Staci Zaretsky

Staci Zaretsky became an editor for Above the Law in June 2011. Before becoming an editor, she pseudonymously wrote the site's Morning Docket column. Staci graduated from Lehigh University and Western New England University School of Law, where her writing was published in the Western New England Law Review. Before deciding to pursue writing as a full-time career, Staci worked at a small law firm. Her writing has appeared in other legal publications, such as Judgepedia, Lawyerist, and Ms. JD. She has been featured on various television and radio programs, like CNBC's Power Lunch, HuffPost Live, TF1 TV France, Chicago Public Radio, and Civil Discourse Now.

Posts by Staci Zaretsky

  • Andrew Gilbertson

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 03.27.15

    * Brooklyn Law’s dean thinks “too much power rests with the [NCBE],” and that we need a new way to license lawyers. Brooklyn Law’s July 2014 bar passage rate was ~10 percent lower than the year prior, so perhaps he doesn’t like how those grapes taste. [National Law Journal]

    * A man on trial for a bank robbery committed in 2013 pooped his pants while on the stand, removed some of said poop from his pants, and started eating it because the Virgin Mary told him to do it. If you couldn’t tell, he’s got an insanity defense. [Inquisitr]

    * A new Citigroup report says Biglaw firms are at “high risk for cyberintrusions,” but so few will admit that they’ve been hacked it’s impossible to tell if the problem is growing. Don’t worry, clients, your confidential files might be safe. [DealBook / New York Times]

    * People may think “this is a crappy, for-profit school that didn’t make it. But it could have been a great law school.” Charleston Law’s founding dean wrote a damning blog post about his colleagues for their attempts to sell the school to InfiLaw. [Post and Courier]

    * “[B]eing well-dressed and having a law school diploma” isn’t enough to ensure that you’ll get a job anymore. Quick, take some advice from the career services dean at a school where 47.2 percent of recent grads are working full-time as lawyers. [Huffington Post]

    18 Comments / / Mar 27, 2015 at 8:53 AM
  • Angry

    Biglaw, Federal Judges, Small Law Firms

    Federal Judge Begs Lawyers To STFU In ‘Behemoth’ Pleadings

    Lawyers, your pleadings are supposed to be “short and plain” — not 303 pages long!

    75 Comments / / Mar 26, 2015 at 11:58 AM
  • Green California Road Sign with Dramatic Clouds and Sky.

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 03.26.15

    * If you thought Squire Patton Boggs would be able to meet its projection of $1 billion in combined revenue after its merger, you’d be wrong. If you thought the firm would be able to meet its projection of having more than 1,500 lawyers after its merger, you’d also be wrong. [National Law Journal]

    * Use this slideshow to compare how California law schools are doing in terms of job placement. Stanford was on top, and Golden Gate was dead last. Bonus: If you strip out school-funded jobs, the numbers look even worse. [Sacramento Business Journal]

    * Uh… oops? Keila Ravelo, the ex-Willkie Farr partner who was accused of stealing millions of dollars from two of her former firms, is now at the center of questions over settlements in credit-card cases she worked on. [New York Law Journal via ABA Journal]

    * “Please help us heal.” David Messerschmitt’s widow is begging for information about the DLA Piper associate’s death. The case is being actively investigated, and police believe the person of interest who was seen on surveillance footage is a woman. [Legal Times]

    * In case you missed it yesterday, U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was charged with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. The first charge could result in up to five years in jail, while the second could result in a life sentence. Yikes! [WSJ Law Blog]

    29 Comments / / Mar 26, 2015 at 9:01 AM
  • thinking of law school

    Law Schools, Rankings

    Which Law Schools Received The Most Applications For Fall 2014?

    People are finally realizing that it’s not a very good time to go to law school.

    20 Comments / / Mar 25, 2015 at 12:17 PM
  • Judge Joe Brown

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 03.25.15

    * “You can do all you want! Four days. You don’t have the jurisdiction. Five days.” Judge Joe Brown lost his appeal over a contempt charge he earned last year after he allegedly “lost control” during a juvenile court hearing and yelled at the presiding judge. [WREG]

    * According to a recent study, law faculties are lacking in white Christians and white Republicans. The most underrepresented demographic of all is that of Republican women. By all accounts, it looks like that particular group needs to sue to to get full-time teaching positions. [National Law Journal]

    * Law firms are constantly being inundated with solicitations for rankings and awards, and while they often complain that there are too many, let’s face it: lawyers’ egos are huge, and there will never be enough prestige to sate them. [Business of Law / Bloomberg BNA]

    * Ellen Pao’s gender discrimination case against Kleiner Perkins has turned into a circus, with two area law firms fighting each other tooth and nail, and witnesses on the stand questioning lawyers with the judge’s intermittent approval. [DealBook / New York Times]

    * Paul Ceglia, the alleged Facebook huckster who claimed he owned half of the social media company, may have escaped justice by removing his ankle monitor and disappearing, but his family had to forfeit his $250,000 bail yesterday. Like? [Reuters]

    23 Comments / / Mar 25, 2015 at 9:08 AM
  • George Zimmerman

    Non-Sequiturs

    Non-Sequiturs: 03.24.15

    * Following his surprise resignation, the University of New Hampshire School of Law has banned the former director of its public policy center from stepping foot on campus. There must be something more to this story. Tipsters: time to assemble! [New Hampshire Union Leader]

    * With his divorce lawyer’s blessing, George Zimmerman released a video where he says he still doesn’t think he did anything wrong when he killed Trayvon Martin, and that he feels victimized by President Obama’s “racially charged comments.” Paint a picture and get that angst out, Georgie. [Gawker]

    * You were gonna walk your dog, but then you got high? You’ve heard of medical marijuana for people, but you probably haven’t heard of medical marijuana for pets. Nevada has a bill that’ll allow animal owners to smoke a bowl with sick pets. [LXBN]

    * In case you missed our Converge conference last week, here are four essential tips that you’ll need to know if you intend to make a pitch to members of the mainstream media or legal press in the future. Tip #3 here is clutch. [Hellerman Baretz Communications]

    * What’s so bad about Biglaw gossip? Absolutely nothing! In fact, ATL’s managing editor thinks that “Biglaw firms should [only] be afraid of us if they have something to hide.” You can thank us for your firm’s transparency, lawyers. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg BNA]

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UREH4TohOdU

    12 Comments / / Mar 24, 2015 at 5:00 PM
  • working mother LF mom lawyer attorney

    Kids, Women's Issues

    Lawyer Moms Are Absolutely Terrifying

    Lawyer moms are the real deal — and they’re scary.

    32 Comments / / Mar 24, 2015 at 2:16 PM
  • depressed woman

  • Game of Loans

    Law Schools, Student Loans

    The Most Expensive Law Schools In The United States

    How much does your law degree really cost? Is that terrifying amount actually worth it?

    28 Comments / / Mar 24, 2015 at 11:59 AM
  • Even the high court's clerks are whitewashed.

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 03.24.15

    * Justice Anthony Kennedy says that while the Supreme Court is trying to attract more minority law clerks, lower court judges have it easier because they can recruit from local schools. Some justices have an Ivy League addiction, and thus, a diversity problem. [Legal Times]

    * The next step in the confirmation process for Loretta Lynch, the lawyer who will someday be the first black woman to serve as U.S. attorney general, isn’t likely to occur until at least mid-April. Why the wait? SENATE SPRING BREAK, WOO! [Reuters]

    * Give me maple syrup, or give me death: According to legal experts from the National Constitution Center, even though Republican candidate Ted Cruz was born in Canada, he still counts as a “natural born citizen” who’s eligible to be president. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Foley & Lardner partner Howard Shipley avoided a supreme spanking from SCOTUS over his submission of a garbled cert petition last year, but the high court took the opportunity to remind all lawyers to write “in plain terms.” [National Law Journal]

    * How badly do you want to go to a top law school? Exactly how desperate you are to feel the warm and gentle embrace of prestige? How hard can you gun? Would you be willing to take the LSAT three times? [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News & World Report]

    45 Comments / / Mar 24, 2015 at 9:11 AM
  • Cocaine addiction

    Cocaine / Crack, State Judges

    Judge Pleads Guilty To Stealing, Snorting Cocaine Evidence

    Cocaine’s a hell of a drug, eh judge?

    31 Comments / / Mar 23, 2015 at 3:29 PM
  • Ted Cruz can only dunk in his dreams.

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 03.23.15

    * This would-be POTUS can’t jump? Ted Ruger, Penn Law’s new dean, used to hang out with Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz during law school, and he’d “like to think that [their] legal skills far exceeded [their] mediocre basketball skills.” [Philadelphia Inquirer]

    * Why do we still need law schools considering the crisis in the legal academy? Please allow Noah Feldman of Harvard Law — an unbiased law professor — to explain why “law school is absolutely essential — not for lawyers with clients, but for our society as a whole.” [Bloomberg View]

    * Apparently there’s some major drama going down with regard to which attorneys will argue the same-sex marriage cases before the Supreme Court. It seems that no one wants to give up their 15 minutes of fame before the high court. Sigh. [National Law Journal]

    * These days, law schools are looking at more than their applicants’ GPAs and LSAT scores. Prospective law students now need to be “well-rounded and involved.” For what it’s worth, not minding going into debt is a helpful trait, too. [Omaha World-Herald]

    * Another day, another gender bias lawsuit in Silicon Valley: This time around, Tina Huang, a female software engineer who used to work for Twitter, is alleging that the company’s secret promotion process bypasses women and favors men. [CNET]

    42 Comments / / Mar 23, 2015 at 9:05 AM
  • British kitten on white background

    Nauseating Things, State Judges

    Judge Thinks Robert Durst Killed A Cat And Left Its Head On Her Doorstep

    This is creepy and disgusting. Poor kitty!

    12 Comments / / Mar 20, 2015 at 11:30 AM
  • Thanks, law school!

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 03.20.15

    * Per a recent study, the class of 2010 is still screwed when it comes to securing work as attorneys. There are plenty of would-be lawyers working in “tennis instruction, office management, lingerie sales, and pest control.” [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Law schools may be admitting less qualified students, but when the bar exam results are bad, it’s obviously the bar exam’s fault. Is it even fair to make new lawyers have to pass a bar exam at all? We should have more on this bar exam backlash later today. [DealBook / New York Times]

    * Following layoffs in two other firms’ litigation practices, McDermott Will & Emery is losing three of its top litigation partners. Two are expected to decamp to Paul Hastings, and one is abandoning ship for King & Spalding. Yikes! [Big Law Business / Bloomberg]

    * Law school applications are on the verge of hitting a 15-year low. Don’t worry, cautions LSAC, because “the rate of decline [in applications] is slowing.” Check out the sad (yet amazing) picture in the article and see if it makes you feel better. [Bloomberg Business]

    * Undergrads at Villanova got a crash course in how to pay for law school this week, and were hopefully scared straight when they found out the majority of law students take out loans and “typically accumulate around $100,000-$200,000 in debt.” [The Villanovan]

    29 Comments / / Mar 20, 2015 at 9:03 AM
  • Buyout Buyouts Cardboard Box LF

    Law Professors, Law Schools

    Yikes! Another Law School Offers Buyouts To Tenured Professors

    Should tenured professors take the money and run, or risk staying behind at a school whose standards for admission may drop even lower?

    21 Comments / / Mar 19, 2015 at 1:30 PM
  • office frustration

    Quote of the Day, Secretaries / Administrative Assistants

    Could This Woman Be The Whiniest Legal Secretary In The World?

    It sounds like working with this woman is a real drag. What would you do in this situation?

    47 Comments / / Mar 19, 2015 at 11:45 AM
  • pot smoking RF

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 03.19.15

    * A Connecticut attorney was cited for dropping two ounces of weed on a courtroom floor, and he blames it on his client’s son. They were apparently going to stage an embarrassing intervention, but it was the attorney who wound up being embarrassed. [Hartford Courant]

    * While Charleston School of Law bides its time and attempts to resist a buyout from the InfiLaw System, the school has offered many of its existing faculty members buyouts. We’ll have more on this interesting development later today. [Charleston Post & Courier]

    * Pace Law is going to slash its tuition for incoming students with qualifying GPAs and LSAT scores to match the tuition of the in-state public law school of the student’s home state. Sorry, folks, but this tuition “fire sale” is only for new students. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Hiscock & Barclay is “dating,” “not engaged,” and “not even close to to getting married” to Damon Morey. There may not be “anything close to official,” but this seems like the very hesitant precursor to an arranged marriage, if I do say so myself. [Buffalo Law Journal]

    * Per a recent study, the closer your law firm is to your law school, the more likely it is that you’ll make partner. In fact, it doesn’t even matter if you went to an elite law school — you’re still more likely to make partner if your alma mater is nearby. [New York Times]

    * Appalachian Law may be a “fourth tier” school, it may be much smaller than it once was, and it may have lowered its admissions standards, but you better believe the little law school that could is going to be just fine. Don’t stop believin’, Appalachian! [WCYB]

    22 Comments / / Mar 19, 2015 at 9:03 AM
  • zebras

    Non-Sequiturs

    Non-Sequiturs: 03.18.15

    * An Arkansas judge was mauled by his father’s pet zebra. We hope the judge recovers, but what we’d really, really like to know is how the hell one comes to own a pet zebra in Arkansas. [KARK]

    * Pregnant women on poles may officially be sexy under color of law. [EPLI Risk]

    * If your law firm is trying to make you complete a marketing project in order to get your year-end bonuses — like Quinn Emanuel — here are some ideas for you to try. [Hellerman Baretz Communications]

    * According to Robert Durst’s lawyer, Chip Lewis, people mutter triple murder admissions under their breath on hot mics all the time, and it’s usually not that big of deal. [Gawker]

    * You’re invited to an event hosted by Judge Kozinski at the Ninth Circuit courthouse, featuring discussion of Supreme Ambitions (affiliate link). [Supreme Ambitions]

    29 Comments / / Mar 18, 2015 at 5:20 PM