Opening Statements

Courting Fun

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If you’ve ever tried to explain to your kids what exactly it is that lawyers do and come up short, you’re not alone. Lawyer Tina Nelson has a solution: Play her board game.

Nelson of Lakeville, Conn., devised a game—called Lawsuit—to teach her three kids just what their mom and dad (also a lawyer) did all day at work. When she shared it with friends, the response was so encouraging that Nelson, a former litigator, now focuses full time on marketing the game.

To play Lawsuit, players make their way around the brightly colored board, pulling informational cards as they go. Depending on where they land or what’s printed on their card, they can learn about winning awards for injured clients, appealing unfavorable verdicts and even a bit about running a law firm.

While little kids may focus more on the opportunities to win or lose money, each move really offers the perfect opportunity to wax poetic on the bar exam, tort reform and the question of whether solo practice is preferable to a big firm partnership.

And as it often is in real life, the player with the most money wins.

The Reviews Are In

So does Lawsuit succeed in its mission?

I took it home to see how it would play in my two-lawyer, two-child household. Here’s the report:

What was your favorite part about playing Lawsuit?

Alexander (age 8): I liked picking up the Lawsuit cards because I liked seeing what happens.

Sydney (age 6): When I landed on a Lawsuit spot, because I like to read cards and it let me practice reading.

What did this game teach you about being a lawyer?

A: It taught me that when you are a lawyer you can settle, or if you don’t like what happens in court you can appeal it.

S: I don’t know. Nothing.

Does this game make you want to be a lawyer?

A: Not really.

S: No, not really. But I thought it was fun.

And for myself and my husband? Well, it was a good reminder why we are happy being nonpracticing lawyers.


You can purchase Lawsuit at gift shops inside the U.S. Supreme Court and the Library of Congress or at FAO Schwarz locations in New York City and Las Vegas. Log on to to find additional retailers.

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