Legal Plans 101: What You Should Know About Legal Plans

When most people think of legal issues, they think of criminal matters. But did you know that 54% of employees experienced a legal event over the course of a year?1 Considering that the hourly rate to see an attorney can cost upwards of $338 an hour,2 it can be very expensive to seek help when legal events occur.

That’s where a legal plan comes in. A legal plan is a workplace voluntary benefit that provides access to attorneys for help with personal legal matters all for a low monthly payroll deduction, typically around $20 a month.

Ask yourself the following questions to learn more about whether a legal plan is right for you.

Do I need a legal plan? Because legal matters often have a negative connotation to them, many people don’t think they have a need for legal help. But in reality, expected and unexpected legal issues happen every day. Do you plan to buy or sell a home? Expand your family? Is caring for aging parents in your future? If any of these issues are on the horizon for you, you will likely need the help of an attorney. Not to mention, all of the unexpected issues that can arise, from identity theft to tax audits or disputes with a neighbor or landlord. If you had to pay for an attorney out of pocket for help with these issues, could you afford it?

With the MetLaw legal plan, you also have access to unlimited consultation services with our attorneys to ask questions and get advice on legal issues that arise, even if the issue is not covered under your plan (as long as it’s not an excluded matter).

How do I find an attorney, and can I use any attorney I want? One of the biggest benefits of a legal plan is that it takes the work out of finding an attorney. A recent MetLife survey found that 80% of employers said that a legal plan provided their employees with above average legal services.3  Our client service center representatives are trained to help you find the right attorney for your matter and are dedicated to ensuring that you get the legal help you need. When you use an attorney in a legal plan network, you know that attorney has been vetted. Attorneys are required to have at least eight years of experience in the practice of law, have graduated from an accredited law school and hold a valid state license as well as have experience in matters covered under the plan. With most plans, you also have the option to use an attorney outside of the network and be reimbursed for some of the costs if that is more convenient.

Are services fully covered, or just discounted? Although discounts are great, seeing an attorney is very expensive. To get the help you need for your legal matters, a comprehensive legal plan provides access to fully covered services so you don’t have to pay significant out-of-pocket costs to fight a traffic ticket or get help with a debt collection matter. With a comprehensive legal plan like MetLaw, services are fully covered for many common personal legal matters, meaning everything from the initial consultation to drafting and reviewing documents and representation in court, if necessary, is covered by your monthly payroll deduction. There are no co-pays or deductibles.

Do legal plans cover court representation? The legal plan covers representation in court for many common personal legal matters. Attorneys can make appearances for traffic tickets, debt matters, or attend a tax audit or juvenile court hearing.

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1 MetLife research, fielded by ORC International, a leading business intelligence firm between June and July of 2017.

2 Average hourly rate of $338.00/hour based on years of legal experience, National Law Journal and ALM Legal Intelligence, Survey of Law Firm Economics (2016).

3 MetLife research, fielded by ORC International, a leading business intelligence firm between June and July of 2017.