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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47 Consumer Reviews for LegalShield

Average Consumer Rating: 2.5
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 16 4 star: 1 3 star: 0 2 star: 2 1 star:  28
Bottom Line: 40% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 47
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  • 1 out 2 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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  • 1 out 2 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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  • 3 out 4 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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  • 2 out 3 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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  • 4 out 4 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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  • 7 out 8 people found this review helpful

    Not happy with them at all. Feeling frustrated and very disappointed.

    • Florida,
    • Jul 29, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I cannot get any assistance from these people. I spent my time and resources copying, paying for and hand delivering 78 pages of Will and Trust documents to them for review for a Probate matter expecting to have a competent attorney review it and give me competent legal advice. Instead what I got was a 2-3 minute phone consultation with someone claiming to be an attorney who told me no one was going to read through 78 pages of documentation and proceeded to ask ME what was contained in the documents expecting ME to act as my own attorney interpreting the documents and give him feedback. How can a law firm give competent legal advice if they refuse to review the documents they are being provided? Useless service.

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

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  • 5 out 8 people found this review helpful

    Thankful

    • Plattsburgh, NY,
    • Jul 19, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I was introduced to LegalShield when my son got in trouble in school. After explaining the situation to an "intake person," I was told it could take up to 8 business hours for a lawyer to call me back. It only took 2, and she was extremely helpful! She advised me what to do and say, as well as what not to do or say! The situation required several different calls and each time they responded quickly and with respect. I have Googled the firm, and they are legit.

    I was so impressed that I signed up to sell the policies. I have been paid promptly for each policy and have heard good things from those who have used them. Just getting your will done is worth it! I sold a timeshare in a different state, and they assigned a lawyer from that state to handle it.

    I am very happy with LegalShield as an associate and as a customer!

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

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  • 3 out 7 people found this review helpful

    Member

    • Saint Louis, MO,
    • Jul 12, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Listen, I paid for an account that I am not able to use. I don't know what the problem is, but I spoke to Julie who did not do her job. I am trying to get forms online, which it won't let me log in. I would say if you're taking my money I well better be able to use the account.

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

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  • 22 out 25 people found this review helpful

    Payment scam

    • Chicago, IL,
    • Jun 3, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I called to cancel, and the person on the phone said their cancellation policy is that you have to give written notice. She gave me the address and all of the info I needed to send in. I sent a letter to cancel my membership. They charged me again, I called, and they said they didn't receive any cancellation request and to do it through email. So I did. The next month they are charging me again! I called and they said that I don't have an account with them. They said they are not charging my card. They looked up my card number and said it is not associated with any account. But there it is on my credit card statement AGAIN! They said to send them my credit card statement to prove that I am really being charged, which is my battle with them now. NOT RECOMMENDED! Scam!

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

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    Comments (1)
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    • Aug 29, 2018

      Elaine A.

      All you have to do is call your bank and let them know that you are having a dispute and you want your money back. Your bank should handle it. They take your money out of their account and put it back in your account until the dispute is solved. I've had to do it numerous times with crooked outfits. Hope this helps.

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  • 24 out 27 people found this review helpful

    Horrible - stay away and just get an attorney on your own

    • Kansas,
    • May 29, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    They tell you over the phone that you get consultation included in your monthly fee and that is a lie. It is up to the attorney discretion to charge you on top of that, and they never tell you this over the phone. So essentially an attorney is NOT going to do anything without getting paid in full, so your little monthly fee is worthless. You are still going to pay a lot and think about it the entire thing is a scam. Their contract protects them, and no one reads this in detail, so all of us stooges, like myself, find out later. Stay away! They will pay for this someday for lying to us.

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

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  • 27 out 28 people found this review helpful

    Wasted 8 years of money paying for something that is a lie

    • Campbell, CA,
    • May 24, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Never did I know this was a scam until I needed to use the membership. They strung me along for six months on a case that they ended up not helping us with. Instead, they said to go to small claims court. I was with them for 8 years and canceled today. I do not recommend this company.

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

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