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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCF chapter.

Note: this article may contain spoilers.

If you’ve heard of the television show Suits, you may only know it for being the show that Meghan Markle was on before marrying Prince Harry. While this is definitely one major reason to invest yourself into the Suits world, the result is that the show is underrated the same way that the women are.

The thing about Suits is that while a majority of the cast is male, the female characters are the true power players. They will inspire you with their wit and determination all throughout the show. Now that the final season has officially started, we are counting down our favorite powerhouse women.


Donna Paulsen

Starting off our list of eight powerhouse women is Donna Paulsen. Despite our list being full of brilliant and unique women, Donna deserves the top spot because she has fought her way up from being a secretary to the leading lady and COO of the law firm. From the beginning, Donna has made subtle, yet clever, power moves that have made her a major player in the legal game. Did I mention she did all this without a law degree?

Jessica Pearson

The first impression of Jessica Pearson may leave you to believe that she is a bit overbearing and has a better-than-you attitude. These traits, which suggest that she is hard to work for, are the ones that have gained her respect in the legal industry. She was the only female name partner at the firm that she worked at, up until her departure. Gina Torres, the actress who plays Jessica, used this as an opportunity to become the executive producer of a spinoff show based on Jessica’s life after she leaves Suits. The show, Pearson, follows after Suits on Wednesday nights.

Rachel Zane

You might be very familiar with the face of this character, only because it is the face of Duchess Meghan Markle. An empowered woman, Rachel knew she wanted to build a career based on her own merits, not from the merits of the name Zane or the wealth that came with it. She came to the featured law firm and started as a paralegal. When she finally overcame her testing anxiety and decided to take the bar, Rachel negotiated a deal where she got a good chunk of law school paid for and basically guaranteed herself a future position at the same law firm. If these aren’t smart power moves, I’m not sure what are.

Samantha Wheeler

Callie and Marianna Foster may be the ones who got a spin-off show of The Fosters, but Samantha Wheeler is the foster child you need to watch. When she comes on the scene in season eight, she’s kicking ass in the boxing ring (literally). Her first impression to viewers is a true representation of who Samantha Wheeler is: a loyal foster child who has clawed and fought so that she could have her name on the wall of a prestigious law firm.

Sheila Sazs

Initially, Sheila is a hard pill to swallow. This is because she’s so comfortable and aware of the power that she has, that she isn’t afraid to wield it to her advantage. Sheila holds the power as Harvard Law School’s placement coordinator, a position she uses to win the heart of Louis Litt.

As their romance on the show progresses, Shelia isn’t afraid of telling Louis what she wants. This ranges from not wanting children to the stipulation that she will not be a stay home mom if they do have children. Her reason: she wants a career that she can be proud of too.

Katrina Bennett

Starting out as a fifth-year associate at the firm, Katrina emphasizes those years as though they give her seniority from the second that she joins the firm. She’s not afraid to ruffle feathers if it gets her what she wants. And what she wants is the title of senior partner.

Claire Bowden

While she’s a minor, non-recurring character, Claire’s significance is that she knew Mike Ross before everything happened—she has knowledge that would unravel his whole world. However, Claire does not use this to her advantage when they are on opposing sides of a case. Instead, she takes the high road and uses the information to give Mike life advice. This is a standout moment for Claire because the advice she gives Mike protects Rachel, and a real powerful woman aims to build other powerful women.

Fun fact: Troian Bellasario is the actress who plays Claire, and she is married to Patrick J. Adams, who plays Mike, in real life. It’s interesting to see their chemistry play out on screen, even though he’s supposed to be Rachel’s love interest.

Gretchen Bodinski

Finally, rounding off our list is Gretchen Bodinski​. Though she initially gets hired as a replacement, Gretchen goes on to prove herself an invaluable asset as a legal secretary. Going above and beyond her secretarial duties, she utilizes all of her contacts to benefit her employer. Gretchen makes it her business to know all of the things happening in the office. 

Suits is now airing its final season on USA at 9/8 p.m. CT, followed by Pearson at 10/9 p.m. CT. Amazon Prime members can stream seasons one through eight of Suits now. I know that I’ll continue to watch these women as they push boundaries in the legal world, and now you can too. 

Images: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Kristi currently and MFA candidate at the University of Central Florida studying Creative Writing. A former resident at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, she loves pop culture, food, and the humanity of people. When she isn't writing, you can find her reading a book, spending time with loved ones, or going on and on about how cute dogs are. Or, specifically, how her dog Damian is the most handsome angel boy.
UCF Contributor