Legal Marketing & Consulting

Dutch Law Firm Uses Video Game to Evaluate Law Graduates' Talent

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The trailer for Houthoff Buruma’s “The Game.”

“The Game,” which picked up an award in the Best Use of Technology to Support Marketing Efforts category at the recent 2011 Hubbard One Excellence in Legal Marketing Awards, dominated discussions at the Scottsdale, Ariz., event.

Dutch law firm Houthoff Buruma teamed up with Ranj Serious Games to create “The Game” to help the firm “find the talented students since grades often have nothing to do with it,” Legal Current reported.

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.

Around 800 students graduate law school every year in the Netherlands, and around 600 Dutch law students played “The Game” in 2010, Legal Current reported. But Jaap Bosman, Houthoff Buruma’s head of marketing, told Legal Current that the game is not just for law students anymore.

“Everyone is welcome to come and play ‘The Game’ at our offices,” he said. “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.”

“The Game” also won the 2010 European Innovative Games Award in November.

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