In a blog post today, Atrium founder Justin Kan confirmed the news first reported on this blog yesterday, that the company is letting go most of its legal services staff and that it will now pivot its focus towards “building a professional services network dedicated to founders.”
The company will keep a small group of lawyers in-house to serve clients in more-sophisticated matters such as financings and M&As, Kan said.
Also as I reported yesterday, the lawyers being let go are being given the option of becoming “preferred providers” in the professional services network.
The company will continue to invest in legal, Kan said, and will soon announce new senior partners who will work with the outside professionals in the network.
However, Atrium’s focus going forward will take a more “holistic” approach to serving startups, helping them not only with legal issues, but also providing services and advice to help them grow their businesses.
Below is the full text of Kan’s post.
The Future of Atrium
By Justin Kan
At Atrium, we are on a mission to accelerate the growth of our clients. When we started Atrium two and a half years ago, our idea was to transform the legal industry to become better for both lawyers and founders. For the entrepreneurial lawyers who joined us on this mission, we strived to be a workplace that offered the lifestyle and control missing in big law. For founders, we redefined the relationship they have with their legal counsel by providing fast, transparent, and price-predictable services managed through the most client-centric platform for legal applications.
Through my 15 years in Silicon Valley and with each startup I founded, there were always challenges. Even for Justin.tv, in order for it to become the Twitch you know today, we had to make a very difficult and risky decision at one point to pivot our focus and double down on just 3% of our business – gaming.
Similarly, at Atrium, we’ve made the tough decision to restructure the company to accommodate growth into new business services through our existing professional services network. This change impacts our workforce in a couple of ways.
Our in-house attorneys will shift to have the option to become preferred providers in our professional services network. I want to recognize the dedication and hard work of those who are impacted by this. Their knowledge and investment in Atrium over the past two and a half years is invaluable.
We will keep a small group of partners in-house who will serve our clients with strategic services like financing and M&As, as well as work with our network of vetted and trusted firms to deliver general corporate legal services. This model of collaborating with firms through our professional services network has been an integral part of Atrium’s success to date. The specialists in this network, most staffed by attorneys formerly in big law, share our entrepreneurial spirit to deliver exceptional legal services through our technology platform.
Our legal team is continuing to work on existing client projects, and we will make sure that there is no interruption of service.
In our next phase of growth, we will continue expanding outside of legal services as trusted startup advisors by building a professional services network dedicated to founders.
We will continue to invest in legal and are excited to shortly announce new senior partners. Our partners will work with the specialists in our professional services network to deliver exceptional legal services in a fast and transparent manner.
While building Atrium, something also became greatly apparent: founders trust Atrium for advice on how to grow their business – not only surrounding legal but with questions such as when to hire a sales leader, how to best announce their latest fundraising, how to handle recruiting technical talent in a job seeker’s market, and so many other areas that are important to scaling a startup.
We’ve seen undeniable proof that the needs of our customers go well beyond legal. For example, through our Fundraise Concierge team, we help minimize the frustration of fundraising while maximizing results. We do this by coaching founders — from crafting their narrative and pitch to running an effective process for their business. In just the past year, this has resulted in clients raising over $200M in additional funding.
I love that we’ve seen such great success in sharing our knowledge in this way. This is just one proof point that founders are seeking holistic business services and advice for the key issues they face. Therefore, we plan to continue to deliver startup solutions through our client-centric platform solving the hardest founder problems through customized mentorship, technology, and a concierge program of expert advisors.