Suit Up


Mike Ross and Harvey Specter, attorneys in the show Suits

If you haven’t seen Suits, then you are really missing out. While working on campus during the summer, my roommate insisted that we watch the premiere of the second season of this show. Up to that point I had only seen a re-run episode or two on U.S.A. on a lazy Sunday afternoon. The thought of another show about the law/lawyers didn’t seem too attractive for me, after seeing nearly every episode of Law and Order SVU. After watching that episode, I was hooked. The next day I went on a ten episode binge to catch up on everything that happened previously.

My mother is a lawyer, and all my life I have understood right and wrong. I can honestly say that she is a good lawyer who cares about her clients and doing what’s right. But we have clearly seen shows before that showcase lawyers that aren’t necessarily interested in ethics, and rather with the dollar signs that come along with high paying clients. In terms of this show, it encapsulates many of the topics that we have been discussing this semester regarding BGS. The primary issue that the show is based around is the status of Mike Ross, one of the main characters. Mike never attended law school. In fact, he never even graduated college. However, his attractive ability to consume knowledge makes him an invaluable asset.

And then comes Harvey Specter. Young, intelligent, and well dressed. In one word, he has swag. Harvey is referred to as the best “closer” in all of New York, but he is taking a huge ethical risk. As a Senior Partner at a prominent New York City law firm, he has a large stake in the company, and a lot to lose. If it was discovered that Mike did not attend law school, every case that Mike was ever involved in could be overturned, and Harvey could be disbarred. This puts all of the clients, and the firm as a whole at risk. So when does it stop being about winning, and start being about doing the right thing? The “bromance” that exists between the two parallels any of the great pairings in cinematic history. They win, and they do it with style. And there is nothing that Harvey likes more than winning. Harvey’s methods are questionable, but in the end he is helping people. So just how wrong is it? Can ethical standards be slightly more lenient on these two for helping people in need, even if they are breaking the law?

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4 responses to “Suit Up

  1. I’ve never seen Suits, but from your description of the show, it seems like it exemplifies topics we have discussed so far is BGS. Your last question is something that I brought up in my post about Jack Bauer on the show 24. Jack, a lot like Harvey and Mike, breaks the law and has questionable ethical standards, yet he is helping the greater good of society. In these types of situations, I think it is really hard to define right from wrong, which seems to be part of the reason why there is so much controversry around ethical standards.

  2. I agree with the correlation that you picked up between Harvey and Jack. I watched several seasons of 24, and Jack Bauer is arguably the most badass character television has ever seen, One thing that i noticed about 24 was that Jack was indeed breaking the rules for the greater good. In that 24 hour setting that he was placed in, judgment calls had to be made very quickly. And that’s the big point. Under any other circumstances, the things that he did would have been deemed unethical. Another thing about 24 that I found to be interesting was Jack’s development throughout the seasons. In every season following the first, you were able to see Jack push the envelope a little bit more each time. In a lot of TV shows, the actions of the “bad guys” are almost exclusively caught off camera, with the “good guys” coming to discover it later. By the last season, there were points where Jack was not featured on camera, and rather we experienced the aftermath of his actions, suggesting that his character had developed into “one of the bad guys.” Was this change in character due to him getting away with his unethical behavior, or was Jack “breaking bad?” (Another great topic for a blog post)

  3. Suits is one of my favorite shows. Like you, I just started watching this summer and got hooked. The way Harvey and Mike dominate their cases is fun to watch. And even though they break the law sometimes to help themselves, they do it to help their client. I don’t see anything wrong with breaking the law when you have the right intentions in mind.

  4. Ok, I don’t know you well enough to say this. But I can’t resist. “My mother is a lawyer, and all my life I have understood right and wrong. ” Hahhahahahahah.

    Look your mother may be an extraordinary person and lawyer. But, in general, I don’t think most people would agree that lawyers embody a career where they are always ethical above all else. Even the highest of professional ethics for lawyers- like defending a murderer- goes against some people’s gut feelings about right and wrong.

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