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Do you need to be a lawyer to own a .lawyer domain?

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Chow Pow

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Hey, I am looking to buy a .lawyer domain and I am not an attorney in anyway, or in any country.

I just want to make sure if its allowed for me to buy a .lawyer domain or if I am risking it being taken from me somewhere down the line if someone makes a complaint against me.

I asked my registrar and they said I don't need to be a lawyer to buy a .lawyer domain however on this website it says .lawyer is for licensed lawyers: https://www.webnames.ca/domain-registration/register-lawyer-domain-names/default.aspx

Who is right?
 
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The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
This is the ICANN-Registry Agreement for the .lawyer TLD:

https://www.icann.org/sites/default/files/tlds/lawyer/lawyer-agmt-html-20mar14-en.htm

Specification 11 - Public Interest Commitments, Section 4(a) states:

Open registration - Second level registrations in the TLD will be open and available to lawful registrants. The TLD represents a generic or dictionary term, and Registry Operator accordingly will operate it in an inclusive manner. Registry Operator will not limit registrant eligibility based on identity nor restrict availability of second level names to only registrants whose identity is associated only with the most common usage of the term. Registry Operator will not disenfranchise lawful users who are associated with a minority usage of the term.
 
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This is the ICANN-Registry Agreement for the .lawyer TLD:

https://www.icann.org/sites/default/files/tlds/lawyer/lawyer-agmt-html-20mar14-en.htm

Specification 11 - Public Interest Commitments, Section 4(a) states:

Open registration - Second level registrations in the TLD will be open and available to lawful registrants. The TLD represents a generic or dictionary term, and Registry Operator accordingly will operate it in an inclusive manner. Registry Operator will not limit registrant eligibility based on identity nor restrict availability of second level names to only registrants whose identity is associated only with the most common usage of the term. Registry Operator will not disenfranchise lawful users who are associated with a minority usage of the term.
If they tried to enforce they would find a bunch of amateur lawyers causing grief.
 
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So if I am understanding that bit of text correctly, it means that yes I can register a .lawyer domain as a non-lawyer with no issues?
 
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The issues may come after the fact. But yes, go ahead and register a .lawyer domain as nothing will prevent that.

eg. registering a .ca domain you must declare Canadian citizenship before doing so. Registering a .lawyer, you should be prepared to provide your license or other accreditation at some point after the registration.

Not worth the hassle, imo.. unless you are qualified.
 
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I believe some may not be properly reading the registry agreement language.

It is the same boilerplate “anyone can register” language in all of the donuts gTLDs.

By “lawful registrants” they mean anyone who may lawfully enter into a domain registration agreement. The language about not restricting registrants based on identity or association with the common meaning of the term is the same language in, for example, .florist, which is likewise not restricted.
 
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