Today, all law firms will be able to apply for .law names. This top-level domain name is intended to create an online space in which only regulated, licensed legal practitioners can be found.
In order to purchase your .law domain name, there are specific steps involved, as well as some key dates of which to be aware. Here is a quick guide to help you move forward with purchasing your .law domain.
What domain names should you buy?
- Purchase the .law version of your domain name.
- Consider purchasing keyword specific URLs that are important to your branding efforts, such as employmentlawyer.law, employment.law, advertisinglaw.law, etc. Do this with the recognition that there could be bidding for some of the more popular domains.
Amy’s Update: Years ago, we tended to go whole hog, trying to beat the domain squatters and purchasing any related or relevant url, hoping to drive qualified searchers to our sites. Today, it is believed that Google does not give search preference to matching domains. So should you go for the vanity URLs we mention above, or just ignore them? My thinking is, if you are dominant in a particular practice you might want to apply for that .law domain (Littler Mendelson may want Employment.law for instance). Otherwise securing your name is the place to start.
When and where can you register the domain?
Oct. 12 – 18, 2015:
- Qualified lawyers can apply for domain names. Domain names will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
- There will be a one-time Early Access Program (EAP) fee as well as an annual registration fee.
- Pricing will decrease each day for the first seven days of General Availability – check with an authorized registrar for purchasing details.
Amy’s Update: Oh boy, will there be an EAP Fee! We attempted this process today for a boutique law firm client and found that their domain name was available for $11,000 today (October 12, 2015) and $2,000 tomorrow (October 13, 2015). Provided it is still available next week (and in this instance there is no reason not to think that it will be), it would be available for the registration only, in the neighborhood of $200. We’ll be advising our clients to wait until either late in the week or next week, depending on how common their firm name is.
October 19 – Future:
- Qualified lawyers can still purchase domain names on a first-come, first-served basis, minus the EAP fee.
What is the eligibility process?
- Decide which of your firm’s lawyers will be designated a “qualified lawyer” for purposes of purchasing .law domain names – such as your managing partner or marketing partner.
- Gather the following information for your qualified lawyer:
- Attorney’s name (as it appears on his/her bar registration)
- State/jurisdiction(s) where attorney is licensed to practice
- Year of registration: Year(s) admitted to practice
- Bar registration number(s)
- Bar association state and country
The verification process should take 48 hours, after which time the domain names you applied for will be registered to you.
More discussion on .law domain purchases can be found at Heather Morse’s Legal Watercooler blog in a guest post by Igor Ilyinsky.