Dotcom (.com) is the most popular top level domain. There are about 118 million registered dotcom names. Second place is .de with 15 million registered names. Nine of the ten most popular websites are dotcom sites.
Clearly people are familiar with dotcom. In fact, in many places the slang “dotcom” is used to refer to any Internet related business, even if it is a .de, .net, or .cn.
You need a dotcom because of the huge “mind share” dotcom enjoys. Suppose you registered a descriptive domain name other than a dotcom. Suppose you put your website at trialattorney.us, for example. Your business builds goodwill through advertising, satisfied customers, word of mouth, etc. Many people who hear of your business and want to contact you are going to go to trialattorney.com. It is human nature.
Imagine a satisfied customer trying to send a friend to you. He might say, “He is a great lawyer who won my case. I don’t have his card but you can contact him at trialattorney.com.”
If you advertise, you will be spending good money to send some customers to trialattorney.com, which may be your competitor. When someone needs a lawyer and relies on memory of your advertisement a .us can easily become a .com, specially if they use .com 95% of the time when entering an address.
The same applies to the new top level domains. Getting trial.attorney might be great fortune, but many people will remember and refer to your business as trialattorney.com. Their mind will add the dotcom because that is their habit.
There are millions of great dotcoms available. Spend some time at our domain search tool and find one for yourself. There is no reason you may not also register a good .lawyer, or .nyc (if you are in New York City) or any other TLD in addition, and point that to the same website and email account, increasing the number of ways of remembering and finding you over the Internet.