According to a recent report in Hollywood Weekly, a new lawyer-focused reality show is coming to television this fall. Like the cancelled shows “Legal Ease” and “The Law Firm,” “Dog and Pony” will be a legal reality show, but with an exciting twist.

“Dog and Pony,” the first season of which was filmed in Philadelphia, will feature eight mid-sized law firms in competition for valuable legal work from two large potential clients. The identities of the clients, which have been described in promotional materials only as “Fortune 500 companies” and “titans of industry,” will be revealed to much fanfare during the show’s finale. The law firms will compete in various scenarios to earn the trust and confidence of these unnamed companies, whose mask-wearing general counsel will determine the winners and losers of each competition. The winners of each round, along with the firms who are not eliminated from competition, will be awarded a much-coveted “check” in payment of the firm’s invoices for work performed. The firms who are not selected to continue in the next round will receive a humiliating “write-off.”

It is not clear what sort of legal advice or work will be performed by the competing firms, but a preview distributed to a few critics in advance of the premiere includes footage of suited men and women struggling to complete a gigantic, inflated and water-soaked obstacle course while dictating memos into their Blackberries. In another segment, elderly partners emeriti sit in overstuffed leather chairs in the library of a private club, competing to see who can drink the most single malts while coherently reciting war stories from fifty-year old cases. (Rumors indicate that one competitor was disqualified late in the season when his liver failed). Yet another segment featured young associates locked inside a prison cell, chained to walls and forced to decide whether to remain chained (which results in the accrual of a “bonus”) or to saw off their own arms in order to escape. (A copyright lawsuit by the producers of the Saw movie franchise was reportedly settled several months ago).

Considering how ridiculously unrealistic most law-based reality shows have been to date, “Dog and Pony” sounds like a breath of fresh air. I encourage young attorneys and law students, especially, to look out for it, as it may prove more useful to you in your tender youth than any of your law school training. I myself have submitted an application to compete on Season 2.

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