An update on the .law Top Level Domain (TLD)
ARTICLE BY DAVID GILROY, SALES AND MARKETING DIRECTOR AT CONSCIOUS SOLUTIONS
We wrote about the impending introduction of the new .law top level domain, back in April.
Well, just today we’ve found out more about the process including the fact that the Early Access Period opens on Monday.
This gives you a week if, for example, you wanted to register personalinjury.law, to register early, pay a premium for doing so, and then pay a pretty hefty amount for it.
Suffice it to say that most law firms in the UK will not be buying domains like that, but that you definitely should be ready on 19 October to register yourfirmsname.law for protection of your brand.
Background to the new .law TLD
.law is a new top level domain name (TLD), authorised by Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (“ICANN”), available for the first time from 12th October 2015, from the registry, Dot Law Inc.
Warwick Vine Consulting Ltd - WVCL (Derek Benton – Director) is contracted to generate sales and marketing activity for the (internet) top level domain names from the registrar Dot Law Inc. to the legal profession worldwide.
Derek Benton is working with former colleague & the past-CEO of LexisNexis and AVVO, Lou Andreozzi who is leading the new Dot Law project. His team are bringing expertise in legal publishing, online product development and market knowledge, to develop a credible space on the internet for lawyers.
Dot Law Inc, the registry, is wholly owned by the registrar Minds+Machines (MMX) a London stock exchange listed AIM market company. Mind+Machines has the exclusive world wide rights as registrar. They have appointed Lou Andreozzi’s management company JCL Law Holdings, LLC (Florida), to operate the primary registry of the second level domain names using the .law and .abogado top-level domain (TLD’s), to set policy, conditions and commercial terms for use. JCL controls registration policy and conventions, and owns the marketing and sales rights. WVCL is a commissioned contractor to JCL for sales and marketing activity, in the UK and beyond.
The .law TLD Product
What is .law?
.law is a top/level domain dedicated to lawyers. .law domains will only be available to qualified lawyers who satisfy strict eligibility requirements. This verification process will help ensure that a .law registrant is a licensed legal professional. (see attached policy statement - PDF)
This is unque opportunity for legal professionals to increase their online presence and rebrand their practices and the legal services industry on the Internet as a whole. .law offers a distinct, official, and trusted domain for the legal profession.
.law domain names can only be purchased by what the registrar is calling Qualified Lawyers. In the UK an application to own the domain name would require an individual to provide a SRA number, or equivalent, to be checked and verified by Dot Law.
The registry that runs the .law domain will engage an independent validation company to validate applicants for .law domains based upon the criteria in the Eligibility Policy, and includes the right to request any additional information or documentation it deems necessary to complete the validation process.
When can I buy a .law name?
Names will begin going on public sale to Qualified Lawyers from 12 October 2015.
12 October 2015 – 18 October 2015, The Early Access Period
During the first 7 days of public availability, known as the Early Access Period - EAP , Qualified Lawyers will be able to register their desired names on a first come, first served basis for a one/time EAP fee in addition to the annual registration fee.
The additional Early Access Period fees:
The early access fees decrease each day through this period.
Early access fees are as follows:
- 12 October - $12,500
- 13 October - $3,125
- 14 October - $1,188
- 15 October - $624
- 16 October - $125
- 17 October - $125
- 18 October - $125
From 19 October 2015 onward
After EAP, domain names may be registered by Qualified Lawyers on a first/come, first/served basis at their standard or premium rates without any one/time EAP fees. Separately, there is also a period prior to public availability, known as the Sunrise Period, where trademark owners may register their ICANN/registered trademarks in .law. This period closes 28 September 2015.
- .law names can be purchased in General availability on 19 October
- You can register your names at www.join.law - questions about the process and enquires should be made at war.join.law or email to Derek Benton (email@example.com)
- Names can be registered at this time on a first come first serve basis at the list price with no additional fees
Why would someone want this product?
Naming conventions are important for organising information and finding information on the internet. Owning your name or the brand name of your business or product is very important.
Since the 1990’s in the English speaking world .com has been the most sought after top level domain (TLD) for business users, followed by the local country equivalent e.g. .co.uk or .com.au (Australia).
Name options are reducing for businesses and the internet governing body ICANN has introduced a range of new extension, .law is one among many, like .London, .XYZ, etc, as way to free up space on the internet, and to organise things more logically.
The law firms may want to secure their own .law names, or names that are useful to marketing and search optimisation for attracting business e.g. manchesterdivorce.law.
The principal driver behind .law is supporting brand and branding, both of practices, and individuals. And providing a strong identity to lawyers, and the profession on the internet.
The verification process means that exclusivity is maintained for the legal sector, no confusion about what business the owners are in.
There will be no auction process for names. All except 600+ exclusive names ( e.g. ip.law, personalInjury.law) will be available on first come, first served basis, at fixed prices.
.law TLD Pricing:
Billing will be in US$’s upon order and the registry site, online.
- Standard names: US$ 210 ( approx. £135) per annum
- Premium names: Prices start from $375, $540, and $1,070 p.a. (These are names that have value from shortened, 3, 4 or less character/number sets, or highly sought subject or locations related to a name.)
- Reserved names: Price on application - 2 character/number combinations or very highly valued (in marketing terms) subjects