By: Aaron Weismann
Monday, June 26, 2023
".Esq" is the Newest Top-level domain for Lawyers
Legal professionals have another marketing option for their internet presence with the introduction of the ".esq" top-level domain (TLD) specifically catering to attorneys. This new TLD potentially offers an online home for attorneys communicating expertise and professionality. Ideally, this new TLD will provide a unique edge for members of the bar in the virtual world.
Google Launched “.Esq” Specifically for Lawyers
Google, in partnership with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), has introduced ".esq" as part of a wider rollout of industry-specific and generic top-level domains. This move is designed to expand the Domain name system (DNS) beyond the generic ".com," ".net," and ".org" extensions.
Unlike generic top-level domains, ".esq" is specifically tailored for practicing lawyers and law firms. The "esq" abbreviation, short for "esquire," is a title of respect and professional recognition traditionally used by members of the bar. By leveraging this well-established title, the ".esq" TLD creates an online space that exclusively identifies legal professionals.
The ".esq" domain has already gained traction among early adopters within the legal sector. Top law firms, law schools, and individual practitioners have begun to include or even switch their domain extensions to ".esq," setting a professional trend that evokes the prestige of the esquire title.
Despite the introduction of other professional domains like ".archi" for architects or ".med" for medical practitioners, the ".esq" TLD has managed to generate the most buzz, very likely largely due to the unique way it integrates a familiar legal title into the Internet's naming system.
How to Purchase an “.Esq” Domain
To purchase an ".esq" domain, you don’t need to be a licensed attorney. If you offer any legal services, you are eligible for a “.esq” domain.
The cost of purchasing a ".esq" is significant and provides a substantial barrier to entry. The registration cost of a “.esq” domain can be up to around $11,000. The upkeep cost of the domain varies depending on the domain registrar you choose. The average price range is between $50 and $100 annually. This cost is comparable to other professional and internationalized domain name (IDN) options. If you can afford the initial registration fee, this is a relatively affordable choice for legal professionals seeking a dedicated online presence.
Should You Make the Switch?
Due to the substantial cost of registration, choosing to transition to the ".esq" domain can be a significant decision for a legal professional. Below are some quick pros and cons to consider:
- Professional Credibility. The ".esq" domain conveys your status as a legal professional. It does so in a more robust way than a “.com” generic commercial services domain. Despite that being incredibly common, the “.esq” domain opens up otherwise taken domains and signifies your unique industry focus.
- Search Engine Advantage. A domain extension related to your profession may enhance search engine optimization (SEO), making your site easier to find in relevant searches. As highlighted above, it also opens the possibility for domain names that are taken under other TLDs.
- Exclusivity. The ".esq" domain is designed to be exclusive to legal professionals. Ideally, this would set you apart from non-specialist domains.
- Cost. While relatively affordable annually, the annual fee for the ".esq" domain can be higher than some generic TLDs. Additionally, you may be subject to extremely high registration fees, but results may differ.
- Brand Adjustment. Transitioning to a new domain will require adjustments to your branding and client communication. If you own your original and “.esq” TLD, then this can be eased by redirecting traffic to your “.esq” site.
The ".esq" TLD represents an exciting development for the online presence of legal professionals. By providing an exclusive, recognized space within the domain name system, it offers legal professionals a powerful tool for asserting their professional identity online. Like passing the bar exam or earning the esquire title, adopting the ".esq" domain can be seen as a mark of professional achievement and commitment in the digital era.
Aaron Weismann is the Chief Information Security Officer at Main Line Health, a health system serving the Greater Philladelphia Area. Prior to that he worked for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts both as a CISO and as an IT contracting, security, and privacy attorney. He was also an attorney at State Street Bank and Trust Company. Aaron received his Juris Doctorate from Washington University in St. Louis in 2009 and an LL.M in Global Law and Technology, Intellectual Property and Information Technology Law Concentration from Suffolk University in 2010.
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