On Thursday, June 14th, USA Network’s legal drama Suits comes back for its second season. For some fans, however, the season started early with an application for an unpaid internship at Pearson Hardman, one of Manhattan’s most elite law firms and the setting for Suits. Over the next five weeks, interns will work as paralegals and interns supporting the cast of Suits on a pending lawsuit in Suits Recruits, an interactive story-game running in parallel with the television show. Two interns will even receive a $50,000 bonus after the successful completion of their time at Pearson Hardman, embracing a compensation plan that’s quixotic even for “big law.”
The experience starts with your job interview at Pearson Hardman, where Donna (Sarah Rafferty) asks if you want to join up as an assistant or paralegal. Assistants are exposed more to office gossip and politics, while paralegals may find themselves parsing through the details of the lawsuit. Most of the game’s action is conducted over the company’s intranet, with characters from the show periodically asking questions to seek advice, gauge how well you’ve been paying attention, or even test your pop culture knowledge. Players are then assigned their first case, a lawsuit ripped from the headlines, with a former intern suing his former employer for unpaid wages a month before the company’s stock goes public. Your goal is to assist the Pearson Hardman team in representing the company…and while getting questions wrong won’t derail the investigation, missing too many questions might result in losing your chance at the $50,000 bonus.
Jesse Redniss, SVP of Digital at USA Networks, explains that Suits Recruits is designed to “bring the intrigue and excitement of working at a law firm to life . . . [and to] simulate that team experience you get when working in a law office.” Accordingly, in order to rise to the top of the internship pool, paralegals will need to share information with their assistant counterparts either by enlisting a friend to join the fun, or at the Water Cooler. As 30 Ninjas’s Julina Tatlock explains, “the two different roles work as a narrative fugue.”