Maria Monroe is a recent Harvard Law graduate whom Louis Litt was determined to recruit as his associate after his promotion to senior partner. Despite being courted by a number of other top law firms in New York, Maria accepted Louis' offer to work at Pearson Hardman, but Jessica Pearson later forced Louis to rescind the offer, in fear that Maria would expose Mike Ross as a fraud.
- "Maria Monroe. Secretary of your class at Harvard Law. Clerked for Chief Justice Roberts. Glowing letters of recommendation. You think this impresses me? Negative. Which means you have exactly five minutes to convince me that you're the one."
"I don't need five minutes. I am the one. It's you who's on the clock, Louis. I have standing offers from the top three firms in this city."
"Pearson Hardman is a top three firm."
"Well, I used to think so. But if it's taken you this long to meet with me, maybe you're slipping."
- ―Louis Litt and Maria Monroe
Maria was secretary of her class at Harvard Law, and later clerked for Chief Justice Roberts for a year.
After Louis Litt expressed a desire to Sheila Sazs to hire her best graduate as his new associate, Sheila sent Maria to Pearson Hardman along with four other recent graduates. During her interview, Louis showed little admiration for her past achievements and "glowing letters of recommendation", stating instead that Maria had five minutes to convince him why she should be hired. Maria was unfazed, however, stating in turn that it was Louis who needed to convince her why she should work at Pearson Hardman, given that she already had offers from the three top law firms in New York. Louis responded that Pearson Hardman is a top three firm, to which Maria replied that she used to think so, but his failure to approach her sooner suggested otherwise. She continued that he needed to submit a formal offer by the next day for her to even consider working there, but Louis promptly informed the other interviewees that the position had been filled, telling Maria that he would beat any salary by 50%, and give her a $25,000 signing bonus. Maria responded that he should put it in writing, and turned down Louis' offer to show her round, stating that it did not matter where she worked, as she was a machine.
Maria later informed Louis that she formally accepted his offer to work at Pearson Hardman. Their conversation was overheard by Donna Paulsen, and Louis proceeded to introduce her to Maria, adding that she will "run circles around Mike Ross". After Louis left, Maria asked Donna who Mike Ross is, and questioned whether he is a first year from Harvard. Donna replied that he is, but Maria is unconvinced, stating that she was secretary for her class, and there was no one named Mike Ross is her year. Donna lied to Maria, informing her that Mike clerked for three years, and thus was not in her class, to which Maria merely replied that she "look[ed] forward to meeting him".