers who helped me with the process.

    I replied to the law firm, Watson Geopel, and was assigned to Tim Perron, the attorney. Tim asked me to complete task after task, and from our initial request to send a demand letter in February 2017 to now, with one week left in my limitations period, he decides he doesn't want to send the letter and to retain a lawyer. He could have told me that seven months ago.

    Anyways, after I complained to their Head Office, I received a notification that my demand letter was sent. I didn't see it, review anything or authorize its contents. They said it was being sent to me as well. It's been a week and nothing showed up. This is fraud, and I will contact the Law Society and ensure this experience is public knowledge.

    LegalShield is a ripoff. Watson Geopel is a ripoff, committing fraud and should be exposed in public.

    Eight months to send a demand letter? Come on. Negligence? YES. Callousness? YES. Incompetence? YES.

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

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  • 11 out 12 people found this review helpful

    Awful company

    At first, they seemed nice and helpful. Then I was told to call the local law firm for assistance. At first, they seemed nice and helpful. Unfortunately, I was told by the attorney that she would call me back and then day after day went by with no response. I spent hours on hold with LegalShield after the assigned attorney did nothing. They lied and lied and lied. Thanks, Victoria, for your lies.

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

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  • 12 out 12 people found this review helpful

    Horrible

    My mother joined this program on my behalf when I was extremely sick in the hospital last year, and I have paid religiously for the last year.

    About two months ago I attempted to use the service for the first time. Nothing whatsoever is easy with this organization, and quite frankly, nothing on my behalf has been accomplished and as of today. I have canceled my membership, which again, wasn't easy. A simple civil matter was my request, and after three different "referrals," I finally gave up on the service.

    If you sincerely have legal concerns and/or needs, don't waste your time with these people. A will and or POA can be purchased at Office Max and notarized anywhere and is a heck of a lot cheaper than their (lack of) services. If I had to put a label on them, it would be SCAM. Circles of unanswered phone calls followed by countless un-returned messages and still nothing to show for my, well, quite frankly I have no idea how much it cost me monthly but whatever it is, it's too much.

    Finally, when I tried to cancel, a halfhearted attempt to retain my business was made by telling me I had over 120 hours of free legal "help" and should I cancel I would be forfeiting them. My response was that I don't believe them. I don't believe that I have anything as a result of my year's worth of payments and furthermore, if their "help" as of yet was any indication as to their "help" in the future, that I was going to have to pass on that amazing opportunity.

    Don't waste your time or your hard earned money on these people and their empty promises. SCAM, nothing less.

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

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  • 5 out 6 people found this review helpful

    Refinance my house

    • Portland, OR,
    • Aug 22, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I was getting a great deal on a mortgage refi in terms of percentage, and then the company took six months to turn around and tell me they were going to raise my rates. I called my LegalShield firm and spoke to an attorney for about 40 minutes, who then reviewed my good faith mortgage docs AND wrote a three-page letter on my behalf. The mortgage company called me back and got me back to the original terms, and it was all done in about six weeks. I figure it saved me about $30,000 over the life of the loan. Also, an attorney out of the phone book would have cost $100s or $1000s for that help.

    Thank goodness for LegalShield! I think it saves us more than it cost every year.

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

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  • 9 out 9 people found this review helpful

    Low level service

    • Los Angeles, CA,
    • Aug 18, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    Had this a few years. It's very limited, and much depends on sheer luck as far as getting a decent attorney. Overall, I can get just as much advice or feedback from calling any attorney out there.

    As to attorneys, about two were fine. One was a young guy who just sneered at me and let me know he had a two-minute limit to even talk on the phone to such a denizen as myself. Another lawyer could barely speak English. One couldn't keep track of info I'd sent him and sent a letter for me to the wrong address. In addition, the special online portal where I was supposed to access documents, never worked and I never got a copy. Took months to learn about the error.

    Don't know if they still use the online portal. It was so private and secure, even the client couldn't access it. Half the time, it was "down." No help on this, no accountability.

    The services are limited, perhaps a letter at best. If what's needed is beyond the scope of your membership, they give you a referral to lawyers who give a discount. Of course, you can get the same from the county Bar Association. One referral I was given was to someone three hours away. The next was to an attorney who never answered because he was in Europe. When I did connect to him, he wasn't interested in my case. Huge waste of time. One could search for an attorney without LegalShield.

    I also noticed say that some attorneys had views that differed quite a bit from non-LegalShield attorneys. In any case, at best you could squeeze a letter out of them, but mostly just got to talk to someone for ten minutes. Not that productive.

    I ditched the service after running into idiotic phone reps got overly nosey and ornery. Lots of advertising for LegalShield, stressing the great savings, but it's not great savings if you don't get much out of it.

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

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  • 16 out 19 people found this review helpful

    Child custody issue

    • Wyoming,
    • Jul 11, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have only been with LegalShield for five days now. I am financially broke currently for an attorney. I called LegalShield today and was informed an attorney will contact me in a few hours. By golly, they followed through! The attorney was willing to write a note to the courts NOW, and I had to ask him to put the brakes on until further notice.

    Just "knowing" for a measly $20.00 a month to have someone there to have your back at all times, why, it's a cheap price to pay. I'm keeping LegalShield for years to come.

    I highly recommend if you are a current customer of LegalShield, keep them. Read the reviews, and extract the bad ones, from how you feel. All it takes is one bad incident to pay for this service!

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

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