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Breaking Up the ATL Boys’ Club (Nobody Likes a Sausage Fest)

My name is Staci Zaretsky, but most of you have known me as Morning Dockette for the better part (or worst part, depending on your opinion) of a year now. You must be wondering why I’m finally putting aside my absurd pseudonym and writing this post under my real name. Well, thanks to the powers that be at Above the Law, I will be joining the editorial staff as a full-time writer.

I’ll give you all a moment to groan and/or squeal and then soil yourselves with disgust and/or pleasure. Super! Now that we’ve gotten over that hurdle, let me assure you that you don’t have to worry, because my fabulous friend Juggalo Law will continue to write for ATL.

Since I started writing for ATL, I have learned a lot about the legal community that frequents the site. I’ve learned that some people just can’t take a joke. That’s pretty unfortunate, but most law types are lacking in the personality department, so it’s understandable. I’ve learned that our commentariat can determine what people look like, just from their style of writing. Apparently, I’m a hot Asian girl. Who knew?

The most important thing I’ve learned from my time here at ATL is that a lot of our readers have graduated from elite educational institutions and then moved on to even greater law firms. I’ve also learned that not everyone who makes the decision to enter the legal field is so lucky – and I’ve learned that from my own personal experiences.

Now, before you get your Google on, and if you really want to see if I’m a hot Asian girl, please read on after the jump…

When I first started writing for ATL, the commentariat seemed to have doubts about my caste and pedigree. As it turns out, they were right. I am a 2010 graduate of Western New England College University School of Law. I’m not an attorney yet, but I’m working on it. Third time’s the charm, right?

And no, I’m not dumb. I don’t think that anyone who has the intellectual capacity to go to law school, even a low-ranked school, is dumb, per se. Some people just partied a little too hard during college (sorry mom and dad). The only dumb thing I’ll admit to is the fact that it took $150,000 in student loans and three years in law school for me to figure out that I wanted to be a writer.

Nope, not Asian.

While Western New England wasn’t exactly like Elie’s Harvard or Lat’s Yale, I’m not bitter about it. I actually really enjoyed my law school experience there. The experience of trying to find a job after graduation, not so much, but that’s another topic for another day.

Just to give you a few more tidbits about myself: I’m a girl, but you knew that already. I’m 27 years old, and I’m in a relationship. I went to Lehigh University for college. I’m a Goldilocks when it comes to a political stance (read: I straddle the fence between Lat and Elie, but not in a sexy way). I’m from New Jersey (the town over from Lat, actually). I appreciate the finer things in life, like clothes, shoes, jewelry, and handbags. Being able to afford those things is another story.

So, a lot of ATL’s critics have said that this site is just too elitist because all we do is cater to “T14″ law schools and Biglaw associates. But really, now that ATL has an editor who has literally been “Below the Law,” how can you call us elitists? ATL now has an editor who has seen the “other side” of the law – the side where lawyers are supposed to be languishing in poverty and toiling away in small law somewhere.

To that end, not only did I go to Western New England, but I also worked at a small law firm. Wait, what am I saying… small law? I’ve worked in basement law, okay. When I was a 1L and still had delusions of grandeur about working in Biglaw, I joked about doing mindless document review in a windowless law firm basement. I never thought that I actually would work in a basement – but I did. Ouch.

In light of all of this, I think that now is the time to take ATL’s illusion of elitism and shove it where the sun doesn’t shine, don’t you? Somewhere like a small law firm basement dungeon. I look forward to continuing to write for ATL, and I don’t plan on disappearing into the Bermuda Triangle of law bloggers anytime soon.

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