New Domains Available for Law Firms: .Law, .Lawyer & .Attorney

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You Can Now Purchase Domains Like: common.law, murphy.law, or even ninja.law

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is the nonprofit group responsible for all domains. Recently they allowed for three new top level domain name extensions: .law, .attorney and .lawyer. These extensions will compete with .com, .org, .net, and all of the other top-level domains that are currently available (don’t forget about .guru). In fact, there are hundreds of new top-level domains that will be appearing soon as part of the

In fact, there are hundreds of new top-level domains that will be appearing soon as part of the gTLD program. Some of the new gTLDs are specific to a company like .Volvo, .Hyatt, .IBM, or .HSBC.  Presumably those with company names will be used for internal purposes and in advertising for that company.  Others that are more generic are going to be offered for sale, so you can have your very own .ninja, .wang, .pizza, .foo, or .sucks domain.

What Do the New Domains Mean for My Law Firm?

So, how do these new domain names apply to your law firm?  There are two new legal domain names that are available now and one that will be available soon.  Here is a quick breakdown of the three new legal domains:

.law

  • Ready for Purchase: Should be online by the third quarter of 2015.
  • Costs: Estimated cost between $200 to $500 per domain.
  • Only for Law Firms: Domains are supposedly verified and available only to law firms.

.lawyer

  • Ready for Purchase: Already online and available for purchase.
  • Costs: $35 and up depending on the domain.
  • Only for Law Firms: No, anyone can purchase.

.attorney

  • Ready for Purchase: Already online and available for purchase at any major domain registrar.
  • Costs: $35 and up depending on the domain.
  • Only for Law Firms: No, anyone can purchase.

Which Domain is Best to Use?

Good question. Let’s break down the domains based on the name, connotation, and price.

Name

Short domains are always best in use (easier to type and spell, fewer characters in ads, less confusion). The .law domain is obviously shorter.  However, I am not sure if the extra three characters in .lawyer will doom that domain, but .law is probably better. The domain .lawyer appears to be an overall better domain than .attorney simply because the data shows that more internet searchers use the term “lawyer” more often. Yes, I know a lawyer is someone who technically just went to law school, whereas an attorney can practice law by passing the bar exam.  However, the names are synonymous. Overall, .law is a better domain name based on the name alone.

Connotation

All three send a clear message that you would be going to a legal website, but .law is more encompassing than .lawyer or .attorney. If you are a law firm, you would probably want to pick up .law instead of .lawyer or .attorney.  The later both allude to a single lawyer or attorney, whereas .law can refer to an entire law firm.  Interesting, there is no .lawfirm domain . . . yet.  So again, .law is probably a better domain name to have.

Cost

The low cost of the .lawyer and .attorney is intriguing. While no final pricing for .law has been set, news articles have it pegged the cost to be at $200 to $500 per domain, per year.  That is a pretty high premium for a domain (especially since you can get .com’s for less than $10 per year) and you can pick up most .lawyer and .attorney domains at just $35 per year.  Thus, .lawyer and .attorney are definitely more attractive based on costs.  In fact, you could pick up almost 10 .lawyer domains for the cost of one .law.  This time, .lawyer and .attorney win.

Will these New Domains Help with Increased Search Rankings?

It is not clear whether using these new domain extensions will improve your search rankings. According to Google’s current algorithm, it is true that a direct match for a keyword phrase in your domain name generally improves your search rankings for that particular phrase.  It is a positive signal that if your domain is www.florida-probate-lawyer.com, then you are probably a Florida probate lawyer.  Duh! The new legal domains of .law, .lawyer, and .attorney already have terms that people will be using in search (i.e. lawyer, attorney and law).  So all you would need to do is purchase a practice area term such as probate.lawyer or newyorkinjury.law and you would have a new direct match.  Nice! Over time these new legal domains may become a valid signal to Google that your company is a law firm.  So long as the spam and non-lawyers can be kept out, Google may eventually view these domains as having more relevancy than a .com when searching for law firms, lawyers or attorneys.  If that happens, then you would definitely want to pickup a specific legal extension domain.  However, at this time, that is not proved to be true and would be in the distant future.

Will these New Domains Help with Branding and Name Recognition?

Ending your domain with just .law is a clear signal that you are probably a law firm or in the legal field.  Thus, it could be a clear signal to the public that you are a law firm. However, most of the time a domain name is not seen alone.  Typically your advertisement, or article, would have clear graphics and texts indicating you are a law firm.  Also, you could accomplish the same with .com, probably by simply including the words law, legal, lawyer, lawfirm or attorney in the domain name, as many firms do now.  So the overall preference for a .law, .lawyer or .attorney domain should not be made solely on branding.

Will the General Public Understand what a .law is Versus a .com?

Yes, most users probably know that you can just type in yourfirmname.law, just like you can with a .com, .net, .org or some other top-level domain.  They won’t need to be told to not type in the .com. However, I can definitely see some users who are not familiar with domains and the Internet messing this up.  They may not know that .law is all you need to type.  They may add in the extra .com at the end. For instance, some users may type yourfirmname.law.com, instead of just yourfirmname.law.  This will redirect you to a subdomain on law.com and not your actual firm.  Yikes! In essence this will push a lot of extraneous traffic to law.com.  Interestingly law.com is not currently ready to redirect that traffic for any purposes – the domain just fails to load. If they do see a boost in extraneous traffic to their server, then they simply need to setup proper .htaccess and DNS zone files to redirect this traffic to their home page and could increase their impressions pretty easily.  They could even setup a service to redirect users to the correct domain for a small fee.

Do the New Domain Names Help with my Internet Marketing?

In my opinion the new .law domain name is nice, but not absolutely needed. Yes, you will see some firms adopt .law, just as we have seen some firms already adopt .lawyer and .attorney domains. All three fine alternatives to use, if .com is not available.  They are not absolutely necessary to buy though.  Major domain registrars are definitely trying to make additional revenue and one way is to offer more available domain resources. If you can pick up a great practice area specific domain such as floridaprobate.law or DallasDUI.lawyer, that is already taken on .com, great!  Do it.  If you cannot, do not fret. Our recommendation is that you always try to get the .com. If a .com is not available, then consider .lawyer, .attorney and the soon to be available .law.

 

New legal domain names


2 Responses to New Domains Available for Law Firms: .Law, .Lawyer & .Attorney

  1. Bobby Holland
    11:49 pm on April 28th, 2015

    Even with the branding element, you’d still be contending with the “newness’ of the domain name, regardless of the extension. Older, more established domains typically carry more weight simply because they’ve been around longer to pick up links and establish trust with Google.

    Great piece!

  2. Adeela Ahmad
    1:48 am on April 26th, 2018

    I m making a new law firm regarding banking, consumer n civil laws…can u suggest me a batter name ???

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