Masters of their (Web) domain: Creating a Web site address for a law firm.

Byline: Jack Zemlicka

When it comes to creating a Web site address for a law firm, the possibilities are infinite.

Many firms string the last names of the partners together or just opt for the first initials of each, while others use one name or a catchphrase as a brand.

But when a firm names a new partner or loses one, it has to decide what to do with that Web address.

Earlier this year, Waukesha firm Gatzke & Ruppelt SC changed its Web address to incorporate partner Paul E. Bucher, who joined the firm in 2007.

The change from to proved beneficial on several fronts, according to James E. Gatzke.

He said the firm's old site name was sometimes confusing because other firms in Grand Rapids had similar names and people had trouble remembering the obscure .info address.

We were at a point where some servers didn't recognize our old address as an appropriate domain name, Gatzke said. It was frustrating.

He said the .net suffix has given the firm more street credibility, and made them a little easier to find on the Internet.

Gatzke said that even though only Bucher's initial appears in the Web address, the longtime Waukesha County District Attorney brings another layer of recognition to the firm.

Part of it is an attempt to try and capture something a little more mainstream, in that people remember Bucher's name more than Gatzke and Ruppelt, Gatzke said.

Building a brand

Name recognition was also a factor for attorney Alvin H. Eisenberg when he left what was Eisenberg, Weigel, Carlson, Blau & Clemens SC in 2004.

After almost 20 years of practice with the Milwaukee personal injury firm, he formed Eisenberg, Riley & Zimmerman SC.

But taking his name with him was easier said than done.

Eisenberg's departure was less than amicable and resulted in litigation over whether his old firm could use the Eisenberg name in its Web address and on its site.

The dispute was settled and Eisenberg's new firm has the domain name

Eisenberg said that after 50 years of practice, it was important...

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