Real life Suits: Lawyer who practised for 10 years and made partner accused of faking qualifications

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By Alex Aldridge on

US “lawyer” Kimberly Kitchen is alleged not to have bothered with any legal training — just like Mike Ross in legal drama Suits


TV legal drama Suits is often criticised for being unrealistic, with star character Mike Ross — who manages to wing it in the profession despite not having a law degree — coming in for particular flack from in-the-know viewers.

Surely a real lawyer would never be able to progress their career while keeping such a secret?

Well, if the accusations against Pittsburgh “lawyer” Kimberly Kitchen — reported in the US press over the weekend — are correct, then it would seem that the Suits script-writers got it spot on.

Charges filed against Kitchen late last week allege that she practised law for a decade despite having no legal training. During that time, the former education administrator rose to partner in her law firm and even served as president of her local bar association.

Kitchen, 45, worked in wills & trusts for BMZ Law, which prosecutors claim was duped by a forged law licence, bar exam results, an email showing attendance at Duquesne University law school and a cheque for the state attorney registration fee.

The firm issued this statement at the outset of the investigation into their former partner in December.

“Sadly, it would appear that our firm was the last, in a long line of professionals, to have been deceived by Ms Kitchen into believing she was licensed to practice law. We are undertaking a thorough review of each and every file she may have handled.”

On Friday Kitchen’s lawyer, Caroline Roberto, described her as “an incredibly competent person” who “worked very diligently and was devoted to the people she served in the community”. Roberto added that “there are things about the charges we don’t agree with so we’re going to be fighting some of the charges”.

If found guilty, Kitchen faces up to six years in jail.