Does Your Firm Have an Open Door Policy? Here’s Why It Shouldn’t.

“I'm practicing door law,” he said.

“Huh?” I responded.

“I'm taking anything that walks in the door,” he responded.

He went on to explain that he couldn't afford to specialize. He doesn't want to turn away any revenues. He'll take whatever the wind brings him.

I went to his website, and it reflected his open door policy. The site makes it clear that he takes pretty much anything he can get.

I think he's making a mistake. I think he's reducing—not increasing—his revenues.

We think we're doing ourselves a favor by not limiting our practice: we do divorce, personal injury, criminal, etc. and feature it all on our website. We're the lawyer for everyone. No one gets turned away.

Unfortunately, the client visiting our site or hearing about the diversity of our practice doesn't hear the message “they help everybody.”

Prospective clients get a different impression.

They get the sense that we're not the lawyers for them. They're looking for someone with expertise in their particular problem. They assume that a generalist isn't especially good at anything. Maybe they have a point?

We think we're coming across as the lawyer for all and instead, we're coming across as the lawyer for none.

By offering more, we end up with less. We're having exactly the opposite impact of what we intend. Our open door is perceived as closed.

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