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Introduction

Many people could use legal help but do not seek lawyer services. According to a survey conducted by Leo J. Shapiro & Associates, for the American Bar Association Section of Litigation, seven in ten U.S. households (71%) report experiencing some event in a twelve month period that might have led them to hire a lawyer. The study indicated that for the consumer, legal services are among the most difficult services to buy. When it comes to hiring a lawyer, consumers feel uncertain about how to tell a good lawyer from a bad one. It is often unclear exactly what the lawyer will do for them and how much the lawyer will charge. So, over half of those who might need a lawyer say they do not plan on hiring one.

What is a Legal Plan?

Very simply, a legal plan is similar in concept to that of a medical plan. However, instead of having access to doctors for free and discounted rates, a legal plan provides access to lawyers for free and discounted rates. A legal plan lets a member talk to a lawyer whenever the member thinks he or she might have a problem, without fear of the cost. With the proper legal advice most problems can be avoided or quickly resolved. And if further services, such as representation in court is needed, a legal plan can help a member find the right lawyer, pay all or part of the legal bills or actually provide a lawyer to handle the case at no cost to the member. By putting legal advice as near as the telephone, legal plans enable their members to prevent legal questions from becoming legal problems. Sixty-five to eighty-five percent of all problems brought to lawyers through plans can be resolved through nothing more than advice and a small amount of follow-up. In addition, having a lawyer readily available gives people peace of mind.

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