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5 Legal Definitions To Help You Get Suits

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Suits is back on USA Network tonight at 9pm for its fourth season. For those of you who are unaware of what Suits is, it’s a popular television series that depicts the inner workings of the fictional law firm in New York City, Pearson Hardman (then Pearson Darby, then Pearson Specter). It follows the fast-paced lives of name partners Jessica Pearson and Harvey Specter , partner Louis Litt,  secretary Donna Paulsen, paralegal Rachel Zane, and associate Mike Ross. The catch is, Mike Ross never actually went to law school! He has an excellent memory and has been paid to take the LSAT and Bar exams for different people. He’s discovered by Harvey Specter who decides to take Mike on as an associate despite his lack of a degree or certification. This riveting show has viewers on their toes and wishing they could all live the glamorous life of a city lawyer. Now we’re not sure if law is as glamorous as it seems on Suits (there’s a lot more paperwork involved, we think) but here’s some legal terms it might help to know when you watch tonight’s new episode.

1 New York Bar

This is the ever-looming organization that Mike and Harvey are so worried will catch them red handed. TheNew York Bar  is not a fictional organization and does in fact exist as an association of lawyers who review ethics in the legal field. Mike isn’t technically registered in the Bar, until he gets someone to hack his name in.

2 U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

U.S. Attorney Eric Woodall, this season’s looming threat to Harvey and Pearson Specter is a part of the ominous SEC that takes Mike in for questioning. The SEC exists to protect investors and monitor the market. It brings civil enforcement actions against violator of security laws like insider trading and providing misleading information. The SEC attorney after Harvey could put everything Harvey’s worked for at Pearson Specter at risk.

3 Paralegal

Rachel Zane was a former paralegal and is now law student at Colombia. A paralegal does a variety of different things to assist lawyers like taking care of files, doing research and drafting documents. Rachel is known as the best paralegal in Pearson Specter and she’s probably going to give everyone a run for their Bar membership once she’s a lawyer!

4 Associates

The associates’ pool is perhaps Louis Litt’s most prized possession. What do the associates do? Associates are lawyers who have not made partner yet. They generally work under partners in the law firm. They have the opportunity to ascend to a partner, like Harvey and Louis did.

5 Hostile Takeovers

Logan Sanders, Harvey’s client and Mike’s adversary, wants to takeover Walter Gill’s company and dismantle it for profit. He’s planning a hostile takeover, which is when a company is acquired without the approval of the current management using the shareholders in the company to overcome the current management. That’s why Sanders and Mike are both rushing to own 5% in the Water Gill’s company.

Now that you’ve got these definitions down pat, enjoy the new episode tonight! Comment down below if you want to see any legal terms that haven’t been mentioned in the article above.



"Ethics Hotline." New York City Bar Association -. Association of the Bar of the City of New York, n.d. Web. 16 July 2014. .

"Definition of "Hostile takeover" - NASDAQ Financial Glossary." NASDAQ.com. NASDAQ. Web. 18 June 2014. .

Kane, Sally . "Top Law Firm Jobs and Career Paths." About.com Legal Careers. About.com. Web. 18 June 2014. .

"Summary." U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 8 Jan. 2014. Web. 15 June 2014. .

"The Investor's Advocate: How the SEC Protects Investors, Maintains Market Integrity, and Facilitates Capital Formation." SEC.gov. US Securities and Exchange Commission. Web. 18 June 2014. .


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Joseph M. Ghabour
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