LegalShield, formerly known as PrePaid Legal, provides a range of basic prepaid legal services. It offers low cost monthly plans for individuals and small businesses covering limited areas like demand letters, uncontested legal circumstances, contract or other agreement reviews, emergency assistance, basic legal consults and more.
The company has existed long before online legal services like LegalZoom became popular, being founded in August of 1972 by Harland Stonecipher. Today, LegalShield touts a membership base of 4.4 million people and businesses.
Individual/family legal plans start for as little as $29.95 per month and offer a range of services including legal consulting, ticket assistance and a range of other types of document assistance.
Some of the small business legal services offered by LegalShield include legal advice, research, consultation, 25% discounts on specialized legal services beyond a basic consult, document review, legal letters and other assistance starting at $49 per month.
A monthly membership plan is required to utilize LegalShield. At first glance it may seem like an excellent option for individuals and businesses to save on legal costs. But like any other online legal service, there are numerous pros and cons to consider.
With LegalShield you determine your needs, pick a monthly plan, and utilize the services that you need (that are covered by your plan) and then enjoy a 25% discount on the partner law firms that LegalShield works with when dealing with more complicated matters.
Does LegalShield make sense for you? Read on to learn more about whether or not it could be a good option for your needs.
Should You Use LegalShield?
LegalShield may be good for several businesses and individuals who do not have the budget to spend on attorney services for basic matters. Like any online legal service there are some disadvantages to consider that could affect your decision to sign up for LegalShield:
Hiring an attorney the traditional way may be expensive at times, but a major plus is the fact that your attorney will always customize your advice and their services for the matter that you are dealing with.
Additionally, you’re able to negotiate exactly what is covered by your attorney’s fees so it can sometimes be more transparent to know what you are getting with an attorney, while with a service like LegalShield, you will need to review everything that is covered.
LegalShield offers very affordable monthly plans for both individuals and businesses but there are certainly limits to the types of legal services that you will receive under those plans.
For example, there are limitations on designated consultations (specific areas of law) at up to 30 minutes per call. Document reviews are limited to up to 15 pages maximum. Although general legal advice is unlimited on each plan, many types of legal matters are specific and likely will require a designated consultation.
LegalShield can be a good option for individuals and businesses on a very limited budget that want assistance with basic legal needs. Many startups and smaller businesses may be in this circumstance and could find use in LegalShield’s limited consultations, document assistance, letters and other services.
The caveat is that the level of service, quality, and customer support is not going to be the same as going directly to a law firm or individual lawyer and paying their regular rate.
How Does LegalShield Work?
LegalShield has built partnerships with numerous law firms across the USA and Canada for 5 decades. So, today, there are over 900 attorneys within their network who are able to cover a vast range of different types of legal needs for LegalShield’s customer base.
When you sign up for a monthly membership plan, you get access to a law firm within your state and can choose one of the attorneys in LegalShield’s network to work with. However, the services you will receive are limited to what’s covered within your membership. Many complicated matters or contested matters require legal representation at a 25% off discounted rate.
You also get emergency access to an attorney when needed, and many customers enjoy the peace of mind that they can access an attorney in the case of an emergency personal or business situation.
Essentially, you pay a low monthly rate for emergency attorney access and some basic legal services. That is an appealing offer for millions of people, but some may prefer a different online legal service with different types of covered services. Or many people simply prefer to pay for an attorney when needed as opposed to a monthly rate.
Can You Speak to a Real Attorney at LegalShield?
Yes, one of the major benefits of having a membership at a service like LegalShield is the fact that you can speak to an attorney any time for the matters they cover. Many customer stories have mentioned that their attorneys are highly responsive for most matters.
For individuals, covered service areas include:
For businesses, covered service areas include
What Does LegalShield Cost?
LegalShield’s cost varies depending on the level of service you request and the type of plan. Plans start at $29.95/month for the basic personal legal plan and business plans start at $49.00 per month.
Add-ons are available depending on the legal need. For example, the Trial Defense, Gun Owners and Ride Share supplement is $14.95 per month each. Add-ons can be selected during checkout when the monthly membership is chosen.
LegalShield is a unique legal membership service in terms of its structure. Many other online legal services or legal memberships provide their users with document templates that are customized for each state and circumstance using some form of questionnaire.
LegalShield is different in that it does not rely on these templates for its legal services but rather offers basic to limited legal services across a wide range of personal legal situations.
Other services like RocketLawyer or LegalZoom provide document templates for a range of different types of legal documents, with similar free 30 minute consultations on more specialized or complicated matters, and a similar
Generally, LegalShield is a good option for people who want basic legal protection in a particular area or multiple areas (such as traffic law, renting or being a landlord, consumer finance, gun ownership, etc.). LegalShield is a unique service in that it offers such a wide range of coverage areas compared to other services, but is structured in a way that limits the legal assistance before additional payment for hiring a partner law firm or attorney is required.
It can be a good option for individuals or businesses who find themselves dealing with a range of legal situations or who anticipate upcoming legal needs.
If you are considering LegalShield just bear in mind the service limitations and the fact that you may not get the exact customization or level of service that you would receive from paying an attorney their regular price.