On "Suits," Harvey (Gabriel Macht) and Louis (Rick Hoffman) seem like very different characters at first blush. Louis often makes a fool of himself, while Harvey comes off as cool and collected. There are some similarities between the two of them, however. Most of the similarities have to do with the fact that they are both successful lawyers. They would not have been able to get where they are without a few personality traits that many lawyers share.
They are both arrogant.
Harvey is arrogant, but confident. He often taunts Louis, while giving him credit for things he does well, even if grudgingly. Louis, on the other hand, is arrogant, but self-conscious. He is always trying to best Harvey at the job, as if competing in a game. He will often attempt to prop himself up by putting others down, because he doesn't think he can win without knocking down his competition first.
In the episode "Identity Crisis," the client praises Harvey for doing a great job, and Harvey gives Louis credit because they worked together on the case. Louis walks by and sees Harvey hugging the client. He yells at Harvey, accusing him of taking all the credit. Harvey explains what really happened, noting that Louis's problem is that he would have done exactly what he accused Harvey of doing.
They are both driven.
Harvey and Louis both strive to win. Harvey, being extremely self-assured, knows that he will win. He knows because he always has in the past, and feels he knows what it takes to continue to win in the future. Louis, always worried about losing, tries too hard. He strives to win by being the first out the gate, only to be disqualified for jumping the gun.
For example, in the episode "Inside Track," Louis tries to steal Harvey's client by being the first to fix something he sees as a problem without mentioning what he was doing. Harvey already had other plans, and adds a speed bump to Louis's plans.
They both seek approval from Jessica.
Harvey wants Jessica (Gina Torres) to approve of him because she helped him get where he is. He enjoys playing games with her, constantly trying to prove that "the student has surpassed the master." For example, when Jessica takes away Harvey's promotion in the "Pilot," Harvey figures out a way to get it back by threatening Jessica with taking his his clients to a competitor.
Louis just grovels. His goal is to be the teacher's pet, hoping to get a "happy face" in the form of a ticket to his favorite play, or some other type of special treatment or other proof that validates him as a top lawyer. Louis proves this in every episode, as he does everything Jessica wants, then asks Jessica for acknowledgement that he did a good job.
Image source: SUITS -- "Play The Man" Episode 107 -- Pictured: (l-r) Rick Hoffman as Louis Litt, Gabriel Macht as Harvey Specter -- Photo by: Christos Kalohoridis/USA Network, Airdate: Thursday, August 4 on USA Network (10-11 p.m. ET), © NBC Universal, Inc.