Since the October 2017 release of our .law team’s white paper, “Fake Lawyer Websites on the Rise“, we’ve been enormously proud to have contributed to raising awareness of fake lawyers, and the serious harm they cause.

A thorny, pernicious and inadequately-understood phenomenon, our .law team has received hundreds of compliments and notes from the thousands of downloads of the white paper. People who were previously unaware of the global problem are generally shocked by the ease with which scammers launch fake lawyer websites on credible-sounding domain names. These scammers successfully cheat vulnerable members of the public out of precious savings and provide unqualified or no service in return. Legitimate legal practitioners suffer as well, with their reputations being damaged due to the scammers stealing their identities for these fake lawyer websites.

A few days ago, we were thrilled to be approached by leading business news web portal AllBusiness.com with a request to republish our white paper in article form. Providing “real business advice” from “real business owners”, AllBusiness.com has developed an excellent reputation for “news you can use” in your SME. Our .law colleagues, and the entire MMX team is proud to have been seen as a source of credible information about this scourge, and if we’re able to protect even one more legal services client or attorney with our white paper’s advice, then our efforts will have been worth it.

We commend AllBusiness.com’s article, Fake Lawyer Websites on the Rise: Consumers and Legal Profession at Risk to you, and we thank the site’s editors for their interest.

We’d be remiss if we fail to note how .law domain names are an excellent method to mitigate the problem of fake lawyers. Only qualified lawyers who prove their legal credentials to an independent third-party are permitted to register .law domains. This has produced a method for legal consumers of all kinds to have trust that a legal practitioner on a .law domain name has been verified as a real, qualified lawyer.

On the entire internet, .law is the only top-level domain which offers this assurance — no other top level domain (even if they look like legitimate legal domains) require verification. Yes, you read that correctly: any scammer can register a domain name and launch a website which looks, from its domain name, to be an authentic, qualified and credentialed lawyer. .law domain names do not permit unverified legal practitioners to register .law domains. This results in a web-of-trust that helps to protect the vulnerable against the most common online fake-legal scams.

At the time of writing this short blog post, approximately 10,000 .law domain names have been registered for use by qualified, real lawyers. We invite readers to learn more about .law domains in the following ways: