When you’re watching TV and a character who’s been wronged says “You’ll be hearing from my attorney”, do you ever think “Man, it must be nice to be able to afford to have an attorney at your beck and call.”?
LegalShield is a service that promises to offer you just that. For a low monthly membership fee you can have access to a lawyer for all kinds of free services including writing letters, reviewing documents, and even estate planning.
Table of Contents
- What Is LegalShield?
- How Does LegalShield Work?
- LegalShield Personal Plan
- Business Plan, Features, and Pricing
- LegalShield Pros and Cons
- LegalShield as a Side Hustle
- LegalShield Reviews
- Who Is LegalShield For?
What Is LegalShield?
LegalShield was founded in 1972 as PrePaid Legal Services, Inc. after its founder, Harland Stonecipher, got into a no-fault auto accident and had trouble paying the legal fees to prove his case.
His goal: Bring affordable legal representation to the masses. Eventually, the company would adopt a network marketing approach to spreading the word about the service and later change its name to LegalShield.
Today, the company has nearly 2 million members and an almost 50-year track record of helping people with their legal needs.
LegalShield has coverage plans for individuals and families as well as for small businesses. For a small monthly fee, you have access to a range of legal services including:
- Phone consultation on an unlimited number of legal issues
- Access to the LegalShield app for fast help with traffic violations
- Discounted legal services if your issue requires comprehensive help
- Estate planning services
How Does LegalShield Work?
LegalShield works with attorneys and law firms across the U.S. to provide services for its members. The attorneys that LegalShield partners with have an average of 22 years of experience.
In other words, LegalShield is choosy about which attorneys they partner with. When you’re a member and have a legal need, you simply make a call to LegalShield’s customer service line.
From there, the LegalShield customer service representative will advise you as to your next move.
You’ll either get instruction as to how to handle your need via the LegalShield app or you’ll be directed to a partner attorney near you.
What’s in it for Law Firms?
You might be wondering why lawyers are willing to offer these services to members for free or at discounted prices.
LegalShield uses member fees to pay law firms for their participation in the LegalShield program. In addition, LegalShield offers free marketing for law firms.
It’s a passive marketing plan that gives law firms easy access to clients. Firms get paid by LegalShield to be available for covered issues.
In addition, they can earn extra money when there’s an issue that requires assistance above and beyond membership coverage.
LegalShield Personal Plan
When I was married to my ex-husband we had a LegalShield membership as a part of his employer benefits. The company paid a portion of the monthly fee and the membership cost us about $8 a month so we thought, “Eh, why not?”
A little less than a year later we had a legal run-in when a local cable company ran a line under our driveway to get cable to the neighbor’s house.
Within a couple of weeks, the driveway sank along the area where the line was run. We called the cable company and complained, but they said there was no proof that the damage was caused by their work.
Next, we called LegalShield. Our attorney sent a letter to the cable company within the week, outlining the cost of the repair (we’d gotten an estimate) and demanding restitution.
A short time later we received a check in the mail from the cable company and had our driveway repaired. In my experience, the coverage was well worth the price.
Today, LegalShield’s Personal Plan costs just $24.95 per month and you can cancel at any time. For that price, you get legal coverage for yourself, your spouse, and your dependents.
Features of LegalShield’s Personal Plan include:
- Free consultations with an attorney by phone
- Attorneys will write letters or make phone calls on your behalf
- Review of legal documents up to 15 pages in length
- Standard Will, Living Will, and Durable Trusts at no extra cost
- Defense of moving violations
- Mortgage document preparation and document review of primary residential home purchases
- Representation for uncontested separations, annulments, divorces, adoptions, and name changes
- 24/7 emergency access to attorneys for specified situations
- Civil suit representation for members and their spouses
- Legal help for IRS audits
And more. You’ll also be eligible for included court trial and preparation time that increases during the first five years of your LegalShield membership.
The Personal Plan includes 25% off of member attorneys’ hourly rates as well as discounts on over 500 big name brands such as Costco.
LegalShield’s Personal Plan has add-on programs you can purchase for an extra monthly cost too. For instance, you can choose to add features to your membership such as:
- Home-based Business coverage
- Trial Defense that lets you increase the number of trial and preparation hours allowed
- Gun Owner coverage that offers additional trial hours, unlimited consultations, and 24/7 emergency access for incidents involving firearms
- Rideshare and Delivery Driver coverage
Commercial Drivers Legal Plan
As another option under LegalShield’s Individuals and Families offerings, you can get LegalShield’s Commercial Drivers Legal Plan.
This plan costs $32.95 and covers both over-the-road and local commercial vehicle drivers. It covers moving violations, DOT violations, and non-moving violations.
The plan also covers more serious incidents such as accidents, loss of driving privileges, property damage, and personal injury.
Commercial drivers can face a whole different set of legal challenges, especially when driving through different states with varying laws.
If you or your spouse are commercial drivers, this may be a plan worth checking out.
Business Plan, Features, and Pricing
LegalShield’s Business Plan for small businesses has three options you can choose from. All LegalShield Business plans include the following benefits:
- Advice, consultation, and research on business issues
- Designated consultation in specific areas such as copyright, patent, and trademark
- MEMBERPerks discounts on hundreds of name brands
- 25% discount on paid-for legal services
Along with that, each plan offers other features as well. Here’s a summary of the cost and additional features that come with each plan.
SMB Legal Essentials
LegalShield’s SMB Essentials plan costs $49 per month and offers:
- 10 letters or phone calls per year (up to 3 per month)
- 10 document reviews each year (up to 15 pages each, up to 3 per month)
- 5 collection letters sent per month
SMB Legal Plus
LegalShield’s SMB Legal Plus plan costs $99 per month and offers:
- 20 letters or phone calls per year (up to 5 per month)
- 20 document reviews each year (up to 20 pages each, up to 5 per month)
- 10 collection letters sent per month
- IRS audit legal services (25 hours of help)
- Additional services for an extra fee
SMB Legal Pro
And finally, the SMB Legal Pro plan costs $169 per month and offers these additional services:
- 40 letters or phone calls per year (up to 10 per month)
- 40 document reviews each year (up to 25 pages each, up to 10 per month)
- 15 collection letters sent per month
- IRS audit legal services (50 hours of help)
- Additional services for an extra fee
You can choose which business plan best fits the size and nature of your business. And all LegalShield Business plans can be canceled at any time.
LegalShield Pros and Cons
There’s a lot to like about LegalShield, but as with any service, there are both pros and cons. Here’s a summary of each.
- Offers affordable legal service for individuals, families, and business owners
- Covers a wide variety of legal issues
- 24/7 emergency assistance for serious issues
- Add-ons to cover a variety of needs
- Cancel anytime
- $10 non-refundable enrollment fee
- No free trial or money back guarantees
- Limited legal coverage in certain circumstances
LegalShield as a Side Hustle
You might be interested to know that LegalShield can help you earn some money when you work it as a business of your own.
Julie Ward Roadfeldt has been working as a LegalShield representative for over 12 years. Here’s what she has to say about helping people get legal protection with her LegalShield business:
“I went to law school in my twenties because I had a passion for helping empower people through the law. I never had any desire to use my degree in the field of law; I just wanted to learn how I could use the law to help others.
“Twenty years later I was introduced to LegalShield by a friend. I was skeptical and wanted serious answers to questions such as:
- How good are the attorneys?
- Is the discount really a discount?
- What’s the catch?
“After much research, I learned that LegalShield only partners with highly-rated law firms, that the discount really is a discount, and that there is no catch. I’ve been a LegalShield associate ever since.
“I love that I can earn money by helping people. I can create my own schedule. And I have plenty of time to be the mom and grandma that I want to be.
When people ask Julie how she’s achieved success in her LegalShield business, the answer is simple:
“Maintaining relationships is key for anyone who wants a successful business with LegalShield. I am always there for my clients. Whether they have a question, have difficulties with their attorney, or simply need to talk, I am there for them. They know I’ve got their backs and will do what I need to do to help them out.”
How Much Money Can You Make?
How much money can you make as a LegalShield associate? Julie says that depends on your level of commitment.
Associates receive a commission for each sign-up, as well as a portion of the monthly fee each client brings in.
There are additional earnings for longevity and retention of clients. In other words, if you service your clients well and they continue with their LegalShield membership, you earn more money.
And of course, the more people you sign up for the service, the more money you can earn. Like any good side hustle, you make it what you want it to be.
As a part of this review we’ve scoured the net for review information on LegalShield. Here’s what we found.
Trustpilot rating: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Trustpilot had more good reviews than bad. Most of the bad reviews revolved around people having trouble working with or reaching attorneys.
Facebook reviews: 4.4 out of 5 stars
Facebook had an overall good score for LegalShield as well. Similarly, most of the bad reviews revolved around not getting the service that was promised.
When I asked Julie Ward Roadfeldt about the negative reviews we found, here was her answer:
“Negative reviews come in two packages: Those who truly have negative experiences, and those who simply didn’t hear what they wanted to hear. LegalShield can’t do anything about the latter, but as far as clients having legit negative experiences with attorneys, this is where associates really have an opportunity to shine.
“Personally, on the rare occasions that I’ve had a client complain about unhelpful attorneys, I make an immediate call to the supervising attorney. And the issue has always been resolved very quickly. Law firm managers know the value LegalShield brings and are typically just as eager to provide good service as LegalShield associates are.”
Who Is LegalShield For?
So, who is LegalShield best for? LegalShield can be a great option for you if you’re in need of estate planning services. The cost to get estate planning documents written up independently far outweighs a year of membership costs for LegalShield.
LegalShield can be a great service for you if you like the idea of having legal help right at your fingertips.
Lastly, you might want to get a LegalShield membership if you think LegalShield might be a good side hustle for you. If you like the idea of helping others and creating a business that you can customize to your lifestyle, check it out.
LegalShield might not be beneficial to you if you don’t need estate planning help and are at minimal risk of having a legal issue arise.
If you have comprehensive insurance coverage or are independently wealthy, you may have the cash to cover legal service needs. But you could be paying more for those legal needs than you would with a LegalShield membership.
As with insurance coverage, only you can decide what type of coverage and how much you need.
LegalShield offers legal help at an affordable price. Estate planning services alone, which are included with a LegalShield Individual plan, can run you $1,000 or more through a local attorney.
Check out LegalShield’s individual and business plans and see if they might benefit you.
Have you ever used LegalShield? If so, what was your experience?