I know, we all love Suits, myself included (just finished a binge of all 5 seasons actually, and now anxiously awaiting the 6th).
But I think it’s time to dispel some myths. It got the long hours and mountains of paperwork correct but there are a few things that fall a bit short of reality...
1. One lawyer for criminal and civil matters
Aside from the fact that there is more to practice than just corporate law, it isn’t often the case that the same lawyer will handle matters of both civil and criminal jurisdictions (well, not in the big firms anyway). It’s common for one law firm to practise criminal law along with other areas, but usually they are separate teams with different lawyers in each. So those scenes where Harvey desperately tries to save Donna and Mike from going to jail, while absolute tear-jerkers, would be unheard of in a normal firm.
2. Graduation, then straight to associate
Probably an American thing. Nonetheless, Australian law firms don’t recruit grads straight into associate roles. You’ll typically start off as a graduate or junior lawyer before you eventually move up to associate level – and that requires a few years of hard work.
3. Evidence is obtained by any means necessary
While there are some instances where obtaining things without a warrant are accepted in court (see: s 138(1) of the Evidence Act in Victoria), most of the time a lawyer can’t just engage an investigator to dig up dirt on a client (or opposing counsel) in order to intimidate them to take a deal.
4. Court appearances
I haven’t heard of or witnessed a) such an entertaining display at court (see: every court scene), and b) never have I heard a Judge call lawyers up to their Chambers to give them a stern talking to. Does this even happen at the High Court? Someone enlighten me, because I would like to hear of lawyers going into the Judges’ Chambers in the middle of a trial because they got a bit too excited arguing their case.
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