Hunger Games

Indulge me… 

It’s future and the anniversary of the apocalypse that crushed the revolution and wiped out District 13.  It’s time for the annual reaping of Tributes to be sent to the Capitol to participate in the annual Hunger Games.  As the Capitol languishes at the heart of the 12 Districts, its inhabitants molly coddled and overfed, anticipation rises for the games that are designed to produce one victor who will reap the spoils for their District for the coming year and establish a comfortable future for them and their family.  Income and activity in the Capitol has risen around the games as sponsors, designers, stylists and betting facilities compete for the right to be involved.  The fight to the death has spawned an industry.

Reading the Hunger Games I couldn’t help but think of the legal services market.  That thought was quickly followed by another one….maybe I need a hobby?

If you haven’t read the Hunger Games (book 1) (or watched the movie) here’s a bit of a plot spoiler.  If you don’t want to know look away now, I’ll tell you when it’s safe to come back:

  • There was a revolution
  • The revolutionaries were overthrown by the Capitol, their land destroyed
  • North America is now a Capitol surrounded by 12 Districts
  • Each year to remind districts of its power the Capitol holds the ‘Hunger Games’
  • The Districts hold a lottery to produce 1 male and 1 female ‘Tribute’ from their young
  • Tributes head to the Capitol are made over and appeal to the public through interviews for support; sponsors will go with the people’s vote
  • Tributes compete for sponsors; more sponsors equals greater chance of support during the games
  • The Games create an artificial environment which can be controlled by the game makers to serve their own ends
  • 24 enter, 1 leaves.
  • The Games are filmed Big Brother style, edited and viewing is mandatory for the citizens

Whilst this may not automatically make you think of legal services market I’ll leave you to pick through the bullet points and wonder.  What really pricked my attention were the strategies employed by the tributes once they entered the ring.

The games start and people die almost immediately.  Some because apathy takes them over; death is inevitable so they walk towards it and welcome it.  A few engage in brutal combat inevitably sustaining life threatening injuries which mean that they take out the competition but with fatal consequences for themselves.  Some of the stronger ‘career’ tributes who have been in training group together recognising shared qualities and strengths but these collaborations are flawed; at the end there can be only one and it’s not long before they start to destroy one another.  Some resourceful individuals identify a single piece of equipment that they need.  Something that is essential to their survival and retreat for a moment to form their own strategies in their own time and under their own control; they know their strengths and understand the territory that they suit.  These resourceful individuals fare well but in spite of this (or rather to spite them) the gamemakers meddle with the environment creating additional dangers and forcing tributes together for the delight of the Big Brotheresque audience.  These resourceful tributes may not have had years of training but they are agile and have lived a life where the ability to adapt is a deeply ingrained survival instinct.  Even within this resourceful group there are injuries and one tribute fails to evade an attack and is severely wounded.  Vulnerable, exposed and at significant risk he lies down and covers himself with a camouflage of mud and leaves.  Too weak to fight he waits things out in the hope that nobody steps on him. 

If you were looking away you can look back now; plot spoiler done.  I have no conclusions only observations but if you want to read something a little deeper on the subject of the Legal Services Act 2007 implementation one year on I’d direct you to the blog by Professor Stephen Mayson.

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