How many TLDs does my firm really need?
Great question. If you value your firm’s name, your partner’s name, and want to protect your brand, then the overall answer would simply be all of them. Well, maybe not every single available Top-Level Domain – I don’t know if you need to register YourFirm.HORSE unless, of course, you have a practice that involves equine issues. All kidding around aside, you need to look carefully at your brand and then create a strategy to protect the digital assets that correspond to that brand.
At a minimum you should register the CNOBI domains (.COM, .NET, .ORG, .BIZ, .INFO) as well as .co, .LEGAL, .LAWYER, .ATTORNEY, and .LAW. By doing that, you effectively block out anyone else from registering any TLD that can confuse your firm brand.
Many believe in registering each of the firm lawyers’ names as well. When it comes to individual lawyers, we generally try to register .LAW, .LAWYER, .LEGAL, and .ATTORNEY. I think it best that individual lawyers register and maintain their own name with those extensions. Some firms require that their lawyers control their individual names with these extensions as well.
If, for some reason, you can’t register every name, you should register all that you can. Any names registered by someone else should be closely monitored and registered if and when they become available. Names that are registered but not in use may be for sale, and it makes sense to inquire about these names on the aftermarket.
Your registrar can and should be able to help you with this process. I recommend working with your registrar and asking your representative for assistance in acquiring all of the extensions needed to protect your brand. They should also be able to work to obtain lawyers’ individual names and set them up in individual accounts for each lawyer.
This process is not as involved as it may appear, and once you have these TLDs in place, there is little to do going forward. You can rest easy knowing that your brand is protected.