What’s in a domain?
As the number one legal research app, we at Fastcase know that our users value the cutting-edge features of our legal search technology. Fastcase is used by more attorneys than any other legal app, (according to the ABA) so it has always been our commitment to stay alert to new technology trends that will benefit lawyers.
The Fastcase team has recently investigated current legal website standards for lawyers, and we were surprised to see how quickly one new online trend is emerging within our community: law firms and practitioners with domain names ending in .law (rather than the conventional .com).
In our recent review, we discovered that top-ranked international firms are securing and using perfect-match short domains (such as such as DWF’s dwf.law and CMS’ cms.law), specialist firms are opting for cleverly search engine optimized domains (such as David Immigration Law using usaimmigration.law), lead generation specialist websites are choosing Google-friendly domains such as alimonycalculator.law and subject matter attorney blogs are using memorable domains like brexit.law.
Given the exceptionally high cost of short “practice acronym” and meaningful-term domain names ending in .com, we are impressed by the creativity being shown by the more than 12,000 registrants of .law domains.
According to the reliable domain name research tool ntldstats.com, the total number of domains ending in .law has doubled in the last year – from around 6,000 at the beginning of 2017 to just under 13,000 at the time of writing (January 2018). Given the domain name extension launched on the internet at the end of 2015, indications seem to point to a sustained presence in attorney websites and client search engine results.
Dot Law, Inc., the company behind .law domain names, states on its home page (home.law) that .law domains are only available to properly accredited lawyers and law entities, and that all credentials are independently verified by a trusted third party. Dot Law, Inc. says that this ensures legal services clients can trust that any practitioner using a .law domain name is a real lawyer (no such verification is required for domains in .com). In fact, we tested this claim and found that of the small handful of domain name extensions targeted towards lawyers, .law was the only one that required us to furnish our attorney credentials.
We’ll be closely watching emerging trends in attorney and bar association websites as the internet continues to present both opportunity and risk to the legal profession, reporting on notable developments here on the Fastcase blog. We already use a .law domain with our bankruptcy software, TopForm. Click here to see if a .law domain is right for you! Use code 25FTC for $25 off the registration price.