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How Mike Ross Practiced Law Without Being A Real Lawyer In Suits


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Summary

  • Mike Ross was able to practice law in Suits despite never attending law school, impressing Harvey Specter during an interview and getting hired on the spot.
  • Harvey took a risk by hiring Mike, risking his own job and reputation, but he protected Mike throughout their time working together.
  • Mike eventually obtained his own law license in Season 6 but later decided to leave corporate law and open a legal aid clinic with Rachel Zane in Seattle.


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Despite not going to Harvard Law, or any other law school for that matter, Mike Ross was still able to practice law in Suits and several characters made it possible. USA Network’s legal drama premiered in 2011 and ran for 9 seasons. The show may now be best known for Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex’s final acting gig, but at its peak, it was religiously followed by its legion of loyal followers. Suits boasted an impeccable ensemble cast and the series tackles the complexities of running one of the biggest law firms in New York City.

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Despite following several major players, Suits‘ true leads are Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht) and Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams). Together, the pair were arguably the best closers in the city. Harvey’s confidence and experience coupled with Mike’s deep knowledge of the legal system, not to mention eidetic memory, made them formidable as a team. The only problem was that Mike never went to Harvard Law — the only law school that Pearson, Hardman hired from. He never actually went to any law school. Despite this, Mike was able to practice law.

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Suits is a wonderful legal drama with strong character arcs, incredibly well-defined relationships, and a constant momentum that makes the show great.


Mike Ross Convinced Harvey Specter To Hire Him

Mike sitting across from Harvey in a scene from Suits.

In the Suits premiere, Harvey got a promotion to become Pearson, Hardman’s newest senior partner. Jessica Pearson had her sights set on him to become her successor despite intense competition from Louis Litt. As part of Harvey’s promotion, he needed to hire an associate. While he was initially defiant, explaining that he was better off working on his own, Jessica argued back that it was part of the rules, and if he wanted to maintain his new position, he had to abide by it. This led him to a chance encounter with Mike at a hotel where he and his secretary, Donna Paulsen, were doing interviews for potential candidates.

Meanwhile, Mike was in the same hotel to deliver a briefcase of weed. Little did he know that it was a buy-bust operation. Realizing it gave him the time to run away from the cops and into Harvey and Donna’s interview room, where he immediately made an impression while trying to ditch the police. During the conversation, Mike came clean about the truth. Harvey was so impressed with his ingenuity that their conversation led to his knowledge of the law. After a series of tests and realizing that Mike was the best candidate out there, Harvey took a chance and hired him on the spot. That means that, initially, Mike wasn’t able to legally practice law, but he still participated in cases.

Harvey Protected Mike In Suits

Harvey and Mike on the street in Suits.

Taking a chance on Mike was such a bold move even for someone who liked taking risks, like Harvey in Suits. Harvey risked losing his new promotion and getting fired from Pearson, Hardman, and he could also be disbarred and sent to jail. Initially, only Harvey and Mike knew about their secret, but Donna soon found out. Not long after that, both Jessica and Louis also learned the truth too. Had it not been for Harvey’s protection, Mike would not have been even able to settle into his new work at Pearson, Hardman before he got fired.

Suffice it to say, a lot was riding on Harvey’s hiring of Mike. No wonder he did almost everything to protect his protégé during their time working together. At every turn, Harvey stood by his decision and Mike almost always made things worth it by working hard and delivering on his promise case by case. Granted that he wasn’t always successful in this regard, there was no doubt that Harvey tried everything to protect Mike.

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Meghan Markle’s Rachel Zane left after Suits season 7, but it was still able to reveal new information about the character following her departure.

Mike Got His Law License In Suits Season 6

Ultimately, Mike and Harvey’s secret was revealed. Despite the backing of the higher-ups at the law firm, they were eventually exposed due to a series of unfortunate events. Instead of holding Harvey accountable for his involvement in the whole scheme, however, Mike decided to take all the blame for it. This resulted in him doing time in prison. For his part, Harvey did everything to make sure that Mike was safe inside the prison, while also finding ways to get him out.

Eventually, Mike was freed from prison, and after a few more hurdles, he was able to finally secure his own law license in Suits season 6 thanks to a personal sacrifice from Jessica. Following years of lying, however, Mike decided to leave the world of corporate law, joining Rachel Zane to open a legal aid clinic in Seattle. The pair’s departure was part of the show’s effort to write Markle out in light of her joining the British Royal Family. Mike eventually left the series after season 7. So, just as Mike earned his license to legally practice law, he left the firm where he learned exactly how to do it, causing a shift in the cast and story for Suits.

The first 8 seasons of Suits are available to stream on Netflix. Season 9 is available to stream on Prime Video.

  • Suits TV Show Poster

    Suits

    Summary:
    On the run from a failed drug deal, college dropout Mike Ross (Adams) finds himself working for one of New York’s best lawyers, Harvey Specter (Macht)

    Cast:
    Patrick J. Adams, Sarah Rafferty, Gabriel Macht, Meghan Markle, Rick Hoffman, Gina Torres, Amanda Schull, Dule Hill, Katherine Heigl

    Genres:
    Comedy, Drama

    Rating:
    TV-14

    Release Date:
    2011-06-23

    Seasons:
    9

    Writers:
    Aaron Korsh

    Network:
    USA

    Streaming Service(s):
    Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Peacock

    Showrunner:
    Aaron Korsh

    Creator(s):
    Aaron Korsh

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