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When I registered my first dot-com domain name, I paid $70 to Network Solutions Inc. for a two-year period. Since then, I’ve seen many sites offering dot-com domain names for one to 10 years at a time, for as little as $8.95 for a single year. With a plethora of “virtual hosts” who will place your information on their computers for $5 to $50 per month, depending on the features you want, there is no longer any excuse for not erecting your own site on the Web. Of course, WestGroup, Lexis and many other vendors design and host law firm sites, but a simple site that features each lawyer in the firm and states what the firm and the individual lawyers do and have done isn’t difficult at all. If you don’t wish to hire an expensive Web designer, someone in the office must be related to a teen-ager who is capable of setting up and maintaining a tasteful site that will do the job. But what domain name should you use? I prefer something that relates to the firm name, in some way, and it is easy and inexpensive to purchase variants of a name and point each of them to a single site. Mayer Brown & Platt, for example, is available at both at www.mayerbrown.com, and www.mayerbrownplatt.com. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom answers to www.skadden.com, www.skaddenarps.comand even to www.sasmf.com. Of course, other considerations may be important in the choice of a domain name. Last September, for example, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius transferred www.mlb.comto Major League Baseball, a long-time client previously forced to use www.majorleaguebaseball.com. The law firm may now be found at the quite recognizable www.morganlewis.com. But a variety of lawyers are using names descriptive of a firm’s legal specialty or perceived demeanor — my current favorite is www.badasslitigator.com– but I’m not certain if these things bring in any business. If you are interested in something a little different, surf over to one of the many sites that sell domain names — I usually use the search facilities of www.register.com– and exercise your creativity. Favorable adjectives usually are needed for the obvious names — ‘triallawyer’ is already taken in a variety of variations, but greattriallawyer.com and winningtriallawyer.com are both available. There are lots of other possibilities. ContingencyfeesRUs.com is available, but divorcesareus.com and divorcesareus.net have both been taken by the same individual. Neither of the divorce names is being used and the owner might be interested in selling them. To find out who owns these, or any other dot-com or dot-net or dot-org name, just check out the name on a name server search facility. If the descriptive name you really want is already taken and you haven’t been able to think of something as good, try out a couple of the sites that offer domain names for sale. Www.greatdomains.comlets you search its inventory with keywords and word patterns. A search for “lawyer” produced a wide variety of names including yourfamilylawyer.com and internetinjurylawyers.com. Another site, www.got-domains.com, would like to sell names such as completeclassaction.com and nywirelessattorney.com. I’m not certain that I’d want to hire a firm that wishes to be known as civilarbitration.com, but what do lawyers know about public relations and advertising? If you do use something like establishedattorney.com, I suggest using it to point to a site that is something close to your firm name. Jonessmith.com may not be fancy, but I do think that it sounds like a firm ready to do business. Barry D. Bayer practices law and writes about computers from his offices in Chicago’s south suburbs. Write to him at PO Box 2577, Homewood, IL 60430 or e-mail at [email protected].

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