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February 22, 2011
Bringing Serious Gaming to Legal Skills Training: Integrating Doctrinal Education with Simulation
Knowing that law school grades have little if anything to do with evaluating success in practicing law, Dutch BigLaw firm Houthoff Buruma teamed up with Ranj Serious Games to create "The Game" as a recruitment tool. Trailer below. The objective is to expose potential hires to what working at a top-tier law firm would be like. In Dutch Law Firm Uses Video Game to Evaluate Law Graduates’ Talent, ABAJ's Laala Al Jaber and Sarah Randag describe the game as follows:
Players of "The Game"—graduating law students in the Netherlands—are given a complex legal scenario wherein they must represent a Chinese state-owned company as it plans to take over a Dutch family company. The players are split into teams of up to five people, given 90 minutes to confront problems as they arise and persuade enough shareholders to sell their shares. The fast-paced legal challenge ascertains how lawyers cope with stressful situations, bombarding them with CNN news flashes, video and text chats, film clips, e-mails and more than 100 fictional documents. Once the game ends, the results are displayed, and each team is given the opportunity to justify their solutions.
"The Game" was awarded the European Innovative Games Award in November 2010 and and Best Use of Technology to Support Marketing Efforts Award at the 2011 Hubbard One Excellence in Legal Marketing Awards. For much more, see “The Game” stuns attendees at legal marketing awards program on Legal Current (Jaap Bosman, Head of Marketing at Houthoff Buruma: “Everyone is welcome to come and play The Game at our offices. We have had the young section of Association of Dutch In-house Counsel come and play, competing against our young lawyers. We have even had clients asking if they can come and play. It has turned out to be a great networking tool.”)
Very interesting development. While any given law school probably could not afford to develop something with "The Game's" high production value, someone "out there" might see that bringing the world of serious gaming to teach legal skills in a manner that integrates doctrinal education with simulation just might be an untapped market in the legal academy, for in-house law firm training, even for CLE. Will we be seeing WEXIS gaming divisions in the not too distant future? This just might be part of the solution to the chronic problem of teaching aspiring lawyers how to practice their chosen profession. [JH]