There is really no way of knowing whether a lawyer standing outside a courtroom is a certified legal professional. In Brooklyn, New York, Mikhail Perlov listed himself as a lawyer on Russian-language portals as well as social-media sites—and would appear in local courts. He would also solicit business from clients and create fake lawsuits, promising the client would win huge sums in court. Perlov was caught once—in 2015, and admitted to having ripped off around 50 ‘clients’ for about $50,000 and was let off after he signed an agreement and returned the money and paid a fine. Last year, he was at it again and now faces up to seven years in prison.
On to the world of entertainment, television series Suits shows law school dropout Mike Ross as a prodigy, who teams up with a law-firm partner named Harvey Spectre. Together, they con people for several seasons because Ross’ picture-perfect memory makes him appear as an ace lawyer. The fantasy draws the line when he is offered a partnership in Spectre’s firm.