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

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 there were several characters that 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, the series tackles the complexities of running one of the biggest law firms in New York City.

Despite following several major players in the original Pearson, Hardman, Suits‘ true leads are Harvey Specter and Mike Ross. Together, the pair was arguably the best closer 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. In fact, he never actually went to any law school. Despite this, Mike was able to practice law.

Related: What Happened To Meghan Markle’s Rachel After Suits Season 7

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 he was trying to ditch the police. During the conversation, Mike came clean about the truth. Harvey was impressed with his ingenuity that their conversation led to his knowledge of the law. After a series of tests and realizing that Mike is the best candidate out there, Harvey took a chance and hired him on the spot.

Harvey Protected Mike In Suits

Harvey and Mike in Suits.

Taking a chance on Mike was such a bold move even for someone who liked taking risks like Harvey in Suits. Not only was Harvey risking losing his new promotion and getting fired from Pearson, Hardman, but 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 about the truth too. Had it not been for Harvey’s protection, Mike would have been even able to settle into his new work at Pearson, Hardman before he got fired.

Suffice it to say, there was a lot 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.

Mike Got His Law License In Suits Season 6

Mike Ross looks on in Suits

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 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.