What do real lawyers think about the principles in the TV show Suits?
As in all walks of life, there are those who are scrupulously honest and decent, and there are others who are unimaginably and needlessly crooked. The rest of us that fall somewhere between both ends of the bell curve but don’t occupy the extremes. Some try to do what’s right, occasionally stumble, and strive to do better. Others spend their lives as more or less petty criminals flying under the radar.
Where do the lawyers in Suits fall on the bell curve?
The anti-hero is is popular in our culture these days. As anti-heroes, the lawyers in Suits who are the “good guys” (for lack of a better word) are in many ways like those who are anti-heroic in the real life practice of law: they don’t necessarily want to do what’s wrong, but when they find themselves presented with an ends-justify-the-means situation, that’s their ethic. I’ve met plenty of lawyers like this in my career.
It is never easy to be righteous. Now it’s even easier to be wicked. Virtues that used to go without saying as right and salutary are now being disingenuously questioned, even mocked.
I believe in the past it was easier to be a righteous person—and this a righteous lawyer—in the past than it is now. Why?
Because a critical mass of people in society were doing their best to profess virtue and apply it, those who waffled morally and ethically would often be swept along with the virtuous cultural current.
As the moral waters get muddier and more stagnant, those who are naturally inclined to moral relativism feel at home there.
John Adams famously stated, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” The same can be said of a justice system and the legal profession administering it; it’s only as good as the people administering it.
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