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Lies and Law on Suits

Lies and Law on Suits

Toward the end of college, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life—original, I know. But I wasn’t completely sold on the field that my undergraduate major made the obvious choice, and suddenly, I wanted a greater challenge. I wanted to know and push what I was capable of. During that time, I contemplated going to law school. That lasted for about three weeks until I came to my senses and realized I love writing in a way I will never love law and enrolled in communication school. I still think about law school from time to time in a “maybe later if someone else is paying” kind of way; but watching USA Network’s Suits has almost cured me of even that.

Suits is yet another slick and entertaining drama that USA does so well. The show primarily follows the story of Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams), a hard-working first-year law associate with a photographic memory who never attended law school and the successful attorney, Harvey (Gabriel Macht), who takes a chance by hiring him. The catch is: Everyone else at the law firm where they work has to believe that Mike not only went to law school but graduated from Harvard, no less. The structure of the show centers on the internal workings of the law firm with specific cases being secondary plot threads. I have learned that law (at least TV law), among professions, can be particularly cutthroat, especially for struggling associates and partners … and those who want to be partners … and paralegals who believe they would be better lawyers … and legal secretaries who do so much work with no guarantee of respect. OK, so it’s cutthroat for pretty much everybody. Like I said, I’m almost cured of even thinking of it as a distant option.

Still, Suits has made me wonder how Mike Ross has lasted this long in the charade. He has almost been caught an unrealistic number of times without actually being caught. Sure, his memories of Harvard Law have a few strategic holes in them, but he covers so well. If his previous career was as a professional test taker for other people, so far the overwhelming response has been, “So what?” Viewers have to wonder how long he can continue to circumvent the rules and evade discovery by all of his coworkers not to mention the legal system.  

It’s even more puzzling to consider what the experience will be worth to Mike if/when he is found out. He will likely lose most of his connections, both personal and professional, with his co-workers. He will likely lose his job, and with it, any opportunity of advancing in the law profession. All that’s left are a few paychecks—better-than-average paychecks in a struggling economy, yes. But still, is it worth it?

For now, Mike somehow continues to keep up a decent impression of a mostly decent lawyer. If the events portrayed in Suits were real, he would probably be in the hospital with an ulcer from the stress of the fundamental lie that is supporting the rest of his life.

In John 8:32, the Bible says “the truth will set you free.” I have found this to be true on two different levels. First, when we hold to Jesus as Truth, we are set free spiritually. As an outflow of that freedom, when we make the truth our policy in our daily lives, we are free from the weight of maintaining a web of lies—and free from the consequences of inevitably getting caught in it.

Rachel Decker writes a bi-weekly column about television for RELEVANT magazine. Check out her blog at  Follow her on Twitter: @rdeckerspeaks.

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