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Law firm startup Atrium lays off most of its lawyers

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.