In a new piece of information about Atrium, ahead of a formal announcement expected today, the Californian firm appears to have indicated it will expand its professional services beyond legal.
Artificial Lawyer went through the firm’s contact page and received this message (5PM GMT).
‘Thanks for reaching out to Atrium and your interest in working with us. We’re excited to talk to you and learn more about how we can help. Our calendars are full over the next few weeks as we work to expand our professional services offerings beyond legal.
Please use the following link to schedule time with us on or after February 3, 2020. We appreciate your flexibility in advance, and look forward to potentially working with you.’
What other professional services this could be beyond legal is unclear. Perhaps consulting services around startup/scaleup development and company investment? Accounting and corporate finance input would also be a suitable additional extra service. Or maybe this is just a reference to now marketing their homemade legal tech products to the market.
But, we will soon see, as the firm is set to make a formal announcement.
One person on Twitter who said he had been hired by Atrium and then let go just wrote this:
_g4brielShapir0@lex_nodeI was one of the RIF’d Atrium lawyers. They hired me in November, I moved to SF from MIA & started the second week of December. After 3 weeks, I received a WARN Act notice. I have no reason to believe that every firm employee did not get one
5:01 PM · Jan 13, 2020·Twitter Web App2 Likes_g4brielShapir0@lex_node·28mReplying to @lex_nodeNeedless to say, in light of the cross-country move and abruptness, this has been enormously upsetting & disruptive to me. I will say no one at Atrium seems to care. They offered me to join their platform where I pay all costs & they would take 1/3rd of my billings. No thanks.
11_g4brielShapir0@lex_node·28mThey also offered other lateral move assistance, but who wants to negotiate offers in a massively weakened & rushed position, or to delegate this to people who would drop the ball so hard as to hire someone new at a time like this in the first place?
11_g4brielShapir0@lex_node·28mI am seeing some abysmal takes on Twitter–e.g. that the tech was so good lawyers were no longer needed, or that the attys were Luddites who couldn’t adapt to the software. Please, if you don’t know what you’re talking about, don’t talk about it. People’s careers are at stake.
12_g4brielShapir0@lex_node·28mI loved the original mission of Atrium, which was to disrupt BigLaw inefficiency by making attys more efficient with software. The new model is nothing to be admired and IMHO will Uberize/dsirupt solo and boutique practitioners, driving down rates and degrading service quality.
11_g4brielShapir0@lex_node·28mOverall, this is yet another lesson in both Silicon Valley hubris and how tricky it is to have a successful legal career. I have unmasked myself & declared myself an “autonomous attorney” because I am determined to try my hardest never to be in this position again.
12_g4brielShapir0@lex_node·28mThe future of technology and services is P2P relationships, not value-extracting middlemen. Atrium’s new model is anachronistic. Let us all fight for the decentralized future by dealing directly with each other & achieving scale with dissident, truly P2P technologies.