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New LegalShield Report: Personal Legal Matters Are Sapping U.S. Worker Productivity

May 29th, 2024
  • One in Four Employees Take Time Off to Deal with Legal Matters
  • Majority of Employees Lack Legal Support During Everyday Life Events
  • Unresolved Legal Issues Fuel Workplace Stress, Anxiety and Disengagement

A new report from LegalShield has uncovered a hidden drain on the American workforce, with one in four full-time employees needing to take time off work last year to deal with personal legal issues. 

The report found that 79% of workers faced major life events in recent years – such as estate planning, fighting debt collections, handling a divorce, or resolving housing disputes – that could have benefited from legal counsel. However, most (71%) did not obtain a lawyer’s assistance, leading to increased stress, anxiety, lower job satisfaction and reduced ability to focus compared to colleagues without such legal burdens.

“These findings expose a blind spot that savvy employers can no longer afford to ignore,” said Emily B. Rose, head of LegalShield’s employee legal plans division. “American companies are leaving employee productivity and wellbeing on the table when they fail to provide access to affordable legal benefits that can guide workers through personal legal crises.”

Those who obtained legal counsel reported significantly lower stress levels, underscoring how offering group legal plans is a way for employers to address a far-reaching issue impacting employee productivity and well-being.

“Providing legal assistance benefits addresses the productivity drain two ways,” said Rose. “It helps mitigate the impact that personal legal issues have on the workforce, while also helping employers maintain a more focused, less-stressed and ready-to-work employee base.”

LegalShield is the nation’s leading provider of legal plans, with over 45,000 businesses offering voluntary legal benefits to millions of employees. In today’s tight labor market, investments in legal support can pay dividends for companies aiming to improve retention, morale, and overall employee wellbeing.

“No one should be left to navigate a complex legal matter alone,” said Rose. “Smart employers recognize how much legal guidance can improve lives – and boost their bottom line through a more productive workforce.”

The report’s key findings include:

  • 25% of full-time workers took time off last year to address personal legal matters
  • 79% faced a major life event that would often benefit from legal help, from estate planning to debt issues
  • 71% did not seek legal help
  • 49% reported that their legal matter added stress to their personal or professional lives
  • Those who obtained legal counsel (58%) reported significantly lower stress levels
  • Legal matters correlate to higher anxiety, lower job satisfaction and reduced focus

Download the 2024 LegalShield Employee Legal Needs Report for additional data and insights. 


About LegalShield
A trailblazer in the democratization of affordable access to legal advice, counsel, protection, and representation, LegalShield is one of the world’s largest platforms for legal, identity, and reputation management services protecting individuals and businesses across North America. Founded in 1972, LegalShield, and its privacy management product, IDShield, has provided individuals, families, businesses, and employers with tools and services needed to affordably live a just and secure life. Through technology and innovation, LegalShield is disrupting the traditional legal system and transforming how and where people receive legal guidance and services, with access to thousands of qualified, trusted attorneys and law firms. LegalShield and IDShield are products of Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. To learn more about LegalShield and IDShield, visit and

LegalShield Media Contact:
Hollon Kohtz, Director of Communications