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

  • Preet Bharara (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

  • time 100 2014-2

    Fabulosity, Rankings

    Who Are The Most Influential Lawyers In The World?

    Lawyers represent 11 percent of this list. Which legal eagles soared into the Time 100?

    16 Comments / / Apr 17, 2015 at 12:00 PM
  • Constitutionally protected?

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 04.17.15

    * “The top is eroding and the bottom is growing.” Even as class sizes get smaller and tuition gets lower, the law school brain drain continues. America’s best and brightest won’t be fooled into studying law when the job market is still so unstable, but others have been. [Bloomberg]

    * Attorneys for California’s sex workers have filed suit to overturn the state’s ban on prostitution, claiming that “[t]he rights of adults to engage in consensual, private sexual activity (even for compensation) is a fundamental liberty interest.” Yeah, okay. [AP]

    * “The simple story is that $160,000 as a starting salary at large law firms is less prevalent than it was immediately prior to the recession.” You can scream “NY TO 190K!” all you want, but starting salaries have remained flat. Sowwy. [DealBook / New York Times]

    * U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara of the Southern District of New York has involved himself in an “escalating war of words” with members of the federal judiciary that he may come to regret. Will this “petulant rooster” be able to kiss and make up? [New York Times]

    * Per a recently filed lawsuit, Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees still hasn’t paid a single law firm for their representation in the Biogenesis case. He allegedly owes Gordon & Rees $380,059 in unpaid fees. Come on, A-Rod. You’ve got the cash. [New York Daily News]

    * Infamous plaintiffs’ attorney Steven Donziger of the $9.5 billion Chevron / Ecuador kerfuffle decided that if he can’t win his case in a court of law, he might as well try to win it in the court of public opinion. Check out his side of the story. [Law360 (sub. req.)]

    42 Comments / / Apr 17, 2015 at 9:05 AM
  • ostrich

    Benchslaps, Federal Judges, Funny Headlines

    Federal Judge Benchslaps Litigant For Acting Like An Ostrich

    Pull your head out of the sand, unless you want to lose your appeal.

    11 Comments / / Apr 16, 2015 at 12:50 PM
  • 'Damn this tax scam!' says the tax law prof.

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 04.16.15

    * At least a dozen professors from UT Law have had their identities stolen, and they only found out about it after their tax returns were rejected. As it turns out, the data thief had already filed their returns for them. Law profs’ tax refund checks must be tasty. [American-Statesman]

    * If you’ve been wondering what kind of salary it’d take to woo away the dean of one of the top law schools in the nation to become your university’s president, wonder no more. The answer is $660K per year. Way to go, Dean Schill! Play on, playa. [Register-Guard]

    * If you thought the list of the legal profession’s luminaries was looking like a giant sausage party, then you should check out this new ranking of the “most accomplished female attorneys working in the legal profession today.” [National Law Journal]

    * Biglaw, bigger egos? Law firm managing partners aren’t feeling as confident as they once were about economic and legal industry growth, but they’re totally jazzed about their own firms’ potential for revenue growth and the demand for their services. [Am Law Daily]

    * Another law school makes big changes thanks to legal academia’s rocky road: Loyola Law in L.A. is planning a 25% enrollment cut and is taking $20 million from its university’s endowment to entice students to attend with fat scholarships. [Los Angeles Loyolan]

    27 Comments / / Apr 16, 2015 at 9:00 AM
  • Law Revue 2014

  • Dean Michael Schill

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 04.15.15

    * Sorry, Chicago Law, but it looks like you’re going to lose your dean. Michael Schill, the school’s departing dean, will leave to assume the presidency at the University of Oregon. It’s an upgrade for UO, and a potential downgrade for UChiLaw. Yikes… [Willamette Week]

    * FYI, D.C. Circuit litigants, you really need to “avoid using acronyms that are not widely known.” This is your second warning, your colleagues have already been benchslapped for this behavior, and the clerk’s office literally can’t even anymore. [National Law Journal]

    * After six months spent completing a domestic violence program, the battery charge against Judge Mark Fuller has been dropped and expunged from his record. Whether he’ll be allowed to keep his job on the federal bench is another story entirely. [Reuters]

    * Your law school application is a great place to explain why your undergraduate GPA is so damn low, because at this point in the process, the law school of your choice may be happy that you actually have a pulse. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News & World Report]

    * Theo Shaw, a member of the “Jena Six” who had to spend 7 months in jail because he couldn’t afford bail for his alleged participation in a gang-beating, is going to law school on a full ride. He’s “profoundly grateful” to Washington Law. Congrats! [Business Insider]

    20 Comments / / Apr 15, 2015 at 9:04 AM
  • bonus money tug of war partner vs associate

    Money, Partner Issues, Partner Profits

    Which Biglaw Firm Makes Partners Write Essays To Prove Why They Should Be Paid?

    Partners, you better make sure you do your homework at this firm.

    22 Comments / / Apr 14, 2015 at 12:01 PM
  • And by 'work,' I mean 'intern' this summer.

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 04.14.15

    * Georgetown Law is teaming up with DLA Piper and Arent Fox to open a low bono law firm. The firm will provide two things for those in need: affordable legal services and jobs to bolster GULC’s employment stats. [Am Law Daily]

    * Michigan Law will provide summer funding for all of its 1Ls for law-related internships — but there’s a catch. The cash is a loan, and students may have to pay it back if they earn Biglaw money the following summer. [Michigan Law]

    * Judge Jed Rakoff sounded off on the judicary’s problem with mass incarceration at a recent conference at Harvard Law, calling for his colleagues and bar associations across the nation to take a stand for the accused with a gentler justice system. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg BNA]

    * “It’s positive news. I think it indicates there’s some slight opening of financial services to marijuana-related businesses.” Some banks have finally decided to provide services to weedpreneurs, but others are leaving marijuana moguls high and dry. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * “Students should seriously consider going to law school in a state where they plan to practice law.” Unless you like wasting your time, you’d do well to listen to this advice, even if you’re going to a school with national name recognition. [U.S. News & World Report]

    42 Comments / / Apr 14, 2015 at 9:05 AM
  • Jodi Arias

    Murder, Sentencing Law

    Breaking: Jodi Arias Gets Sentenced

    What could be the final chapter in the Jodi Arias story has finally been written.

    26 Comments / / Apr 13, 2015 at 1:55 PM
  • Amal Clooney

    Celebrities, Law Schools

    Amal Clooney’s Students At Columbia Law Forbidden From Talking About Her

    It seems the celebrity law professor has enough paparazzi problems without her students getting in on the action.

    66 Comments / / Apr 13, 2015 at 11:56 AM
  • Nelly

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 04.13.15

    * It’s gettin’ hot in herre, so take off all your clothes. Nelly’s gettin’ so hot, he wanna take his clothes off — for his jailhouse strip search? The rapper was arrested in Tennessee this weekend for felony and simple possession of a potpourri of drugs on his tour bus. [CNN]

    * “It usually takes much longer for a position to become so disreputable that no respectable lawyer will touch it.” If you haven’t noticed, Biglaw firms don’t want to touch the SCOTUS gay marriage arguments with a 10-foot pole. [New York Times]

    * “I think we’re going to see a 10,000-lawyer law firm within five years.” In case it’s not entirely obvious by now, Dentons is trying to become the largest firm in the universe, with “no logical end” in sight to its lawyer hoarding ways. [Wall Street Journal (sub. req.)]

    * “[T]his one has me bumfuzzled.” Like other legal experts, this law prof isn’t sure how to tackle Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson’s lawsuit to preserve her power, but he does win the award for best usage of “bumfuzzled.” [Lacrosse Tribune]

    * Yikes! Pennsylvania State Attorney General Kathleen Kane recently found herself embroiled in scandal after two of her offices were searched and she was ordered to explain to a three-judge panel her reasoning for firing one of her prosecutors. [Morning Call]

    29 Comments / / Apr 13, 2015 at 9:01 AM
  • US News 2016 Best Law Schools

    Law Schools, Rankings

    How Would Your Law School’s Ranking Change If It Merged With Another Law School?

    This law school dean thinks he may know the answer.

    16 Comments / / Apr 10, 2015 at 1:01 PM
  • golf caddy

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 04.10.15

    * Moonlighting for Biglaw partners: golf caddy? This Alston & Bird partner spent the week caddying for Gunn Yang at the 2015 Masters Tournament. Oh, to watch a partner be subservient and lug someone else’s junk around all day. [Am Law Daily]

    * Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson of the Wisconsin Supreme Court is suing each of her judicial colleagues over a constitutional amendment that could get her demoted from her seat of power. Maybe this judicial diva is a “total bitch” after all. [New York Times]

    * If you plan to run for president of this country and hope to discuss reform of the criminal justice system while you’re shaking hands and kissing babies on the campaign trail, you better be prepared to answer each and every one of these questions. [Washington Post]

    * “I want to see in an application that … Law School is a default option for you.” At least one elite law school “actively preference[s]” work experience after college. Get a job. It’ll probably be easier now than after you graduate from law school. [Harvard Crimson]

    * Aside from absurd tuition rates and deceptive employment statistics, here’s one more absolutely vital thing that members of the legal profession should consider tossing out during their spring cleaning sessions: the third year of law school. [Washington Post]

    44 Comments / / Apr 10, 2015 at 8:58 AM
  • Michael Slager

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 04.09.15

    * That was quick! It turns out that David Aylor, the lawyer who once represented Michael Slager, the recently fired South Carolina police officer charged with murdering Walter Scott, kicked his client to the curb when he saw the damning video of the shooting. [Daily Beast]

    * Everything’s bigger in Texas, including the number of federal weapons charges county court-at-law judges rack up in a single indictment. Seventy-year-old Judge Tim Wright faces up to 70 years in prison for allegedly selling guns illegally and trafficking them to Mexico. Yeehaw! [TWC News]

    * Hot off its merger with Dacheng last quarter, Dentons is kicking off the second quarter of 2015 by merging with McKenna Long & Aldridge. Thanks to back-to-back mergers, Baker & McKenzie is now second to Dentons in terms of attorney headcount. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Warner Norcross & Judd refused to take up the defense of Michigan’s same-sex marriage ban before SCOTUS — but that didn’t stop the firm’s head of appellate litigation from getting involved. He’s now on a leave of absence from the firm. [National Law Journal]

    * For those of you who are interested, here’s the ABA Journal’s question of the week: “What was the first moment you knew you wanted to be a lawyer?” For many lawyers, the question can be answered thusly: “When I realized I couldn’t be a doctor.” [ABA Journal]

    16 Comments / / Apr 9, 2015 at 9:09 AM
  • bonus-money-unhappy-sad-associate-300x199-2

    Associate Advice, Money

    Quitting After A Partner Screams At You Won’t Get You More Money

    You can’t quit your job just because a partner embarrassed you and expect to be paid for it.

    17 Comments / / Apr 8, 2015 at 11:03 AM
  • law_school LF

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 04.08.15

    * “Take it from me, dealing with the complex criminal legal system can be difficult and intimidating for most people.” This ex-Troutman Sanders partner may be facing nine felony charges, but who cares? He’s starting his own firm. [Am Law Daily]

    * It’s kind of cute when law school deans lie to themselves to make themselves feel better. For example, the dean of Oregon Law says now is “excellent” time go to go law school, and he doesn’t make decisions “based on what moves the rankings needle.” [Daily Emerald]

    * Per the latest Altman Weil survey, the first quarter of 2015 was one of the best ever for law firm mergers. The pace with which law firms merged was the second-quickest since the company started tracking mergers to begin with in 2007. [Philadelphia Inquirer]

    * The Rutgers Board of Governors has approved of the proposed merger between Rutgers-Newark and Rutgers-Camden Law. Now they just have to wait for the ABA’s rubber stamp, which they’ll obviously get — the ABA would rubber stamp a shoe. [NJ Advance Media]

    * “[T]he law is a noble profession – but it’s also an oversubscribed one, due in large part to excessive federal lending.” Maybe if the government stopped handing out student loans like candy, law schools would be forced to lower their tuition rates. [Washington Post]

    * The University of Virginia’s chapter of Phi Kappa Psi is definitely going to try to sue Rolling Stone over its fraternity gang-rape story, but the question is whether “bad journalism [will] amount to legal liability.” What do you think about this? [WSJ Law Blog]

    89 Comments / / Apr 8, 2015 at 8:57 AM
  • woman lawyer in handcuffs

    Lunacy, Police

    Lawyer Allegedly Tortured For Doing Her Job

    No lawyer should be treated like a criminal, much less be made to endure torture, simply for doing her job.

    36 Comments / / Apr 7, 2015 at 1:48 PM