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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Atrium, a law firm for startups led by Twitch co-founder Justin Kan, is laying off most of its attorneys and paralegals. It now will focus primarily on tech tools it developed for lawyers and law firm clients, and for new areas it will expand into.

Why it matters: Even lawyers aren't immune to the unpredictability of working for a startup—and the appeal of generating high margins from selling software instead of human services.

What they're saying: In a draft announcement of the changes shared with Axios, CEO Justin Kan writes that the growth and success of Atrium's legal services business "wasn't enough."

The details: Atrium tells Axios that only a small number of its lawyers will remain at the firm to work with clients on complex issues and with a network of outside law firms to which it will refer clients.

  • The company also says that it's giving laid off lawyers the option to join this network of outside lawyers.

Founded in 2017, Atrium has raised around $75 million in venture capital funding from firms like Andreessen Horowitz, General Catalyst, and Y Combinator.

  • Its goal was to improve on the traditional law firm model, by developing software to improve efficiency for both its attorneys and clients.

Editor's note: The story has been updated to note that Atrium plans to expand into areas beyond legal services.

Go deeper

Stalemate over filibuster freezes Congress

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell's inability to quickly strike a deal on a power-sharing agreement in the new 50-50 Congress is slowing down everything from the confirmation of President Biden's nominees to Donald Trump's impeachment trial.

Why it matters: Whatever final stance Schumer takes on the stalemate, which largely comes down to Democrats wanting to use the legislative filibuster as leverage over Republicans, will be a signal of the level of hardball we should expect Democrats to play with Republicans in the new Senate.

Dave Lawler, author of World
30 mins ago - World

Biden opts for five-year extension of New START nuclear treaty with Russia

Putin at a military parade. Photo: Valya Egorshin/NurPhoto via Getty

President Biden will seek a five-year extension of the New START nuclear arms control pact with Russia before it expires on Feb. 5, senior officials told the Washington Post.

Why it matters: The 2010 treaty is the last remaining constraint on the arsenals of the world's two nuclear superpowers, limiting the number of deployed nuclear warheads and the bombers, missiles and submarines which can deliver them.

Updated 49 mins ago - Technology

Facebook refers Trump ban to independent Oversight Board for review

Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

Facebook's independent Oversight Board has accepted a referral from the platform to review its decision to indefinitely suspend former President Trump.

Why it matters: While Trump critics largely praised the company's decision to remove the then-president's account for potential incitement of violence, many world leaders and free speech advocates pushed back on the decision, arguing it sets a dangerous precedent for free speech moving forward.