Should your law firm buy a .law domain name? Do not believe the hype

Last week the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) made the ‘.law’ domain name available to buy. Law firms and legal marketers may be ready to pounce on the opportunity – but is it worth the money and effort?

Igor Ilyinsky, founder of FirmWise, sensibly says you should think again before jumping in. In an article for The Legal Watercooler Blog, Igor explains that purchasing a premium generic top-level domain, or gTLD, can ‘cost you tens of thousands of dollars’ and ‘a lot of headaches as the new registration system works itself out’.

If law firm phishing scams become more prevalent, this could be a good reason for owning a ‘.law’ domain for your law firm website.

If you are still unsure here are some other top tips from Igor:

  • unlike the other legal related gTLDs ‘.law’ is short, and many firms can shorten their domains with a ‘.law’ or they may prefer it over a ‘.net’ or something with a hyphen. So if your firm settled on ‘’ because everything else was taken, it might behoove you to try for Otherwise, there is no benefit to users recognizing and remembering your domain;
  • the general public is not informed about these specific gTLDs and they may take a long time to gain traction. Remember, gTLDs have been around in other industries for almost a decade, yet no one uses them due to the confusion they cause. Legal could be different, but only if the validation becomes a strong factor; and
  • Google is known to ignore what are called EMDs or exact match domains, which implies that they will not give any bonus points to keywords in the TLD. So do not expect your site to fly to the top of the top of Google searches. But again, we do not know if the TLDs actually become validations that a law firm is real and reputable, in which case Google may reconsider. So far, none of the popular TLDs are quite that authoritative.

Law firm marketing consultant Sue Bramall points out that ‘the new .law domain is not the only legal domain extension available for a solicitors' website. Others include .legal,.lawyer and .attorney – so it provides no unique brand protection. Choosing your firm’s domain name is an important part of your marketing strategy, and you need to consider a much broader set of criteria than this when planning a new website for a law firm.

Click here to see the full article by Igor Ilyinsky.

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