Follow TV Tropes


Characters / Suits

Go To

    open/close all folders 

    Harvey Specter 

Harvey Specter

Portrayed by: Gabriel Macht

A vicious and highly-skilled litigator. Harvey came from humble beginnings and was working as a mailroom clerk before Jessica Pearson recognized his potential and arranged for him to go to Harvard. After graduating from law school, he worked as a prosecutor before joining Pearson Hardman as an associate and quickly working his way up to being a name partner at the newly-christened Pearson Specter.

  • The Ace: Deconstructed in a sense. His huge win record has made him arrogant and self-serving. Although this ruthlessness wins cases for the clients he ends up annoying a lot of people (including the department heads), which has begun to backfire, especially since Daniel Hardman was plotting with Louis to get rid of him.
  • Always Someone Better: Is seen this way by Louis who, no matter how much he's good at his job, always ends up being overshadowed by Harvey.
  • Amoral Attorney: He will often use questionable and underhanded tactics to win a case or close a deal, but he will also go out of his way to help out an innocent person even if it jeopardizes the case. His 'crusades' are usually motivated by his ego: he is showing off what a great lawyer he is. However, he seems able to sacrifice his ego if the case is really important.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: He's an excellent closer, but his narcissism, his abrasiveness when dealing with the other partners and his tendency to do stupid shit, like hiring Mike, make him almost more trouble than he's worth.
  • Awesome Mc Coolname: Well, of course.
  • Berserk Button: Adultery, since his mother cheated on his father and asked young Harvey to lie about it, resulting in him not speaking to her for years.
  • Big Brother Mentor: To Mike. Harvey has become somewhat of an older brother figure, a mentor figure and even a father figure for Mike. Harvey has basically guided Mike throughout the course of the show.
  • Broken Ace: In many ways. Working for the DA wasn't the start of it, but it helped. He has an almost pathological fear of looking weak and will go to great lengths to preserve an image as a win-at-any-cost Amoral Attorney. A former lover points out that this dooms any romantic relationships he has since he cannot open up and show vulnerability.
  • The Casanova: Harvey is very flirtatious and promiscuous when it comes to women. He doesn't seem to be the commitment type and seems to be more into one night stands and flings.
  • The Charmer: Comes with the turf of being a closer. Harvey is very arrogant, cocky and brash but at the same time, he is also incredibly charismatic.
  • Commitment Issues: Harvey cannot seem to be in a commited romantic relationship with a woman for too long. It's mostly because of his serious trust and abandonment issues which stem all the way back to his issues with his mother.
  • Cynical Mentor: It's the only reason he became a mentor in the first place: the drugs falling out of the case was only a cherry on top of the darkly amusing package that walked through the door.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Slightly, yes. Say, like, every five minutes.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • Harvey is quite angry to learn that the district attorney suppressed evidence and put an innocent man in jail. He also frequently makes it clear that there are lines he'd never cross and expects Mike not to cross them either. He's quite offended when Louis accuses him of trying to take all the credit for a win they received together:
    Harvey: I'd never do that Louis. But you would and that's your problem.
    • He is also a man of his word. If he says he has someone's back, he really does till the end. Unless of course you screw him over.
  • Fatal Flaw: His pride, in the form of arrogance, which tends to piss people off. It also makes him extremely reluctant to admit when he screwed up. Note that this is the same basic flaw as Louis.
  • A Father to His Men: To the younger associates.
  • Freudian Excuse: Harvey does not take his mother's cheating well, even all these years later, at all.
  • Freudian Trio: The ego.
  • Hello, Attorney!: He's not hard on the eyes. And, he knows it.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: As the series progresses, he starts to get this kind of relationship with Mike.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: His former mentor Cameron Dennis was a corrupt Jerkass but, according to Donna, Harvey didn't see it for a long time.
  • Humble Hero: Harvey has shades of this. While he will gloat over his own genius, he will also give praise when it is due. Even to Louis.
  • Hyper-Awareness: Multiple instances of it. Sometimes per episode.
  • Insufferable Genius: Oh, hell, yes. He can get terribly smug about being rather good at what he does. It occasionally bites him, but he usually manages to pull the bacon off the flames.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He got a little surprised about how many times he can get tempted to exercise the gold.
  • The Lancer: Though in practice he's The Dragon or even a Dragon with an Agenda. The agenda being his own ego.
  • The Leader: After season 6.
  • Married to the Job: He's so committed to his work that he isn't able to get into a romantic relationship of any kind.
  • The Movie Buff: You name a film, and it probably has been mined.
  • Mr. Fanservice: And, knows it.
  • Must Have Caffeine: One of the ways to get on his good side when there is bad news is to preface it with the right coffee. Unfortunately, it might not be enough coffee.
  • Number Two: To Jessica.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Harvey creates the vibe of an Amoral Attorney as bait for crooks - they have a harder time predicting his moves, since they expect him to act just like them.
  • Office Romance: Subverted; Donna and Harvey did hook up once, but it was after the two of them resigned from the DA's office. When Harvey takes Jessica's offer to work at Pearson-Hardman and asks her to come as his secretary, she asks for one of her conditions for both to forget about that night, because she does not want to have an affair with anyone she works with, and he accepts. The season 4 finale leaves their relationship uncertain, as Harvey told Donna he loves her in the season's penultimate episode.
  • Omnidisciplinary Lawyer: Part of the reason why Harvey rose so quickly through the law firms ranks is because he is proficient in multiple areas of the law. His main specialty is mergers and tax law but he also spent a few years working as a criminal prosecutor specifically to get a solid background in criminal law. This is averted with most of the firm's other partners who specialize exclusively in certain areas of the law and can be very territorial when Harvey gets involved in a case that falls into their area of expertise. On the other hand, as part of their Training from Hell, the junior associates are supposed to work any case that is assigned to them no matter what areas of the law it touches on or how proficient they are in the subject matter.
  • Papa Wolf: Harvey seems to have turned into one, despite his protestations to the contrary. In season two premiere he becomes fiercely protective of Mike, to the point where he throws his Plausible Deniability out the window to save Mike's job. This coming from the man who, twelve episodes earlier, had said: "I have to put my own interests above yours. It's nothing personal." Over time, it becomes more and more of a Parental Substitute as the two get closer. It doesn't help that Harvey has a Freudian Excuse and Mike has no one else in his life.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: With Donna and Jessica, despite occasional Ship Tease with both of them. Though in the past, he and Donna did have a fling.
  • Pride: His crowing joy... and, his major problem. The number of times he's got himself in and out of trouble thanks to his pride...
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Blue to Mike's Red. Being the more experienced lawyer, he knows how to use the law to suit his own purposes.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: He has very strong rules about personal conduct as a lawyer and he won't compromise himself to play office politics, even when Jessica wants him to do the bidding of another Senior Partner. Above all, Harvey won't betray his clients and lie to them, and he expects them not to lie in return.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The confident, arrogant Manly Man to Mike's boyish and naive Sensitive Guy.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: A show about high-priced lawyers couldn't be without this one. It's in the name of the show, for starters.
  • Shout-Out: Harvey and Mike are compared to Batman and Robin in-universe (after fans made such comparison for two whole seasons).
  • Stern Teacher: He really doesn't believe in spoon-feeding. Forget deep-ends, he goes for rapids.
  • The Stoic: He doesn't show much emotion around other people. Although he can lose his temper from time to time.
  • Undying Loyalty: To Donna, Mike and Jessica. He is willing to do anything for them and has consistently shown his loyalty to them.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: With Harvey. Although Harvey and Donna are at Platonic Life-Partners status for much of the show, it's evident that there are still unresolved feelings of attraction between them.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: In a flashback we see that Harvey's push to become a partner in the firm was motivated in large part by a desire to make his father proud. His father dies the day before the promotion becomes official and Harvey never had a chance to tell him. Interesting for this trope: it seems like his father was already proud of him.

    Michael "Mike" Ross

Portrayed by: Patrick J. Adams

Mike is an associate at Pearson Specter who is renowned for his photographic memory. He also has a secret: he's not actually a lawyer. He never even graduated from university. But Harvey saw potential in Mike and hired him anyway with the two, and a select few, working to maintain the ruse lest everyone involve is imprisoned for fraud.

  • Adorkable: He's a brainiac, and has a nerdy boyish charm combined with a good heart and a caring personality.
  • Badass Bookworm: The fact that he's able to outsmart Harvey in the pilot episode pretty much proves this. And as if that isn't enough, in the second season premiere, he does it to Jessica.
  • Betty and Veronica: In season 1 he must choose between Jenny (Betty) and Rachel (Veronica). He chooses Rachel.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Mike fits most of the trope conventions before he starts working as a lawyer. Once he starts working in the firm he's shown to be a dedicated employee, regularly working through the night when required.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: While not necessarily evil, he is committing fraud in order to be lawyer. He is also extremely devoted to his grandmother and is happy to be making enough money to properly take care of her. He's devastated when she passes away suddenly before being able to move into the apartment he'd bought for her.
  • Good with Numbers: It's part of his genius. In a flashback it's revealed he can solve any hard math question immediately.
  • Hello, Attorney!: Takes him a few episodes to dress the part, but... yes.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: He was this with Trevor, until the pilot episode that wrecks their friendship. As the series progresses, he starts to get this kind of relationship with Harvey.
  • Hyper-Awareness: There's reason why Harvey took him on: they have about the same level of it.
  • Hypocrite: Mike's defining character trait, combined with an astonishing lack of self awareness.
  • Justified Criminal: In the premiere, Mike only agrees to act as a drug courier so he can pay for his grandmother's medical treatments. We later find out that he only agreed to help people cheat on the LSATs because he needed the money to pay for full time care for his grandmother. In fact, the only reason he's unable to get into Harvard is because the dean's daughter was the one who got caught buying test answers from his friend Trevor, and Mike couldn't let Trevor take the fall. The dean, whose daughter is now blacklisted (her own fault) and his own career at risk, takes it out on Mike and ensures that no law school will take him.
  • Married to the Job: Mike's life pretty much revolves around Harvey and Jessica. Not just because he's passionate but also because he really has no friends or family outside of the firm.
  • The Movie Buff: Another reason why Harvey took him on — they trade Shout Outs and quotes from day one.
  • New Meat: Starts out very much like this. Has to get to grips with a very steep learning curve. For several reasons.
  • Nice Guy: At heart, he's a big softie. But, he can let the thrill of the hunt shut it off if he's not careful. He tries to remember that, though. But, occasionally slips.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: After Trevor got caught selling test answers, Mike realized that Trevor would never sell him out and take the blame himself. So, he went to the dean and confesses. Not only did the dean kick him out, but he used his contacts to blacklist Mike from going to law school. Apparently, the dean's daughter was the one who got caught buying said answers, and the dean chose to blame solely Mike for it. Had Mike stayed quiet, the dean would've had no proof of Mike's involvement beyond suspicion.
  • Not So Different: Jessica admitted Mike was not so different from the best qualities in both her and Harvey. Though not to Mike's face.
  • Number Two: To Harvey. Mentioned by name in "War" as such.
  • Office Romance: He begins a secret relationship with Rachel in season 3, after letting her in on his secret.
  • Photographic Memory: Early episodes even showed him playing back memories in perfect detail (in black-and-white) and noticing things he didn't the first time around.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Red to Harvey's Blue. Since he's new to the legal profession, he's more likely to be driven by his emotions and tries to get the law to match how he feels about an issue. Harvey has to constantly pull him back and try to get him to see things with a cooler head.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: He regularly comes into conflict with Jessica and Harvey because he wants to take on social justice cases that won't bring in a meaningful amount of money into the firm.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The boyish and naive Sensitive Guy to Harvey's confident, arrogant Manly Man.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: It takes a while for him to understand that not all suits are made equal. He finally starts dressing on Harvey's level in Season 4 when he becomes an investment banker and has money to spend on extremely high-end suits.
  • Sherlock Scan: Combined with his excellent memory, Mike can put clues together fast such as how a thug supposedly threatening him in jail is actually an undercover cop.
  • Shout-Out: Harvey and Mike are compared to Batman and Robin in-universe (after fans made such comparison for two whole seasons).
  • The Smart Guy: He's incredibly brilliant, and it's not just due to his phenomenal memory.
  • The Stoner: Use to be one until he woke up one day and saw where he was heading thanks to the mistakes of others.
  • Taught by Experience: On the job experience, even.
  • Token Good Teammate: Surprisingly enough, the fraud is usually the less morally ambiguous lawyer in the room.
  • Took a Level in Badass: In the season two premiere Mike has more confidence than at the beginning of the series and is willing to stand up for himself when threatened. When a woman he tried to help backstabs him in a lawsuit, he turns the tables on her and forces her to accept a settlement. He later calls out Trevor on his betrayal and points out that he knows so much about Trevor that he could make his life hell if he wanted.
  • Two First Names: His first name Michael or Mike is masculine first given name and his surname is also commonly a masculine first given name.
  • Undying Loyalty: To Harvey. Mike would never turn on Harvey even when things get really bad between them.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Mike is very idealistic and naive by nature. This also makes him very easily influenced.

    Louis Litt 

Louis Litt

Portrayed by: Rick Hoffman

Louis is an ambitious lawyer who wants nothing more than to have his name in lights by the firm's entrance, but his off-putting behavior makes it difficult for him to win enough allies amongst the senior partners to make that dream a reality.

He is a financial wiz who's been described as being like a bloodhound when it comes to finding irregularities. He is so good, in fact, that he brings in more billables than most other lawyers in the firm.

He also oversees the firm's associates and does his utmost to make their lives a living hell so that only the very best remain.

His dream finally comes true in Season 4 when the firm is renamed Pearson Specter Litt.

  • Abhorrent Admirer: He had a somewhat pathetic crush on his hot superior, Monica Eaton. He apparentally always ate lunch at the same place she did and asked her out daily. She admitted at the time that this didn't really bother her, but it still bites him in the butt when she later claims sexual harassment.
  • Adorkable: Despite his arrogance, he has his moments, especially with his love for cats and the way he can be amusingly awkward and emotional at times, much like a child. Just look at his reaction when Harvey finally tells him that he respects him.
  • Alliterative Name: Louis Litt
  • Always Second Best: To Harvey. No matter how much he's good at his job, he always ends up being overshadowed by Harvey.
  • Amoral Attorney: Whenever he is trying to show he is a better lawyer than Harvey (i.e. almost always).
  • Anti-Villain: Starts out as an antagonistic character but many episodes show him in a sympathetic light.
  • Bad Boss: Louis actually takes pride in how badly he treats the new associates.
  • The Atoner: Louis qualifies as he committed the same sin. Jessica refers to her sin and this is why she is creating the "Louis Litt Rehabilitation Program," so he can remove the stank of Hardman from him.
  • Butt-Monkey: He often screws up and puts himself in embarrassing situations. He is constantly made fun of and never given credit, unlike Harvey, despite making the firm a lot of money. Sometimes it's Played for Laughs considering how much of a jerk he can be.
  • Camp Straight: Despite being canonically straight, he does have some effeminate mannerisms, traits and interests (such as ballet and theatre for example).
  • Catchphrase: "You just got Litt up". Katrina even got it printed into a cup for him as a gift.
  • Character Development: The biggest example of this in the entire series. An underhanded, petty man early on. A man of great courage, caring and honor by the end of it.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Louis is very snarky and sarcastic and he is one of the sources of sarcastic comedy and wit on the show.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Harvey, Mike and Jessica note this is one of Louis's key flaws, that he'll jump into a situation without figuring out all the angles. The results can range from looking like a joke to getting himself (and the firm) into serious hot water.
    • The best example is when he discovers the truth about Mike and immediately uses it to get himself rehired and a name partner. Louis figures he can fire Mike and Jessica can't do anything about it as he holds leverage with the secret. Instead, Jessica points out that by using the information for his own profit, Louis automatically became part of the fraud and is as exposed as the rest if he reveals it.
    • When the firm meets a lawyer regarding their possible bankruptcy, Louis hires a bunch of actors to pose as the staff (who left) to make the office look busier. Jessica coldly snaps that the point of this meeting is that the firm needs desperate financial help and making them look like "business is usual" isn't going to aid that.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Louis, even after going over to Hardman's side, wouldn't vote to fire Harvey when Hardman called for it, and voted to get rid of Hardman after finding out that Hardman faked the memo that caused the lawsuit against the firm.
  • Fatal Flaw: His pride and insecurities thereof keeps leading him to make boneheaded, petty decisions that often cause a lot of trouble for everyone. As the show establishes, when he can keep it under control, he's a very good lawyer. Note that this is the same basic flaw as Harvey.
  • Fat Comic Relief: He's the only regular member of the main cast who's not trim and conventionally attractive, emphasized by the fact that he wears suits which are much too small for him. This doesn't stop him from being one of the most popular characters.
  • A Father to His Men: Louis, though a sadist teacher to his associates, cares for them on some level. Showing weakness may not be liked but when he was quitting and saw Mike come out of an elevator with a bloody face, he dropped his stuff and rushed to help Mike, taking him to the bathroom to get cleaned up without a second thought. Likewise, though he was determined to make Katrina respect him, he nevertheless ultimately assisted her in her case even as he was trying to make a fool of her.
  • Flanderization: While he starts as an unsympathetic yet very competent Bad Boss-type with a few quirks (his soft spot for cats and a couple of unusual hobbies), by season three these quirks started overriding his professionalism, making him go to a mock trial for custody over a cat with an opposing (and equally eccentric) lawyer that isn't even his in the first place, and later totally flunks extremely important negotiations with said lawyer because of that cat. The other guy told him that he didn't read the cat the letters he wrote her.
  • Foil: To Harvey. They share much of the same traits and behaviors with the major difference being that if Harvey 'plays the man', Louis 'plays the law'. It is Louis's strict adherence to the letter of the law (especially when it benefits him) that most people tend to dislike him for whereas Harvey's approach at least makes him seem somewhat charming. Also, Harvey is The Stoic, very handsome, successful and The Ace, while Louis is very emotional, Hot-Blooded, average-looking, and a No Respect Guy.
  • Freudian Trio: The id.
  • Friendly Enemy: How he sees his relationship with Harvey. He compares it to Ralph Wolf and Sam Sheepdog.
    Louis: They came to the meadow every day to work, friendly. But then when they punched in the time clock, Ralph would try to steal the sheep, and Sam would stop him. I mean, it was brutal. And then they’d punch out again. Friends. And that was me and Harvey.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: He often switches between being a Jerkass (particularly in the episodes where he antagonizes Mike) and a good friend to the other main characters.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: How he sees himself most of the time which is certainly not how everyone else sees him.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: On a shooting range, Louis is shown to be an extremely good marksman. All his shots are either headshots or a tight center of mass clustering.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: For all his smug attitude, Louis is shown to have a severe inferiority complex that causes him to constantly try to prove how competent he is and that he is a better lawyer than Harvey.
  • Informed Judaism: The fact that Louis is Jewish is not brought up until season two, when he casually mentions that he is going to call his rabbi to brag about his promotion. He later asks Jessica to have Rosh Hashanah off.
  • Innocent Innuendo: Louis has a bad tendency to use flowery language when worked up which often comes out incredibly, unintentionally sexual. Whoever he's speaking to at the time finds it hilarious, but without fail, Louis fails to get the joke.
  • Insufferable Genius: When it comes to financials.
  • It's All About Me: Has this problem after he uncovers Mike's secret and becomes more petty than ever. Donna calls him out on his ultra-selfish, oh-woe-is-me attitude.
  • Jerkass: Louis can be a major jerk at times which results in putting other people in danger. He can also be incredibly smug and condescending especially when things don't go his way.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • Louis often has a point when he calls Jessica out on her favoritism for Harvey while ignoring Louis. Also, his "Reason You Suck" Speech to the associates.
    • Again for Louis during the trial run. Harvey chastises him for badgering Donna. Louis points out that he was simply playing the part that Tanner definitely would have taken. And that all of this was Harvey's fault to begin with.
    • Louis treats Harold as a Butt-Monkey but we later discover that Harold can be grossly incompetent and his mistakes could have cost the firm millions if Louis did not scrutinize his every action and covered for him.
  • Jerkass to One: He treats Harold much worse than he treats everyone else, which is lampshaded in-universe. Harold hates him for this.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: What he's become. He has a degree of Undying Loyalty to Jessica, Harvey, Rachel, Mike, and Donna and he views them as family.
  • The Lancer: After season 6.
  • Never My Fault: He's always quick to shift responsibility to others even if it's blatantly obvious that he's the one who caused the mess in the first place. This gets even worse in season 7. He sees a shrink, but his refusal to take responsibility becomes worse than ever.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • He has his moments, though they're usually take a while to happen and they're often for selfish reasons. Which makes the moments when he's sincere even more surprising, at least to everyone but himself.
    • A straight example comes in season 4 that demonstrates a lot of Character Development on his part. When Mike is at his lowest, Louis at his highest, and Louis still upset with Mike for using his relationship with Sheila as leverage, Louis stops Mike from making a very terrible decision and gives up his happiness to help Mike out.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: With Donna and Rachel, to a degree, especially the former. There was also a season where he had this relationship with Katrina.
  • Plucky Comic Relief:
    • Deconstructed; while he's a brilliant lawyer in his own right, he keeps getting crapped on, and his greatest desire is just to be respected and liked, which leads to self-sabotage. He's also just as well-developed a character as anyone else on the show, and arguably a Breakout Character.
    • Further deconstructed in Season 4, where his wacky antics as he tries to cover up a serious mistake lead to Mike figuring out something is up. Once he does that, and goes to Harvey, they figure out what he's probably hiding in a few minutes.
  • Reformed, but Rejected: Louis certainly wants to believe he's this. The other characters are quick to point out that he hasn't completely put his dickish tendencies behind him. When Louis really proves himself and (with some prodding) acts truly selfless, the other characters begin to come around.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Louis can't seem to stop himself from screwing with Harvey even though by doing nothing he would have Harvey owe him a big personal favour.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: While there's no doubt that he's an excellent lawyer and that he brings in more money than any other lawyer at the firm, he consistently overestimates his worth and often fails to realize that Jessica would have no problem losing the income if it means not having to deal with the drama he causes.
  • Smug Snake: While Louis is by no means stupid, as he is a brillant attorney, everytime he lets his emotions dictate what to do, the results as always disastrous. He is prone to do very risky and stupid things to boost his ego, and his plans always backfire at him.
  • Stalker with a Crush: To Monica. Louis kept asking her out every day she worked at Pearson Hardman. The only reason she did not file a sexual harassment complaint was that it would have made her look weak in the eyes of her coworkers.
  • Stern Teacher: At his best, but can be a borderline Sadist Teacher in the way he used to treat Harold.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Out of all the main characters, he's the most self-serving and the most likely to become Temporarily a Villain.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Upon finding out Mike's secret and that people he considered to be friends have been hiding it from him, Louis lashes out at everyone with the express purpose of running Mike out of the firm. it doesn't last long and 2 episodes later he is teaching Mike to drive.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: While being basically Mike's and Harvey's antagonist at the beginning of the series (when the stakes weren't that high yet), he was shown to be very loyal towards the people he respects towards the end of season two.
  • The Unfavorite: He mentions to Donna that his father always preferred his sister Esther to him in an episode, and he's shown to be happy when he learns that she broke her leg.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Louis will not give in for anyone or anything. Except American Ballet Theatre tickets.

    Donna Paulsen 

Donna Paulsen

Portrayed by: Sarah Rafferty

Harvey's assistant. They've been working together ever since Harvey was at the DA's office and many of Harvey's great victories would not have been possible without her help.

She is one of the most powerful figures in the office, to the point where not even the most senior members of the firm dare to take her head on.

  • The Ace: More than everyone else in the cast. She's hypercompetent at everything, she knows it and everyone knows it.
  • Almighty Janitor: While not a lawyer, she wields an incredible amount of influence because she is just that good at her job. Even Jessica will turn to her for advice. Her value is demonstrated in monetary terms when Louis takes a look at her salary and then asks if an extra zero was added by accident. As it turns out, Harvey considered her to be so valuable that he's been paying her out of his own pocket (unbeknownst to her) on top of what the firm pays and it's implied that the firm only covers a small portion of her paycheck.
  • Big Sister Instinct: Towards Mike and Rachel. She is strongly protective of both of them and looks out for them as much as possible.
  • Catchphrase: "I'm Donna"
  • The Chick: Shares this role with Rachel.
  • The Conscience: For pretty much everyone but especially for Harvey and Louis. She is often the one that makes the two of them question their morality and whether or not they are doing something wrong. It often takes either a talk or a lecture from Donna to get either Harvey or Louis to second guess their actions.
  • Dating Catwoman: Gender-flipped in regards her relationship with Stephen Huntley.
  • Deadpan Snarker: One of the wittiest and sassiest characters:
    Harvey: Hey Donna, did you take care of that—
    [Donna hands him a folder]
    Harvey: Also, I didn't have a chance to—
    [Donna hands him a coffee]
    Harvey: ...Marry me?
    Donna: I took care of that too—we've been married for the past seven years.
    Harvey: Excellent. [walks away smirking]
  • Fiery Redhead: Has red hair and is very feisty. She is not afraid to call people out on their nonsense.
  • Girl Friday: For Harvey, Mike and Louis. She is often the one who helps them out when they need information for cases and what not. Donna is the considered to be the "Go To Girl" whenever a problem or issue comes up and needs to be solved.
  • Guile Hero: Donna often uses manipulation and smarts to get what she wants.
  • The Heart: Combined with something of a Morality Chain. More so than Mike, she's usually the one everyone looks towards for stability and the one to question if they're crossing moral and ethical lines. Which makes the story arc where she destroys a memo all the more shocking, all else aside, as it is a major ethical line she has crossed.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Rachel.
  • Hyper-Awareness: Often aware of minor details around the office. As she puts it, "I know what I know."
  • Hyper-Competent Sidekick: Barring Jessica, she's possibly the most consistently competent person at the entire law firm.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: When Donna visits Louis at the range she outshoots him with ease. She then reveal that she was a champion competitive shooter in her youth.
  • Large Ham: Befitting her formidable acting skills (both the character In-Universe and the actress who plays her), Donna is this on a regular basis, until she gets pushed over the edge later.
  • Mama Bear: To Mike.
  • Morality Pet: To both Harvey and Louis. Both tend to show their nice side around her.
  • Ms. Fanservice: A tall voluptuous redhead with a penchant for low-cut dresses, she's like Joan from Mad Men with a slightly smaller chest.
  • Must Have Caffeine: Donna is a huge coffee lover. There is never a time when Donna does not have coffee in her possession.
  • Number Two: To Harvey. She is basically his right hand woman, his confidant and his Morality Pet.
  • Office Romance: Subverted; Donna and Harvey did hook up once, but it was after the two of them resigned from the DA's office. When Harvey takes Jessica's offer to work at Pearson-Hardman and asks her to come as his secretary, she asks for one of her conditions for both to forget about that night, because she does not want to have an affair with anyone she works with, and he accepts.
  • The Omniscient: Donna knows pretty much everything that goes on in the office.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: With Harvey, and to a lesser extent, with Louis. She also has a Big Sister Instinct towards Mike.
  • Plucky Office Girl: For the most part, Donna is actually the most optimistic and hopeful character on the show. She is also the one to try to relieve tension amongst among situations and other characters from time to time.
  • Poisonous Friend: To Harvey when he stubbornly refuses to testify against an old boss. She worked for him as well, and has no qualms turning over evidence of his illegal activities.
  • Reaction Shot: Donna may well be the goddamn Goddess of this trope.
  • Sassy Secretary: Donna is very sarcastic and witty. She always has a solid come back and good one liners, which often results in Snark-to-Snark Combat with other characters, especially Harvey.
  • Secret Keeper: For Harvey in general.
  • Sexy Secretary: Donna is a physically appealing Ms. Fanservice and she is a legal secretary at Pearson Specter Litt.
  • Statuesque Stunner: Donna is the second tallest female character on the show after Jessica. Her portrayer Sarah Rafferty is 5'9" or 5'10". In addition, her height is even more emphasized when she wears high heels.
  • Team Mom: For the entire firm.
  • Undying Loyalty: Donna is extremely loyal to Harvey and will do anything she can to protect him. By proxy, she's a bit more protective and helpful towards Mike than to anyone else not named Harvey.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: With Harvey. Although Harvey and Donna are usually at Platonic Life-Partners status, it's evident that there are still unresolved feelings of attraction between them.
  • Women Are Wiser: Donna seems to be much more wise, logical and practical in her thinking and outlook than her male counterparts such as Harvey, Louis and even Mike at times.

    Rachel Zane 

Rachel Zane

Portrayed by: Meghan Markle

A paralegal at the firm. Rachel wants to be a lawyer but had to put that dream on hold because she suffers from severe test anxiety that prevents her from getting an adequate score on the LSATs. She eventually manages to get over it and does well on the exam, but fails to get into Harvard Law School. Instead, she decides to go to Columbia after pressuring Jessica into paying her law school tuition and to make an exception to the firm's policy that it will only hire Harvard graduates.

She and Mike have been in a relationship since Season 3.

  • Almighty Janitor: To emphasize how important paralegals are to a law firm and just how good she is in that regard, Rachel has her own office. While it's smaller than that of a partner, it's still larger than that of an associate.
  • Book Dumb: Not exactly, but there isn't a trope for Test Dumb. Rachel isn't a lawyer because she can't pass law school entrance exams or the bar. It's not a lack of intelligence or knowledge, but simple test anxiety. Which is why she is so proud when Mike tells her she has finally passed the LSATs in the second season.
  • Brainy Brunette: She's the firm's best researcher.
  • The Chick: Shares this role with Donna.
  • Femme Fatale: Rachel dips her toe into this category in "Normandy".
  • Hello, Attorney!: She is very physically appealing and she has an abundance of sex appeal.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Donna.
  • Hyper-Competent Sidekick: Rachel is very competent at her job as a researcher and a paralegal at the firm despite not being a lawyer yet. The best lawyers are heavily dependent on her when it comes to information regarding cases.
  • Insecure Love Interest: She displays signs of this when Mike breaks it off. Despite all her explanations of how important she is to the firm, she still believes he looks down on her for never passing the LSATs and remaining a paralegal.
  • Mixed Ancestry: Rachel is half-black half-white, like her actress Meghan Markle.
  • Morality Pet: Rachel begins to evolve into this for Louis during Season 3. It helps that he had already respected her before working closely with her and that she was one of the few who treated him with such in return.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Rachel shows a lot of skin and she seems to have no problem using her sexuality to get what she wants.
  • Nice Girl: Despite allusions to a less than moral past, she is definitely this. She is generally friendly to everyone in the office and will even go out of her way to help those in need, even if they have mistreated her. Her interactions with Louis's associate are a good example.
  • Non-Idle Rich: Her parents are loaded, but she still wants to make her own way.
  • Office Romance: As of the third season, he begins a secret affair with Mike.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Despite being smart, accomplished, beautiful, and having a spine to even stand against her father, Rachel simply doesn't measure up to Mike (legal prodigy /w photographic memory), Donna (the all-knowing), Louis (ruthlessly effective and financial wizard), Harvey (extremely slick and successful), and Jessica (one of the few capable of pulling one over on Harvey). Poor Rachel doesn't really have much going for her in the department of "extraordinary ridiculous superhuman craziness". She also sees herself as this in her own family ("Everyone has always said that my mom is beautiful and that my dad is smart and powerful").
  • The Perfectionist: Deconstructed, as her perfectionism makes her afraid to make mistakes.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: With Louis, to a degree.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Her departure at the end of season 7 is due to Meghan Markle's other commitments.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Rachel is actually very Girl Next Door but when she dresses up, she can be quite chic and sophisticated.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: It's worth noting that Rachel is most attracted to Mike whenever he is acting selfless or sticking to his ideals, and promptly calls him out or straight up ignores him whenever he veers from the good path.
  • Two First Names: Her first name Rachel is a feminine given first name while her surname Zane is commonly a masculine given first name.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Rachel can be partly said to be driven by this, though there's more to it than that.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Rachel ends up making out with an old flame but stops before it gets any farther. Donna insists that Rachel keep the truth from Mike, but it eventually slips out. Their relationship is nearly wrecked as a result, not so much because of the kiss but because Rachel didn't say anything sooner. They eventually make up.

    Jessica Pearson 

Jessica Pearson

Portrayed by: Gina Torres

The firm's managing partner. She got to where she is both by being an excellent lawyer and by knowing how to manipulate everyone around her in order to ensure that the outcome is always in her favor.

  • Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: She's beautiful, composed, aloof woman with black hair.
  • Always Someone Better: Harvey's good, but Jessica's even better. Even if a situation gets bad enough for Harvey to start panicking, Jessica's already thought of multiple winning strategies with contingencies for each possible outcome without changing the serene expression on her face.
  • And Starring: "And Gina Torres"
  • Anti-Villain: In context of Mike and Harvey's story. She is generally very benevolent, but she'd be perfectly justified in firing Mike over knowing he has no degree because rightfully so, if anyone found out, it would cause a tremendous amount of harm to the entire firm, both from a business standpoint as well as legal.
  • The Atoner: Jessica sees herself as this. Her sin was trusting Daniel Hardman nearly blindly. This almost brought the firm she helped build to ruin five years ago. And with her as one of the scapegoats.
  • Benevolent Boss: Donna uses this trope to find out how good her bosses are. She tells Jessica she has liked her for being nice to her and others lower than her, for example.
  • Berserk Button: Jessica does not respond well to threats, from whoever they may be, as it's frequently pointed out through the show.
  • Big Damn Heroes: In "Character and Fitness". Fitting, as another one of Gina Torres' characters gave us this trope.
  • Black Boss Lady: A black woman who is Harvey's boss and founder of the law firm.
  • The Chessmaster: She was explicitly called this by Robert Zane.
  • Freudian Trio: The Superego.
  • Hello, Attorney!: Jessica shows off her looks with great pride and she is played by Gina Torres.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: In the backstory, she looked up to her mentor (later managing partner) Daniel Hardman, before realizing he was stealing from the firm. She was also the one who sent Harvey to Cameron Dennis and told him to learn everything from him, but he turns out to be an Evil Mentor as well.
  • Informed Ability: She definitely needs Harvey on her most important cases and would certainly be in a lot worse position without him. However, when push comes to shove, she at least has the one-up on Harvey himself. However, while she is very good at managing Harvey, she is horrible at managing the firm overall, and many of the firm's larger problems stem directly from the fact that she is busy playing chess with the partners and associates all the time. Ironically, she says Harvey is not forward-thinking enough to run a law firm. Yet she herself is forever under siege and needs Harvey to help her keep control.
  • Iron Lady: She usually shows a somewhat nicer side when she's talking to Harvey. The ruthlessness becomes much more prominent after her Broken Pedestal moment.
  • The Leader: Type I.
  • Only Sane Woman: She often serves as the mediator, especially when Harvey and Louis are at each other's throats.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: With Harvey, despite a few moments of Ship Tease. They are very close but there's no romantic feelings between them.
  • Pretty in Mink: Wore a silver fox fur wrap to a date.
  • Rage Breaking Point: In "Faith" (season 5), after it seems that Hardman has her cornered and that she will have no choice but to leave the firm, for the first time ever in the series Jessica can't contain her frustration and takes it out on the furniture.
  • Sexy Mentor: To Harvey.
  • Statuesque Stunner: The tallest female character on the show, and she's as stunning as the other women.
    • Gina Torres, who moved on to spinoff Pearson, is 5' 10" in her bare feet. When Jessica is in heels, she towers over everybody.
  • Stern Teacher: Apparently Jessica was one to Harvey when he was the newbie, as she notes that Harvey has used the same lines with Mike that she used with him.
  • Tantrum Throwing: Jessica never loses her cool, but when she is finally pushed over the edge, her reaction is to throw a few objects in her office. Her tantrum doesn't last long, and she calms down quickly afterwards.
  • Team Dad: Jessica is the authority figure that intervenes to make Louis and Harvey play nice.
  • Verbal Tic: Has a tendency to insert "goddamn" into phrases when upset, especially when it comes to names. EG: "Mike goddamn Ross".
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: It doesn't matter how well or how badly things are going. It's (almost) guaranteed that Jessica will manipulate events so that she comes out on top even as everything burns around her.

    Pearson Specter Litt 

An incredibly powerful New York law firm. It came under the control of Jessica Pearson after she and Daniel Hardman staged a coup against the original name partners. It's now known as Pearson Specter Litt after a series of internal conflicts, financial troubles, and backroom deals.

The firm is notable in that it has a long-standing policy of only hiring Harvard Law School graduates.

  • There have been so many name partners coming and going at Pearson Specter Litt that it's become a running gag. With Season 8, after the departures of Meagan Markle and Patrick Adams, the opening credits changed, and now include a montage of the various firm names over the years ... which changed again in Season 9.

Kyle Durant

Portrayed by: Ben Hollingsworth

Katrina Bennett

Portrayed by: Amanda Schull

  • Alpha Bitch: Her default mode with most people other than Louis.
  • The Bus Came Back: She returns from Barcelona in the episode "Bad Faith".
  • Catchphrase: Doesn't have one herself, but she's apparently a fan of "You just got Litt up!". Going so far as to trademark it and get it printed on a mug in order to cheer Louis up.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Just as Harvey wanted 'another him', Katrina ultimately wins Louis's position as his personal associate by the fact that she went to war with Louis (and almost won), among other things. He appreciated the fact that she gave him respect and treated him as a threat.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Gets a job at Pearson & Hardman by essentially blackmailing Harvey - he'd get a win, she'd get a job. Subsequently, picks a fight with Mike in order to try and take his spot and ends up with Louis.
  • Foil: What Mike is to Harvey, Katrina is to Louis. She shares Louis's hyper-competitive streak, his killer instinct, his penchant for trying to win respect through intimidation, fear, and humiliation. And as with Mike to Harvey, she also shares Louis's passion for the arts, his pool of references and hobbies, and respects/looks up to him as a mentor.
  • Girl Friday: For Louis, with shades of Battle Butler. She's a full-fledged lawyer, and damned good, too.
  • Hello, Attorney!: She's a blonde, gorgeous lawyer.
  • The Movie Buff: Well, more like tv shows buff... in an episode in which she and Mike are forced to work together, the two grow closer due to both being fans of The Wire and The Sopranos.
  • Number Two: To Louis. So much so, that when Nigel seeks to win a mock trial against Louis, he intentionally sends Katrina to another country so Louis can't call on her help.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: For the time she was on the show, she was this with Louis.
  • Put on a Bus: During Louis's mock trial, so that she can't help him, Nigel sends her to Barcelona.
  • Undying Loyalty: Katrina ends up being extremely loyal to Louis. She even helps him out when he is no longer her boss and doing so will most likely result in the end of her career.

    Darby International 

An international law firm based in Britain. It merged with Pearson Hardman (which became Pearson Darby) after investing in the financially struggling firm.

Edward Darby

Potrayed by: Conleth Hill

  • Armoured Closet Gay: He was in the past; as he confesses to Jessica, the times were different in the past, and back when he was with Ava's father he stayed in the closet.
  • Straight Gay

Dana "Scottie" Scott

Potrayed by: Abigail Spencer

Stephen Huntley

Potrayed by: Max Beesley

  • Evil Brit
  • Number Two: To Darby. It's even explicity mentioned that he's to him what Harvey is to Jessica, making him very much this trope.

    Former staff of Pearson Hardman 

Daniel Hardman

Portrayed by: David Costablie

  • Big Bad: Of season 2.
  • Consummate Liar: The whole reason why Harvey doesn't trust him when he returns to the firm is because, if he lied about funding his wife's cancer treatment, he could lie about anything.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: The former senior partner who was stealing from his firm and playing other dirty tricks.
  • Nice to the Waiter: He isn't, and it comes to bite him in the ass. He gave insultingly small tips to the staff of a hotel where he met with his mistress. Years after the affair, they still remember him and are fully willing to testify against him.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Cheated on his wife Alicia with Monica Eaton five years prior to the beginning of the story.

Zoe Lawford

Portrayed by: Jacinda Barrett

Harold Gunderson

Portrayed by: Max Topplin

  • Boss's Unfavorite Employee: Louis is not nice to any of his associates, but he likes to treat Harold as his personal Butt-Monkey. Not only he's versally abusive towards him, he also makes Harold take care of his cat even though it is clearly evident that Harold is extremely allergic.
  • Butt-Monkey: For the first two seasons, until Louis fires him on a tantrum and the audience realizes it isn't funny anymore. He then gets fired from his new job without even being told why.
  • Ditzy Genius: He appears to be awkward and completely inept but was apparently a brilliant student at Harvard, much to Mike's surprise.
  • The Dog Bites Back: His testimony on Louis's mock trial was clearly this (although Rachel is able to twist it to Louis's favour in the end).
  • Extreme Doormat: Unable to stand up to Louis, his Bad Boss.
  • Plot Allergy: He's allergic to cats, yet Louis assigns him to take care of his cat Bruno.
  • Who's Laughing Now?: He sues Louis from his new firm and even manages to one-up him, until Louis goes after his career. After Rachel points this out to Louis, Louis gives in and accepts Harold's original statement.

    Other characters 

Cameron Dennis

Portrayed by: Gary Cole

  • Big Bad: Season 3, at least the first half. And we later learn the real bad guy is Stephen, who got all those people killed and was going to place the blame on Ava.
  • Evil Mentor: To Harvey.
  • Good Hair, Evil Hair: He sports a cop mustache in season three and the ten years ago flashbacks. Not in season one.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: He's infamous for burying evidence in order to incriminate people he knows are guilty.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Harvey tries to pull this during Ava Hassington's murder trial, since Dennis used to be all about "putting the bad guy behind bars" no matter what, and Ava is, against all odds, innocent.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: A darker version of this trope; Cameron twists and bends the law, going as far as to committing illegal acts such as burying evidence, if he thinks the person is guilty and should be locked up.
  • The Bus Came Back: After a single appearance in season one, he comes back as the Big Bad of season three.

Trevor Evans

Portrayed by: Tom Lipinski

  • Evil Former Friend: To Mike. Evil is kind of a stretch, but he's a complete Jerkass and Mike realizes too late he was ruining his life. Even Mike's grandmother tells him to drop the bum.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Was this with Mike, prior to the pilot episode. Probably a failed version of Childhood Friends.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: In season 5, Trevor, no longer a drug dealer, seemingly becomes a better person and has a friendly conversation with Mike...except that he has also become very judgmental about Mike breaking the law (even if it was Trevor's fault in the first place) and refuses to attend his wedding. In a later episode he even turns against Mike at the trial, ready to reveal everything about him.
  • The Millstone: For Mike. Everything that went wrong for Mike between his tenure at the University and the beginning of the series was because of Trevor's douchebaggery. But because they were the best of friends before that Mike stood by him no matter what. As Mike's grandmother put it, Trevor is an anchor. At the same time, after getting caught selling test answers, which Mike got for him, he refuses to give up his friend, claiming that he got the answers all by himself.
  • Poisonous Friend: To Mike.
  • The Stoner: He was the one who introduced Mike in his weed-smoking life. In later seasons he grows out of it but he's still the same Jerkass he always was.
  • Toxic Friend Influence: Over the years, Trevor has talked Mike into a number of illegal schemes that derailed Mike's life and dreams of attending law school. In the pilot, he talks Mike into doing a drug deal that almost gets Mike arrested and thrown in prison.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Mike did a lot for him but Trevor just wanted to take advantage of his friend's genius and he ends up betraying him many times.

Travis Tannner

Portrayed by: Eric Close

  • Amoral Attorney: He considers himself the same as Harvey in this regard, except, unlike Harvey, he has crossed the line long ago and has no problems with using underhanded tactics and hitting people below the belt.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Harvey. He even went to Yale, the rival law school to Harvard, Harvey's alma mater.
  • Heel–Face Turn: He claims to have made this when he resurfaces in "Toe to Toe". Harvey doesn't believe it for a second, but he does in fact behave in a completely reputable manner, even offer to recuse himself from the case because he knows Harvey doesn't trust or believe him.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: