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, CBS Radio News, BBC Radio, CLTV Chicago, HuffPost Live, TF1 TV France, Chicago Public Radio, Civil Discourse Now, KGNU Denver, and iHeartMedia Denver.

Posts by Staci Zaretsky

  • US News 2016 Best Law Schools

    Law Schools, Rankings, U.S. News

    Open Thread: 2016 U.S. News Law School Rankings (31 – 50)

    Which law school in this section took a gigantic nosedive in the rankings?

    23 Comments / / Mar 13, 2015 at 11:03 AM
  • Pharrell and Robin Thicke

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 03.13.15

    * Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams will officially be appealing the $7.4 million “Blurred Lines” verdict that was handed down against them earlier this week. Both musicians were likely decidedly unhappy about having to give up their spare pocket change to pay for a lawsuit they thought they should’ve won. [Hollywood Reporter]

    * Another law school is teaching a marijuana law class, and it’s scheduled on Fridays so students won’t take it as a novelty course. For potheads, having to drag your ass out of bed when you don’t have other classes is a disincentivizer. [Columbus Dispatch]

    * After reaping the benefits of serving as lead counsel in Detroit’s bankruptcy, Jones Day decided to pay the city back by opening an office. The firm will recruit for the new office internally. Raise your hand if you’re excited to move to Detroit, associates. [Am Law Daily]

    * “I don’t know where he is. I haven’t got a clue.” Paul Ceglia, the man who claimed he owned half of Facebook based on a faux contract and is now facing fraud charges, has suddenly and conveniently disappeared ahead of his May trial. Dislike. [Bloomberg]

    * If for some reason you’re still interested in applying to law school, here’s a timeline that will help you get through the application process. Step 1: Figure out if you actually need to go to law school. Step 2: Abandon the rest of the steps. [U.S. News & World Report]

    11 Comments / / Mar 13, 2015 at 9:02 AM
  • 'I misread the question.'

    Attorney Misconduct, Jury Duty

    Small-Firm Lawyer Wishes Biglaw Associate ‘Good Luck In Hell’

    Four years later, and this lawyer still couldn’t get over the fact that he lost a case.

    75 Comments / / Mar 12, 2015 at 1:04 PM
  • US News 2016 Best Law Schools

    Law Schools, Rankings, U.S. News

    Open Thread: 2016 U.S. News Law School Rankings (15 – 30)

    Do you have something to say about your law school’s U.S. News ranking? This is the place to do it!

    9 Comments / / Mar 12, 2015 at 12:10 PM
  • Game of Loans

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 03.12.15

    * President Obama recently authorized a study into whether student loan debt should be dischargeable in bankruptcy. For now, any changes made to the bankruptcy code will likely apply only to private loans, so it looks like many law school graduates won’t be declaring bankruptcy any time soon. [Wall Street Journal (sub. req.)]

    * As we’ve mentioned numerous times in the past, the across-the-board drop in law school applications has inspired some law schools to do crazy things like shortening the length of time it takes to get a degree and lowering tuition. Hmm, more law schools should go crazy. [U.S. News & World Report]

    * In the wake of much criticism of its plan to eliminate the LSAT for some students to gain admission to Iowa Law, the school’s dean offers an explanation: it’ll help her school compete to attract students who would otherwise have gone to T14 schools. [The Gazette]

    * Even though law schools are in trouble, a legislator in Texas is still lobbying the state to subsidize the creation of a new law school in the Rio Grande Valley because he has a “hard time believing there are no jobs for attorneys out there.” [Cleburne Times-Review]

    * If you find that law schools aren’t reacting quickly enough to the crisis at hand, there are other options for you out there. While law schools implode as their tuition skyrockets, it seems that those who have fled the law are now trying to become engineers. [Quartz]

    29 Comments / / Mar 12, 2015 at 8:56 AM
  • Man Holding "Hire Me!"

    Biglaw, Job Searches, Law Schools

    No T14 Law Degree? No Problem! You Can Still Work At Sullivan & Cromwell

    It may be hard to believe, but this elite law firm is willing to hire graduates from law schools that may not be the very best.

    20 Comments / / Mar 11, 2015 at 12:45 PM
  • Not my corner office! (Image via Shutterstock.)

    Biglaw, Kasowitz Benson, Layoffs

    Nationwide Layoff Watch: Sweeping Job Cuts For ‘Superior Legal Minds’

    How many attorneys were let go this time?

    93 Comments / / Mar 11, 2015 at 10:12 AM
  • hire me smiling

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 03.11.15

    * As we mentioned, U.S. News is giving law schools less credit for hiring their own grads. Rumor has it that a few schools would’ve done better in the rankings but for their high percentage of school-funded jobs. Which ones? [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Two students in the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity from Oklahoma University were expelled after a video of their racist chanting was leaked online. Lawyers want to know: was their expulsion a First Amendment violation? [Volokh Conspiracy / Washington Post]

    * UC Irvine Law debuted on the 2016 U.S. News law school rankings at No. 30, missing Dean Erwin Chemerinsky’s goal of starting out as a Top 20 school. Not to worry, Dean, there are still ways to game the rankings. Keep your head up! [National Law Journal]

    * Don’t bother delaying your law school education just because the economy’s bad. The professors who told us that a law degree is worth $1 million think that its value will only drop by about $30K in times when unemployment is high. Yeah, okay. [ABA Journal]

    * The grisly murder of DLA Piper associate David Messerschmitt, who was found stabbed to death in a Washington, D.C., hotel, remains unsolved. Police are still searching for the “person of interest” who was seen on video from the hotel’s security camera. [Legal Times]

    39 Comments / / Mar 11, 2015 at 9:06 AM
  • T14 RF

    Law Schools, Rankings, U.S. News

    Open Thread: 2016 U.S. News Law School Rankings (1 – 14)

    What do you think? Did U.S. News get it right this year? Are these new rankings fair?

    42 Comments / / Mar 10, 2015 at 1:01 PM
  • Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 03.10.15

    * “While some argue that going to law school is still a safe bet, little evidence exists to support this position.” This law professor thinks law schools are in a “death spiral,” and that a “top” school may soon be in danger of closing. Uh oh! Which one could it possibly be? [Washington Post]

    * “Rascal was the perfect law student because he never missed a class. If Rascal was asked a question he never said ‘pass.'” In 1937, Samford’s Cumberland School of Law graduated its first and only dog. In 2015, dogs bark and howl at Samford because of its new U.S. News rank. [Alabama.com]

    * “You do not need to have a law degree to understand how troubling this is.” Politicians are pissed at Hillary Clinton over the email scandal she got herself into at the State Department, but it turns out she technically obeyed the law. [National Law Journal]

    * Why do law firms fail? Dean Frank Wu of UC Hastings Law thinks that it’s because “[s]mart people overestimate the importance of being a smart person” — that is, your firm can still flop even if its lawyers are the best lawyers in the world. [Huffington Post]

    * According to the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, after two months of soul-sucking declines in the market, the legal sector gained 3,100 jobs in February. Wow, we only need 40,000 more jobs until all of last year’s class is employed. [Am Law Daily]

    15 Comments / / Mar 10, 2015 at 9:13 AM
  • US News 2016 Best Law Schools

    Law Schools, Rankings, U.S. News

    The 2016 U.S. News Law School Rankings Are Here!

    Bow down before your rankings idols and pray that your school fared well this time around.

    141 Comments / / Mar 10, 2015 at 12:01 AM
  • woman with a bloody knife

    Law Schools, Murder

    Man Accused Of Murdering Georgetown Law Student Says His Girlfriend Was The Real Killer

    Who killed this Georgetown Law student?

    / Mar 9, 2015 at 2:16 PM
  • Amal Clooney (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

    Celebrities, Law Schools

    Amal Clooney To Teach Law School Class This Spring

    Which law school will be flooded with paparazzi thanks to this brainy and beautiful barrister’s presence?

    35 Comments / / Mar 9, 2015 at 10:57 AM
  • US News 2016 Best Law Schools

    Law Schools, Rankings

    A Sneak Peek At The 2016 U.S. News Law School Rankings

    The rankings aren’t out yet, but let’s take an exclusive look at the new Top 10 law schools in the nation!

    62 Comments / / Mar 9, 2015 at 9:47 AM
  • Amal Clooney

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 03.09.15

    * Amal Clooney, the attorney who tamed George Clooney’s heart and is now considered one of the most famous human rights lawyers in the world, will be teaching at a New York law school this spring. Which one? We’ll have more on this fun news later today. [USA Today]

    * Talk about a Hail Mary play: The ACLU has decided to come to the defense of a very unlikely cause. Per a recently filed federal brief, the organization thinks that the USPTO’s cancellation of the Redskins trademark was unconstitutional. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * According to a new BARBRI study, the vast majority of third-year law students think they’re ready to go when it comes to practicing law, but the lawyers who have had the (dis)pleasure to work with new graduates don’t seem to agree. [National Law Journal]

    * “Those kinds of jobs are never going to be enough to absorb the number of people graduating from law school over the next five or 10 years.” Northeastern’s dean laughs in Biglaw’s face — his grads measure their success in other ways. [Boston Business Journal]

    * Ellen Pao’s “racy” gender discrimination lawsuit against Kleiner Perkins serves as a harsh criticism of the sexist culture of Silicon Valley. Luckily, jury members will be able to busy themselves with the case’s more lurid details. [The Upshot / New York Times]

    * Kyle McEntee of Law School Transparency is working on a new podcast that will help prospective law students to see what working in the legal profession is really like. “I Am The Law” debuted in January 2015, and it’s worth a listen. [U.S. News & World Report]

    5 Comments / / Mar 9, 2015 at 8:52 AM
  • confused lawyer

    Crime, Ridiculousness

    Lawyer Unsure What To Do With Client’s Dead Body

    What would you have done in this crazy situation?

    29 Comments / / Mar 6, 2015 at 2:01 PM
  • police crime tape

    Federal Judges, Guns / Firearms

    Federal Judge Shot At His Home In Botched Attack

    Was this a targeted attack on the judge?

    47 Comments / / Mar 6, 2015 at 11:45 AM
  • RBG Red Cup

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 03.06.15

    * Per a recent Super Lawyers survey, Ruth Bader Ginsburg is the Supreme Court justice with whom the nation’s top lawyers would most like to share a lunch date. Come on, admit it: you just want to get wasted with the Notorious R.B.G. [TIME]

    * Perhaps in anticipation of a SCOTUS ruling on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage, states across the country are dreaming up legislation that would allow businesses to refuse service to gay couples. Man, we’re such jerks. [New York Times]

    * Taking over China with its Dacheng merger wasn’t enough for Dentons, and what’s now the largest firm in the world by attorney headcount still wants to conquer the United States. Dentons is trying to woo McKenna Long & Aldridge, again. [Am Law Daily]

    * Dewey know which firm’s ex-COO is denying knowledge of any financial funny business? Defense lawyers for D&L’s former top brass are now relying on his statements that staffers may have been inept, but surely weren’t doing anything illegal. [New York Law Journal]

    * Remember that BARBRI antitrust class-action settlement that was reached almost a decade ago? The lawyers and law firms involved are still fighting over legal fees in the case, namely how many millions they think they ought to receive. [National Law Journal]

    38 Comments / / Mar 6, 2015 at 9:06 AM