What does the company do well? LegalShield offers several services for small business owners, including ongoing prepaid legal services and filing to start a business as an LLC, C Corp, S Corp, etc. The prices for the membership are reasonable and include helpful services, such as letters and phone calls placed by lawyers on your behalf. You can also get a limited number of documents reviewed by a lawyer.
Shake by LegalShield is the online legal services way of offering free legal documents to members. You don’t have to be a LegalShield member to use the documents, but you will need to sign up for a Shake membership (free). It’s browser-based, or you can download the app for iOS or Android devices. Compared to other online legal document services, Shake is limited, but LegalShield regularly adds new documents to its template library.
What does the company not do well? Many of the negative reviews living online regarding LegalShield typically have to do with one or two issues: cancellation or refusal of service.
To cancel your membership with LegalShield, you must send in a written request. That means it doesn’t matter how many times you call the service and demand a cancellation, it won’t be granted until your request is received in writing.
LegalShield doesn’t make it absolutely clear that the unlimited consultations with attorneys aren’t actually unlimited. The attorney can determine how many matters you’re allowed. This can be frustrating when you have certain expectations that aren’t met.
Also, anytime you consult with a lawyer from an appointed law firm through LegalShield, you’re likely to endure a round of upsells. Of course, the lawyer wants you to hire them rather than receive advice only, so you’ll have to choose your consultations and questions carefully to get the most out of LegalShield’s services.
Customer support, or member services, is also sales, so you may call for help with your plan and be subjected to upsell attempts.
What do you wish you had known about the company before using? It’s important to understand what you’re paying for when you get a membership with LegalShield or you could feel as though you’ve been had. The prepaid service is a defensive measure, in case you need access to a lawyer, and a high-tier plan can give you attorney representation, but it’s severely limited. If you actually need representation, you’ll need to hire an attorney. A LegalShield membership is not the same as having a lawyer represent you, except in the smallest of matters.
Regardless of how much you pay, how long you’ve been a member with LegalShield, the service’s lawyers can refuse service if they feel there’s no defense. Although it works the same for any attorney you hire, it can seem like false advertising, as you might feel as though you’re paying for a membership that would protect you in case you ever need a lawyer.
All this information is available on LegalShield’s website, but it’s difficult to find, and for some difficult, at best, to understand. We’d prefer to see the terms laid out more simply, so we didn’t feel as if we need a lawyer just to understand what’s included and what’s excluded.