Our LegalShield Review
LegalShield is a leader in prepaid legal services, with more than 40 years of experience, a large partner network and over a million members. Its competitive pricing and comprehensive coverage make it an appealing choice for individuals, families or small businesses seeking prepaid legal services. Our LegalShield Reviews found that they also offer some features that other prepaid legal service providers don’t, like the ability to discuss preexisting legal matters, and included trial defense hours. LegalShield provides its members with access to some online legal forms, but it does not advertise access to a comprehensive online legal form library, as competitors do. Our review of LegalShield indicates the company emphasizes attorney representation and service as opposed to legal form creation.
Who qualifies for coverage?
You can purchase LegalShield coverage for yourself, your family, and/or your small business.
How much does coverage cost?
LegalShield’s personal prepaid legal plans start at $24.95/month. You can add an additional “Trial Defense Supplement” or “Home Business Supplement” to either plan for $9.95/month each. Small business plans range from $39.00/month (less than 10 employees) to $149/month (up to 100 employees). LegalShield now offers ID Theft Plans starting at $9.95/month. See our LegalShield reviews below for more about what each plan provides below.
What is included in Personal Plans?
The LegalShield Individual Legal Plan ($24.95/month) covers the member, their spouse and dependent children under the age of 18 (the member’s child can keep coverage until until age 26 if unmarried and living with the member). This plan includes (1) toll-free phone consultations with your Provider Law Firm for any personal legal matter even on pre-existing conditions; (2) A phone call or letter on an attorney’s letterhead can help you get the results you need; (3) review of an unlimited number of documents of up to fifteen (15) pages each; (4) after-hours legal consultations for covered legal emergencies such as: if you’re arrested or detained, if you’re seriously injured, if you’re served with a warrant, or if the state tries to take your child(ren); (5) assistance if you or your spouse are named defendant or respondent in a covered civil action suit (aka “trial defense”). Some services are unlimited and some have hourly limits. Unlike most prepaid legal providers, LegalShield does not enforce a cap on attorney consultation call time. Many other providers limit calls to 30 minutes. Another unique benefit is the ability to call attorneys for pre-existing matters. Most competitors only allow unlimited calls for new matters. This is a key differentiator.
In addition to the services listed above, the following legal services are included in Personal Legal Plans:
- Standard Will Preparation
- Living Will/Medical Directive
- Residential Loan Documents
- Motor vehicle related criminal charge assistance
- Letters on Your Behalf
- Uncontested name change
- Uncontested adoption assistance
- Uncontested divorce or annulment assistance
- IRS Audit legal services
Trial Defense Supplement (+$9.95/month)
Trials are expensive and time consuming. LegalShield has a Trial Defense Supplement to provide an additional 100 hours of trial defense, 75 hours of trial time and 25 hours of pre-trial time, each year of your membership.
Home Business Supplement (+$9.95/month)
If you own a home business, are a consultant or have a rental property, you may need business legal advice and want to add the Home Business Supplement.
- Phone consultation on an unlimited number of business topics, even on pre-existing conditions;
- Up to three business contracts or documents (15 pages or less) reviewed per month (documents relating to court proceedings);
- Up to 6 letters/ calls per year (one per subject matter);
- Up to three initial debt collection letters per month;
- Two thirty minute consultations per year;
- Topics include out-of-state business and these specialty areas of law: Employment, Tax, Securities, Intellectual Property, International Law, Import/ Export, Antitrust, Immigration;
- IRS Audit services include Schedule C and E (attached to member’s personal tax return);
- 25% off additional legal services that extend beyond plan coverage.
This is a general overview of your legal plan coverage for illustration purposes only. The benefits described are not available in all states and Canadian provinces. See a plan contract for complete terms, coverage, amounts, conditions and exclusions.
What is Covered in the Small Business Legal Plans?
LegalShield’s Small Business Legal Plans cover small businesses with 100 or fewer employees. The price of the Small Business Legal Plan depends on the number of employees (between $39/month and $149/month depending on number of employees).
LegalShield Small Business Legal Plans include the following benefits:
- Legal Consultation – Telephone consultation on unlimited matters concerning your business; with up to 1 hour of legal research per matter;
- Correspondence – 20 to 40 calls or letters per year depending on your plan;
- Document and Contract Review – 20 to 40 contracts/documents reviewed per year (up to 15 pages each);
- Debt Collection Letters – 5 to 15 separate initial collection letters per month;
- Trial Defense Services* – Assistance when your business is named defendant or respondent in a covered civil action filed in court which is related to business activities (Up to 75 total hours, including up to 15 hours for pre-trial work);
- Reduced Contingency Fee Service* – Up to a 5% discount from the Provider Lawyer’s standard contingency fee;
- Preferred Discount – 25% off additional legal services, litigation representation and other legal work within your business state is available at a 25% discount from the Lawyer’s corporate hourly rate.
*not available on cheapest plan.
How does the cost compare to traditional attorney services?
The amount of money you save may depend on how much legal help you need — but LegalShield has the potential to save you thousands. For example, a year’s worth of family legal coverage costs $239.40. You might spend that much for only an hour or two of a traditional attorney’s time. In addition, LegalShield members who need services outside the scope of their membership agreement qualify for a 25% discount off the standard hourly rate for generalist and specialist lawyers.
How soon can you speak to an attorney?
LegalShield puts its members in touch with an attorney within 8 hours following a request, or less. For emergency matters, members receive 24-hour access through a dedicated phone line. This is another point of difference between LegalShield and competitors.
Attorney Network and Experience
LegalShield’s dedicated law firms employ 1,900 attorneys in 49 states and four provinces in Canada, as well as an additional 5,000 referral attorneys. This large network helps ensure members receive assistance in a variety of legal matters. In addition, LegalShield’s lawyers average 20 years of experience.
History in Industry
LegalShield was founded in 1969, more than 40 years ago. The company originally was called Sportman’s Motor club, then changed to Pre-Paid Legal Services in 1984. After 2001, it was officially called Legal Shield. Legal Shield provides legal services to over three million members in 49 states and four Canadian provinces.
Member Satisfaction / Service
ConsumerAffairs.com lists LegalShield as a Consumer Affairs Accredited Business, with a satisfaction rating of 4.5 stars. The positive reviews are great — however, at the time of this LegalShield review writing, we noticed that many of the negative reviews had been marked through with a “Factual basis uncertain” stamp. You can also find LegalShield reviews on the Better Business Bureau website, which has a mix of positive and negative reviews. The company does hold an A+ rating with the BBB.
Added Feature: Mobile App
LegalShield Members can download a free mobile app for 24/7 help with covered legal issues, such as traffic tickets or arrests.
Added Feature #2: Plan Recommender
If you’re not sure which plan you need, LegalShield has a unique “Plan Recommender” tool that asks you a few questions and recommends a plan based on your responses.