She’s an incredible lawyer, a fierce board room executive, a leader who inspires loyalty, and a stunning style icon. Managing partner Jessica Pearson (Gina Torres) has all the skills she needs to stay on top at Pearson Specter Litt. So, of course, no one is better qualified to show you the ropes -- be it in law, management, negotiation, or diva-wrangling (hey, what would you call Harvey and Louis?) than PSL's managing partner.
Jessica has been driven to succeed from a young age, and she has risen to the occasion every step of the way. Which may be why she’s so good at spotting and grooming talent. If she decides to take you under her wing, it’s your lucky day. Actually, it’s your lucky entire life! But exactly what makes her such a great mentor? Let’s review.
1. SHE INVESTS IN HER EMPLOYEES.
Jessica doesn’t just recognize your talent after she gives you a shot at working in the mailroom. She gets right down to the business of investing in that talent -- with her own money. Even if you are kind of a screw-up. Let us not forget that Jessica put Harvey through law school.
2. SHE TAKES THE LONG VIEW OF A SITUATION.
You may become the best closer in the city, but that doesn’t mean you can do whatever you want (like, say, hire an associate who is not only not from Harvard Law School but also not even a lawyer) and expect to just be forgiven. On the other hand, Jessica can’t help but be approving of your eye for raw talent. And maybe she even appreciates that your colossally stupid mistake has actually helped you become the better man you are today.
3. SHE KNOWS TALENT WHEN SHE SEES IT.
Even when she thinks — knows — you’re a goddamn fraud, she’ll keep giving you a chance. She might even be the one who hands you your first case as a junior partner. After all, Mike's dirty little secret is Jessica's too.
4. SHE'S WILLING TO HEAR YOUR SIDE
You are not her hair-gelled partner in crime -- and you aren’t going to Harvard Law School -- but she’ll break her own hiring rules for you anyway. Why would Jessica go against the firm’s oldest, most prestigious tradition of only recruiting from Harvard Law? Partly because Rachel is willing to officially put herself at risk to protect its big secret in season three. But also because Jessica knows that Rachel has already been killing it in the office for 10 years as a paralegal. See? They both win! (It’s called consideration, but you -- and Rachel -- already knew that.)
5. SHE DOESN'T PLAY FAVORITES
Jessica will put herself between warring employees to keep the peace … or stop a beat-down. But don’t think you’ll get a pass for that beat-down just because you’re her favorite. Jessica totally calls Harvey on his unacceptable behavior toward Louis in season five, and simultaneously manages to keep the situation from escalating to something even worse.
6. SHE KEEPS YOU IN LINE WHEN YOU NEED IT MOST.
If she thinks you’re about to mess up a deal it took her five months to structure, she will calmly threaten to set fire to your desk. But she won’t actually do it (we think).
7. SHE'S ALWAYS ONE STEP AHEAD OF YOU.
Jessica's playing chess while everyone else is playing checkers. Watch and learn.