13 Unrealistic But Funny Life Lessons From The TV Show ‘Suits’

Suits strikes a unique balance between the clever storytelling typical of an HBO series and the over-the-top absurdity you’d find in a low-budget soap opera. While it may not meet the conventional benchmarks of cinematic excellence, it’s easily one of the most entertaining TV shows ever made.

While rewatching episodes on Netflix, one of my favorite pastimes is dissecting its far-removed portrayal of life and business. It’s fascinating how, in my teenage years, I might have aspired to emulate these characters. Thinking, ‘Hey this is how reality really is!’ But now, with a seasoned perspective, it’s clear that much of what passes for drama on television bears little resemblance to reality.

The TV show Suits will teach you more about fashion than how the law works in the United States.

It’s intriguing to think that Game of Thrones, set in a fictional medieval world with dragons and magic, could put forth a portrayal of life that feels more authentic than Suits, which offers a contemporary, real-world setting. The way Suits dramatizes the legal profession, business dynamics, and even life in New York City is so stylized that it is a complete fantasy.

Here are some important life lessons/observations from Suits that you should definitely follow if you want to be a high-profile lawyer (or any business person) in New York City.

Important conversations should happen in public restrooms.

Public bathrooms are an ideal environment for confronting your colleagues.

How many times have you thought let’s have an important business meeting inside a public restroom? I don’t think I’ve ever even talked to anyone inside a public restroom — let alone had a business meeting in one. In Suits, they are always in bathrooms having the most important conversations. Business happens in the bathroom.

To be the best lawyer, specialize in absolutely nothing.

Do it all. What is Harvey Specter’s domain expertise? He’s Michael Jordan’s lawyer, right? So he does sports law. No, wait—today he’s representing someone in their divorce. Wait, now he’s on a criminal defense case. Supposedly he’s a corporate lawyer, but his profession is radically all over the place with no real expertise. Specializing in nothing is what great lawyers do.

Show up late at night at your co-workers’ homes.

Could you imagine if you just like showed up in the middle of the night at your boss’s house uninvited? Or, if they did that to you? Well, here’s some advice for young people entering the workforce. You should definitely be like Mike Ross and just show up at your boss’s doorstep. And don’t find it weird if your boss shows up uninvited to your house either. That’s normal (and not at all creepy).

Likewise, randomly badger your opponents, clients, and other colleagues in person.

Mike Ross, uninvited, just shows up and badgers someone while he’s playing golf to talk business.

A phone call? No way. That’s not how you do business. Show up at their place of work and start badgering them. Or, randomly wait for them outside their office. If they aren’t at the office, just visit the golf course that is so easy to get to right from Midtown Manhattan.

Spend 90% of your time as a lawyer grooming, exercising, buying clothes, and doing other sartorial work.

I actually found a blog post on LinkedIn where someone non-ironically argues that there is a real-life lesson to take from Harvey Specter’s appearance: “He has a slick haircut and is impeccably dressed. He knows that giving his best starts with being the best version of himself.”

Sure — but also not really. First, I would rather have a lawyer that looks like crap because they are too focused on their work to buy a Tom Ford suit every other week. But, more importantly, the way Harvey, Jessica, and everyone else dress on the show would mean they spend most of their time shopping, getting dressed, and going to the dry cleaners. They just always look too good.

I know now that everyone works from home we’ve lost a lot of workplace style; however, even before all the work-from-home madness, people didn’t dress this fashionably at all times (especially overworked attorneys). Also why do they never casual Friday in Suits?

Speaking of casual dress, one of my favorite sartorial unrealities in the show happens after work. Harvey is in his apartment, and he doesn’t immediately tear off his suit like any normal human being would. Instead, he just rolls up his sleeves and sulks around his apartments while looking sexy and drinking scotch.

Spend the other 5% of your time with hobbies that make you look like James Bond.

For instance, Harvey’s pastimes include boxing, racing cars, and playing cards. Find hobbies like that. Louis loves ballet, mudding, and opera. And, despite Rachel Zane being an overworked paralegal, she has enough time to be an interior design genius who knows everything about every restaurant in New York City and beyond. You must be able to do it all.

Spend 4% of your time making sure your office and apartment look spectacular.

Jessica randomly shows up in the middle of the night at Harvey’s apartment.

Like having perfect style all the time, all high-power lawyers living in New York City live in impeccable penthouses that cost 30 million dollars and have amazing views of the city from their offices.

Spend 1% of your time doing actual legal work.

If there is still time in the day, try and do a bit of legal work. That said, make sure most of your legal work involves witty banter and high-stakes drama, and avoid doing any boring paperwork.


Mike delivers earth-shattering information in small little folders.

The preferred method of communication in Suits is printing out a document, putting it in a cute folder, and then delivering said cute folder to the recipient in real life. This is the ideal format for important communication.

On a similar note, NEVER spend more than 2.5 seconds looking at complex legal documents before making a decision.

Mike Ross will spend 400 hours working on something and then when he delivers it to Harvey in the cute folder, Harvey just looks at it for about half a second and makes a decision. This is an ideal way to process information. Paying attention to the details is overrated in law. Besides, since the legal system in the United States moves so quickly, you don’t have time to actually read up on your cases.

Hacking into computer systems is as easy as shoplifting.

Need to do something shady — like register yourself as a member of the New York Bar? Or, hack into Harvard University’s student system and say you attended their law school? No problem. A smart hacker can do this for you at the drop of a dime. Hacking is, like, pretty simple.

Take a town car everywhere.

In New York City, avoid walking to places, avoid the subway, and just have a private driver bring you everywhere. There is no traffic and you’ll easily move around the city. Also, bonus points if you save money on rent by living in Toronto (where Suits was filmed) instead of New York. Unfortunately, though, Toronto traffic is just as bad.

Go on unnecessary power trips.

Jessica Pearson, Harvey Specter, and Louis Litt love to go on power trips. They call impromptu meetings to assert dominance, threaten to fire people for absurd reasons, and engage in dramatic confrontations in front of the entire office. This is how real bosses should and do act. And don’t forget to waste valuable resources at your company doing things like mock trials, or suing your colleague because you want to steal their cat. And yes, if you’ve never seen the show, that is a real plot line.

Honestly, I love this show. TV should not be reality and that is why we all can’t stop watching this show.  Stream it now on Peacock or Netflix. And here’s hoping with the renewed interest in the show this summer, there will be a season 10 reunion.

January Nelson is a writer, editor, and dreamer. She writes about astrology, games, love, relationships, and entertainment. January graduated with an English and Literature degree from Columbia University.