Bruce Allen has an intriguing post at Marketing Catalyst about restaurants in troubled times, and how one chef comes to the rescue.  We both believe there are valuable lessons in his story for law firms. Although Bruce brings up the tale in the context of a down economy, I believe the lesson is just as applicable whatever the state of the marketplace.

He mentions how Scottish Chef Gordon Ramsey on his TV show Kitchen Nightmares works at turning around failing restaurants. Bruce surmises that the establishments are failing because of “two key issues”:

  • There are too many items on the menu, and
  • The restaurant is not known as “the best place to go for ____.”

Now think law firm. Think brand.

No law firm is totally a one-stop shop. In fact, in most firms it is best to not even try. Due to the complexities associated with most legal areas today, a law firm – especially a medium to small firm – is better off limiting itself to niche practices. Not only will lawyers become more proficient in these areas of the law, but it’s easier and more efficient to focus the firm’s business development efforts on fewer practice areas.

Accordingly, law firms should consider reducing the size of their menu. It’s a good thing to be known for one or two niche areas, but, better to be recognized as “the best place to go for __________.”