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LegalShield Reviews: The Plans as Well as the Pros and Cons

By Erin Ryan Reviewed By Mike Lucas
By Erin Ryan
By Erin Ryan Reviewed By Mike Lucas

Traffic tickets. Divorces. Adoptions. All these things are instances in which you might need the help of a lawyer — or a provider of legal services. 

Whether you’re in search of legal assistance for your business or personal life, find out what LegalShield is all about. 

See what services are covered, what costs are involved and what you can expect. Plus, check out LegalShield reviews from real users and see how the company ranks on popular user-rating sites.

LegalShield logo with various text message bubbles of reviews with star ratings all around

What Is LegalShield?

LegalShield offers prepaid legal services on a monthly membership basis to individuals, families and small businesses in the U.S. and Canada. Although the company has experienced name changes over the years, it’s been in operation for more than 40 years and has more than 4.4 million members.

The company provides access to more than 900 attorneys from 39 firms who the company claims are available for emergency services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. On average, these attorneys have 22 years of experience, LegalShield says on its website. 

Once a member, a user can download the LegalShield app to access services or contact customer support.

Common uses of LegalShield’s plans include:

  • Family law
  • Estate planning
  • Consumer finance
  • Employment issues
  • Home business needs
  • Traffic tickets and accidents
  • Landlord and tenant agreements

LegalShield Plans and Cost

What does LegalShield cover, you might ask? Here’s what you need to know: 

LegalShield Business Solutions

Legal EssentialsLegal PlusLegal Pro
Monthly Cost$49$99$169
EligibilityA small business entity with:

  • One (1) employee identification number (EIN) or registered number
  • For profit, not publicly traded
  • Engaged in a legal business
What Does Legal Shield Cover?
Advice, Consultation and ResearchTelephone consultations concerning legal matters for a member’s business during regular office hours, including pre-existing conditions. Up to 1 hour of legal research per matter.  Same as Legal Essentials Plan, but valid for both in-state and out-of-state mattersSame as Legal Plus plan
Designated Consultations3 telephone consultations per year, up to 30 minutes in length5 telephone consultations per year, up to 30 minutes in lengthSame as Legal Plus plan
Letters or Phone CallsUp to 10 per year (no more than 3 per month). After 10, there is a flat rate of $75 each.Up to 20 per year (no more than 5 per month). After 20, there is a flat rate of $75 per letter or call. 

(Debt collection letters and designated consultations are excluded from this benefit.)

Up to 40 per year (no more than 10 per month). After 40, there is a flat rate of $75 each.

(Debt collection letters and designated consultations are excluded from this benefit.)

Document Review

(Does not include review of documents relating to court proceedings and lawsuits.)

Up to 10 business legal documents per year (no more than 3 per month and no more than 15 pages in length)  

Documents more than 15 pages as well as submissions in excess of 10 per year or 3 per month will be $75 per document.

Up to 20 business legal documents per year (no more than 5 per month and no more than 20 pages in length)

Documents more than 20 pages as well as submissions in excess of 20 per year or 5 per month will be $75 per document.

Up to 40 business legal documents per year (no more than 10 per month and no more than 25 pages in length) 

Documents more than 25 pages as well as submissions in excess of 40 per year or 10 per month, will be $75 per review.

Collection LettersUp to 5 collection letters per month. Additional letters are $75 each.Up to 10 collection letters per month by the provider attorney. Additional letters are $75 each.Up to 15 collection letters per month. Additional letters are $75 each.
Discount or Flat-Fee Services25% discount from the provider attorney’s hourly rate for additional services and those not outlined in the member contractFlat-fee services: 

  • Trademark and copyright, once per year: $500 
  • Employee Handbook, once per year: $750
  • Custom contract drafting, up to 25 pages: $250

Plus 25% discount for additional services and those not outlined in the member contract.

Flat-fee services: 

  • Trademark and copyright, once per year: $250 
  • Employee Handbook, once per year: $500
  • Custom contract drafting, up to 25 pages: $250

Plus 25% discount for additional services and those not outlined in the member contract.

IRS Audit Legal ServicesN/AUp to 25 hours of services from the provider attorney when notified in writing by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of an audit, investigation or examination of the member’s tax return.

Service includes:

  • 1 hour within first 30 days for consultation, advice and/or assistance.
  • Up to 2.5 hours beginning the thirty-first day for representation at audit or negotiations.
  • Up to 21.5 hours of trial time or services for trial appearance when IRS sues the member, after paying the disputed taxes or member sues the IRS. Trial time is limited up to 8 hours of pre-trial.
Up to 50 hours of services from the provider attorney when notified in writing by the IRS of an audit, investigation, or examination of the member’s tax return.

Service includes:

  • 1 hour within the first 30 days for consultation, advice and/or assistance.
  • Up to 5 hours beginning the thirty-first day for representation at audit or negotiations.
  • Up to 44 hours of trial time or services for trial appearance when IRS sues the member, after paying the disputed taxes or member sues the IRS. Trial time is limited up to 8 hours or pre-trial.
Additional Information

(Class actions, interventions or amicus curiae filings are not covered.)

Member designates in writing up to 2 spokespersons to communicate with the provider attorney. The spokesperson(s) must have the ability to bind the member.  

For more contract details, including terms, conditions and exclusions, see this plan’s contract.

Member designates in writing up to 3 spokespersons to communicate with the provider attorney. The spokesperson(s) must have the ability to bind the business entity.  

Services for letters and phone calls, document review and collection letters are limited to one-half of the amount provided within the service for legal matters outside the state of the members’ principal place of business. For example, 5 out of the 10 collection letters per month are available for collections outside the state of the member’s principal place of business.

For more contract details, including terms, conditions and exclusions, see this plan’s contract.

Member designates in writing up to 5 spokespersons to communicate with the provider attorney. The spokesperson(s) must have the ability to bind the business entity.

Services for letters and phone calls, document review and collection letter can be used both in the primary state of the member, as well as, services provided for legal matters outside the state of the Member’s principal place of business.   

For more contract details, including terms, conditions and exclusions, see this plan’s contract.

Custom contract drafting services don’t include: 

  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Initial public offerings
  • Private placements
  • Administrative or regulatory matters
  • Franchise agreements 
  • Legal matters covered under designated consultations
  • Pleadings or any documents related to administrative proceedings or lawsuits

Negotiations and redrafts are available under the 25% discount from the provider attorney’s hourly rate.

LegalShield Legal Plan for Individuals

Monthly Cost$24.95
Covered Individuals
  • Member
  • Member’s spouse
  • Never-married dependent children of the member or member’s spouse, under 26 years of age who are permanent residents of the member’s household or full-time students
  • Dependent children under age 18 for whom the member or member’s spouse is legal guardian
  • Dependent children, regardless of age, who are physically disabled or mentally incapacitated and unable to make legally binding decisions, unable to be employed, 51% or more financially dependent upon the member and member’s spouse and live at home with the member or member’s spouse.
Covered LegalShield Benefits*
  • Unlimited consulting
  • Speeding ticket assistance
  • Demand letters and phone calls
  • 24/7 emergency assistance
  • Unlimited contract review (up to 15 pages each)
  • Will, living will and power of attorney
  • Uncontested adoption representation
  • Durable power of attorney
  • Trial defense services
    • In the first membership year, 57.5 hours of trial time and 2.5 hours of pre-trial time are provided for trial defense. Hours increase through the fifth membership year, up to 300 total hours (295.5 trial hours and 4.5 pre-trial hours).
  • Uncontested divorce or separation
  • Uncontested name change
  • IRS audit legal services
  • Residential loan document assistance
  • Collections, warranties, and guaranties

*Certain exclusions may apply. See the plan contract for full details.

Personal legal service add-ons available for an extra $12.95 each:

  • Gun owner 
  • Trial defense
  • Ride share and delivery driver 
  • Home business

Several identity theft plans also are available for an additional cost, with plans ranging from $13.95 to $149.94 monthly.

  • Will LegalShield Represent You in Court?

    Although certain exceptions and exclusions may apply, LegalShield’s personal plan includes trial defense if a member or member’s spouse is named as a defendant or respondent in a covered civil action suit. 

    Included trial time is outlined as follows:

    4-column chart showing rows for up to 5 years, each showing the year, pre-trial time, trial time and total time for LegalShield provider court representation
    Source: LegalShield

Commercial Driver Legal Plan

Commercial Drivers Legal PlanSuper Commercial Drivers Legal Plan
Monthly Cost$32.95$44.95
Covered IndividualsMember and spouse
Covered LegalShield Benefits
  • Traffic accident representation
  • Moving violations defense
  • Defense of non-moving violations (e.g., logbook and inspections, overweight/length, hazmat violations, spills)
  • Property damage collection 
  • Personal injury collection
  • License reinstatement
Everything in the base plan plus 

  • Expanded noncriminal Department of Transportation and non-moving Violation defense
  • Expanded licenses reinstatement assistance
  • Will preparation service
  • IRS audit legal services

Work not specifically covered by a plan is typically available at a 25% discount of the attorney’s standard rate.

Additionally, members are responsible for paying court costs, fines, and related fees.

Monthly plans are charged regardless if any covered services were used.

  • How Do LegalShield’s Costs Compare With Conventional Attorney Fees?

    The average hourly billable rate for lawyers is nearly $300 an hour, according to legal software company Clio. The lowest average rate by state is in West Virginia, where the average billable rate for lawyers is $166 an hour. Billable rates are impacted by practice area, with juvenile law with the lowest rate and bankruptcy the highest.

    The same report found 72% of consumers would rather pay their legal fees through payment plans. The flexibility and lower out-of-pocket costs inherent in payment plans is presumably a reason why the monthly, prepaid legal fees offered through LegalShield and similar sites are popular. 

Online Review Sites Comparison of LegalShield

We scoured the web to see what real users and review sites had to say about this prepaid legal service. Here’s a breakdown of what we found.*

Better Business Bureau (BBB)Consumer AffairsTrustpilotBestCompanyFacebook
Rating2.51 / 5 stars 

A+ rating

BBB-accredited business since 1995

3.7 / 5 stars4.0 / 5 stars4.3 / 5 stars

8.9/10 overall score

4.4 / 5 stars
Number of Reviewers981895891651,967
Additional Information193 complaints closed in last 3 years

69 complaints closed in last 12 months

N/A76% of reviewers rated LegalShield “excellent or great”

16% rated it “bad”

5% as “average”

19% as “bad” or “poor”

4.2 / 10 likely to recommendN/A

*As of June 10, 2021

LegalShield Competitors

Here is an overview of a couple of LegalShield’s competitors, LegalZoom and RocketLawyer. See how their ratings compare with LegalShield’s.*

LegalZoomRocketLawyer
Better Business Bureau4.21 / 5 stars (2.334 reviews)

A rating

BBB-accredited business since 2001

4.4 / 5 stars (83 reviews)

A+ rating

BBB-accredited business since 2006

Consumer Affairs4.5 / 5 stars (711 reviews)4.9 / 5 stars (412 reviews)
Trustpilot4.1 / 5 stars (772 reviews)4.7 / 5 stars (3,438 reviews)
BestCompany2.9 / 5 stars (58 reviews)

6.6 / 10 overall score

4.8 /  5 stars (74 reviews)

7.1 / 10 overall score

*As of June 10, 2021

LegalShield Pros and Cons

The service has positives as well as negatives. Take a look at a few examples of actual reviews users have left on various ratings platforms and their reasoning. 

Keep in mind that members work with the same provider law firm for every legal matter, though attorneys within the firm may vary by case. 

Pros

Affordable Membership 

With plans starting at about $25 for personal plans, that’s roughly 80 cents a day for the lowest plan and a little more than $1.50 a day for the base business plan.

Individual 5-star Trustpilot rating and written review of LegalShield

Cost Savings 

Because of the nominal prepaid monthly membership fee, many members feel, in the long run, there is a cost savings. Should a covered legal need arise, they can turn to LegalShield and not spend additional money unexpectedly.

Individual 5-star rating and written review of LegalShield on the Better Business Bureau website

Additionally, through the company’s MEMBERPerks program, users are entitled to discounts on hundreds of popular brands, such as these:

  • Adidas
    Fitbit
  • Expedia
  • Costco
  • Office Depot
  • Verizon
  • HP
  • Overstock

Convenient App

The ubiquitous use of mobile devices makes it imperative for consumer services to provide user-friendly apps. Here’s a review of LegalShield’s app on the review site Consumer Affairs:

Individual 5-star rating and written review of LegalShield on Consumer Affairs

Best for Minor Legal Needs

Several reviewers have commented about the benefits of using LegalShield for help with traffic tickets. This BBB reviewer below mentions that, too, along with the positive experience he’s had with document preparation and review.

Individual 5-star rating and written review of LegalShield on the Better Business Bureau website

Complementary Products

In addition to personal and small business legal plans, LegalShield offers various add-ons, such as trial defense and home business coverage. It also cross-sells identity theft protection and commercial driver protection, all in one place.

Cons 

Difficult to Cancel

Several users have commented about how challenging the cancellation process can be, as evident in this BBB review.

Written billing complaint of LegalShield submitted on the Better Business Bureau website

Not Timely

Another commentary is that lawyers may take more than the promised 4 hours to return a call.

Written complaint of LegalShield submitted on the Better Business Bureau website, reviewer rated the company with 1 star

Poor Service

While some users have commented positively about the company’s services, others haven’t, as evident in the BBB review.

Written complaint of LegalShield submitted on the Better Business Bureau website, reviewer rated the company with 1 star

Not All Services Covered

Noted by several reviews is the lack of coverage for certain legal services, though this is detailed in LegalShield’s contract and program details.

Written complaint of LegalShield submitted on the Trustpilot website with user leaving a 1-star review

Additional Costs for Uncovered Services

Here is a recent Facebook review along with LegalShield’s response. In this instance, a 6-year LegalShield member experienced difficulty having a lease reviewed. The attorney indicated the lease was too long and would cost extra than what was covered by the plan.

Facebook complaint from LegalShield user, along with LegalShield’s response to the complaint

Erin Ryan Social Community Manager, Senior Writer and Editor at Fast Capital 360
Erin has more than 15 years’ experience writing, proofreading and editing web content, technical documentation, instructional materials, marketing copy, editorials, social copy and creative content. In her role at Fast Capital 360, Erin covers topics of interest to small business owners, including sales, marketing, business management and financing.
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