With .law, Prudence Triumphs Over Panic

Recently, the .law domain launch has dominated this blog and created quite a stir among the online legal marketing community.

Every firm and every marketing agency has a position on this opportunity. Understandably, those positions are often a bit self-serving. From our perspective, FindLaw didn’t create this market, but we will do our best to help our customers survive it by giving them the right information to make an informed business decision.

Let it be said here and now, our position at FindLaw is threefold:

  1. Be prudent, not panicked.
    There is no evidence that .law domains are going to be a silver bullet for law firm marketing. In fact, to borrow a phrase from FindLaw’s prior positions, chasing after such a narrow strategy would be futile.
  2. Acknowledge the urgency of this opportunity.
    While no one can definitively state what will happen with .law domains in six months or six years, what is reasonably certain is that domains tend to be a land rush and the gates are opening. Get in at the beginning, or risk losing your chance forever.
  3. Defend your brand.
    You’ve probably worked years to build a trusted brand for your law firm. And it’s very likely that brand is woven into the fabric of your current domain name. You need to be aware that there is nothing stopping opportunistic entrepreneurs from procuring the .law version of your domain. Once in their hands, they could leverage that domain to disrupt your business or attempt to sell it back to you at outrageous prices. Do you want to take that chance? Right now, you’re still in control.

With those three things in mind, I’d encourage you to take stock of your current online footprint. Law firms with high value domains probably already know who they are – and rest assured, if you’re a FindLaw client, we’ll be in touch. If it makes sense for your brand, you should take prompt, aggressive action to secure your space in the .law world.

Firms with less competitive domains face a less urgent decision, but one that merits careful consideration nonetheless. True, these domains are more expensive than their .com counterparts, but their exclusivity is very real – and potentially very valuable to those who play their cards right.

I’ve said it before, being a leader often makes FindLaw an easy target. So be it.

But when it comes to .law domains, FindLaw is looking out for the attorneys and law practices that trust us with the success of their law firm marketing. Once again, FindLaw didn’t create this market, but we’re going to do our best to help lawyers navigate and survive it. For our clients, we’re advising that they make an informed decision, understanding that time is of the essence this month.

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