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What will the law firm of the future look like?
Will a robot take the place of the receptionist? Will smart software draft and review documents? Will attorneys appear virtually online and in courtrooms?
Actually, that's already happening. And so is a new law firm that takes it one step further.
Atrium, LLP, claims to be "the technology-first law firm of the future." Visit the website, and you will quickly realize you are not in traditional-law-firm Kansas anymore.
The landing page advertises "Legal Services for Startups" and introduces viewers to several entrepreneurs -- not lawyers. These people look like Silicon Valley regulars -- young, confident and happy. These are Atrium's clients.
The Atrium team members -- including many who are cut from the same tech mold -- are divided into two camps. Atrium LTS Team handles technology, and Atrium, LLP does law.
The lawyers practice law, initially focusing on start-up work, while the tech team handles the firm's operations, including marketing, workflows and client products. Reportedly, they will soon have closed nearly $300 million in start-up deals since they opened in June.
Founders All, Lawyers Some
Justin Kan, Augie Rakow, Bebe Chueh and Chris Smoak co-founded the business. Rakow and Chueh are the lawyers in the group; Smoak is an entrepreneur and software engineer.
Kan, who started and sold his live-streaming sites to Amazon for nearly $1 billion, is the driving force behind the enterprise. He is not a lawyer, but he saw the potential for making technology and legal services work together when he raised $10.5 million for the start-up.
"Why don't law firms use project management software to track where they are in the process of completing a deal and let customers see that?" he posed in an interview with TechCrunch.
The firm will also break the traditional law firm mold by offering fixed rates only -- no hourlies. Is that what the future law firm will look like?