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-Rankings-Logo-no-year

    Rankings, U.S. News

    The First U.S. News Law School Rankings Screw-Up

    What’s going to be done about this embarrassing situation?

    33 Comments / / Oct 21, 2015 at 11:29 AM
  • fail failure

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 10.21.15

    * Arizona Summit Law wasn’t the only law school to post an embarrassing passage rate on the July 2015 administration of the bar exam. Only 28 percent of test-takers from this law school passed, but its dean says that the scores don’t “reflect a problem with the school’s quality.” Hey, whatever helps you get to sleep at night. [Tennessean]

    * Speaking of bar passage rates, if you’re applying to law school, should you care about them? Job statistics are probably a more telling measurement when comparing schools, but then again, it’s harder to get a job when you can’t pass the bar exam. [U.S. News]

    * “It’s a huge blow to his tenure as DA.” The mistrial in the criminal case against Dewey & LeBoeuf’s former executives is putting a major damper on what was supposed to be Manhattan DA Cy Vance’s crackdown on corporate crime. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg]

    * Thanks to the Department of Education’s “gainful employment rule,” for-profit law schools could be in trouble when it comes to eligibility for federal student loans under the “debt-to-earnings” test. This certainly may put a crimp in Infilaw’s style. [Huffington Post]

    * The vast majority of all class members in the Subway “footlong” lawsuit aren’t likely to see a dime. This is fine because they don’t need to see any “dough,” but a guarantee that the company’s next spokesperson won’t be a child predator would be nice. [WSJ Law Blog]

    55 Comments / / Oct 21, 2015 at 8:58 AM
  • failed

    Bar Exams, Law Schools

    Despite All Efforts, Law School Posts Worst Bar Exam Performance Ever

    Do extensive research before investing in a law school education — you might be able to uncover ugly facts like these.

    47 Comments / / Oct 20, 2015 at 4:15 PM
  • Gavel and money

    Bernie Madoff, Biglaw, Money

    Meet The Billion-Dollar Biglaw Partners Behind The Madoff Case

    When it comes to attorneys’ fees for Biglaw partners, no number is ever too high.

    9 Comments / / Oct 20, 2015 at 1:44 PM
  • Expression WTF!" (what the fuck?) written on a slate

    Quote of the Day, Trademarks

    Holy F*ck! This Appellate Opinion Is So F*cking Obscene!

    Here’s an opinion that’ll leave you saying, “WTF?!”

    24 Comments / / Oct 20, 2015 at 11:45 AM
  • money1

    Biglaw, Money

    NY To $190K!? Which Firm May Be Raising First-Year Salaries?

    Stay tuned for a possible influx of more cold, hard cash in your paychecks, U.S. associates. Be sure to check the UPDATE to this report.

    64 Comments / / Oct 19, 2015 at 6:00 PM
  • cutting jobs


    Nationwide Layoff Watch: World’s Largest Law Firm Culls Its Herd

    This megafirm is trimming its headcount. How bad is the damage?

    33 Comments / / Oct 19, 2015 at 1:00 PM
  • Oscar Pistorius

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 10.19.15

    * After a recent vote, the Florida Bar flat-out rejected a supposedly “controversial” proposal for bar reciprocity. Attorneys in the Sunshine State absolutely, positively do NOT want you practicing law there if you haven’t taken the Florida bar. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Tomorrow, Oscar Pistorius will be released from prison after having only served a fifth of a five-year sentence for killing his girlfriend, a law school graduate. He’ll begin a stint of house arrest, and he’s not allowed to have guns there… for very obvious reasons. [UPI]

    * The case of the missing mistrial? After four weeks of deliberation, and after having acquitted the defendants of a slew of lesser charges, the jury in the criminal trial against the ex-execs of Dewey & LeBoeuf will enter a new month without a full verdict. [Reuters]

    * The Nebraska Legislature voted to abolish the death penalty in the state, but supporters of capital punishment have forced a November 2016 referendum vote instead. Not to worry, “[n]obody’s going to be executed in Nebraska anytime soon.” [New York Times]

    * This week, Connecticut’s Appellate Court will hear cases at the state’s most famous — and most prestigious — law school. Don’t get too excited, Yalies, because this has nothing to do with you. In fact, you’ve probably never even heard of this place. [Associated Press]

    46 Comments / / Oct 19, 2015 at 8:59 AM
  • layoff girl

    Biglaw, Lateral Moves, Layoffs

    The Biglaw Firms With The Biggest Drops In Attorney Headcount (2015)

    Some of these drops in headcount are stunning — we’re talking more than 20 percent.

    13 Comments / / Oct 16, 2015 at 11:33 AM
  • John Stamos (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 10.16.15

    * John Stamos of Full House fame was formally charged with driving under the influence earlier this week following his arrest for erratic driving this summer. He faces up to six months in jail if convicted. We have faith that his beautiful hair will survive time in the slammer. [USA Today]

    * While the vast majority of the law school lawsuits containing allegations related to deceptive employment statistics have been dismissed, a few are still alive and kicking. The very first one filed — Alaburda v. Thomas Jefferson School of Law — is heading to trial in 2016. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Trick or treat? Per federal prosecutors, former House Speaker Dennis Hastert will plead guilty before Halloween as part of a deal in his ongoing sexual misconduct hush-money case, but whether he’ll serve time is a question that’s yet to be answered. [Reuters]

    * Headcount at real estate firms with once-prominent foreclosure practices continues to shrink thanks to the recession’s end. To that effect, two Chicago firms have eliminated hundreds of positions for legal professionals since 2013. [Chicago Business Journal]

    * Thanks to a new online system, Northwestern Law will be able to interview prospective students any time, anywhere. The school is the first in the country to offer awkward casting couch sessions as part of its admissions process. [Northwestern University News]

    31 Comments / / Oct 16, 2015 at 9:00 AM


    Bridge Of Spies: A Must-See Legal Thriller

    If you’d like to be a part of a stunning cinematic experience, take a break from your billable hours to watch Bridge of Spies.

    / Oct 15, 2015 at 9:52 AM
  • Give me a better degree! (Image via Shutterstock)

    Law Schools

    What To Do When A Law School Doesn’t Want You? File A Lawsuit About It!

    The plaintiffs in this lawsuit certainly seem pretty whiny.

    23 Comments / / Oct 13, 2015 at 11:29 AM
  • 800px-Lion_in_masai_mara

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 10.13.15

    * Zimbabwe officials won’t charge Dr. Walter Palmer in the slaying of Cecil the lion since he had proper paperwork, but he likely won’t be allowed to hunt if he ever returns. This will not stand. It’s now time for the American vigilante animal-lover justice team to assemble. [Reuters]

    * Per the results of two new surveys, Biglaw firms can stop worrying about their work drying up thanks to in-house law departments keeping matters in-house. Outside spending on legal counsel is flat as opposed to in the negative, and that’s apparently something to celebrate. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * This school puts the “duh” in Flori-duh: As we mentioned previously, Ave Maria School of Law was the caboose on the trainwreck that was the July 2015 administration of the Florida bar exam, and now people can’t stop staring at the wreckage. [Naples Daily News]

    * The Cannabis Law and Policy Project, a new group at the University of Washington School of Law, will spend the next year researching existing and emerging markets for marijuana. We can’t wait for them to puff, puff, pass on their knowledge. [UW Today]

    * If you’re planning to take the LSAT with testing accommodations, there are a few things that you need to know. Find out what types of accommodations are available, and be sure to file your — OMG, SQUIRREL! [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News & World Report]

    46 Comments / / Oct 13, 2015 at 8:56 AM
  • Matt Jackson

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 10.12.15

    Ed. note: In honor of Columbus Day (and Canadian Thanksgiving), Above the Law will be on a reduced publication schedule today. We will be back in full force tomorrow. Stay tuned for today’s news!

    * Who is Amy Berman Jackson? If you’ve been watching Jeopardy! lately, you’ve probably been trying to figure out which law firm reigning champion Matt Jackson works for as a paralegal. In the meantime, it’s worth noting that his mother is a D.D.C. federal judge. [Washington Post]

    * Another SCOTUS term is upon us, and while Chief Justice Roberts tends to cast his votes on the issues through a conservative lens, there’s talk that he could be a “wildcard.” Hmm, perhaps Justice Kennedy will have a pal to swing with this year. [MSNBC]

    * Choose your path wisely: Bloomberg Markets released its ranking of the 50 most influential people last week, and not a single practicing lawyer made the cut. Attorneys who chose career alternatives, however, made a killing. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg]

    * Marcel Aubut, who recently resigned in disgrace from his position as Canadian Olympic Committee president after allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate touching came to light, has also decided to leave his Biglaw firm and seek counseling. [NBC Sports]

    * Late last week, California adopted an exacting digital privacy law that will require police to get warrants to access all manner of electronic information, from emails to texts to metadata. Please thank the Golden State for keeping your sexts safe. [WSJ Law Blog]

    52 Comments / / Oct 12, 2015 at 8:57 AM
  • student-loan-debt

    Law Schools, Quote of the Day

    Don’t Worry About The Debt, It’s A Great Time To Go To Law School!

    If you decide to go to law school, make sure you’re armed with the facts.

    24 Comments / / Oct 9, 2015 at 2:30 PM
  • layoff group

    Biglaw, Staff Layoffs

    Uh-Oh! Super-Rich Biglaw Firm Is Trimming Its Ranks

    Which law firm is trying to reduce headcount this time?

    110 Comments / / Oct 9, 2015 at 1:01 PM
  • Bob McCulloch

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 10.09.15

    * Bob McCulloch, the prosecutor who handled (mishandled?) the Michael Brown / Darren Wilson case in Ferguson, Missouri, was recently named as “Prosecutor of the Year” by the Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys. This probably wasn’t a good idea. [Slate]

    * American Apparel filed for bankruptcy, and rather than Biglaw firms representing the embattled clothier, they’re trying to snatch up fees. Skadden, White & Case, and Paul Hastings are each owed quite the pretty penny. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg]

    * Which law school dean was just named as senior counsel at Dentons, the largest law firm in the world? That would be Nicholas Allard of Brooklyn Law School. Perhaps this law dean’s academic cash flow wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be. [Brooklyn Daily Eagle]

    * “Unless the industry cleans itself up, we can expect more lawsuits like this in the future.” In an interesting turn of events, the marijuana industry is now seeing its first product liability suit. A protip for growers: No one wants to smoke fungicide. [Los Angeles Times]

    * Just when you thought patent trolls couldn’t get any worse, they started to harass members of the fashion industry. Copyright trolls (i.e., Stephen Doniger and Scott Alan Burroughs) are suing over textile prints left and right, and that’s so last season. [Fortune]

    64 Comments / / Oct 9, 2015 at 8:58 AM
  • But Florida Coastal said I'd get a job!

    Law Schools

    Judge Says Never Trust Anything A For-Profit Law School Tells You

    The law school in question was successful at defending its allegedly deceptive employment statistics.

    22 Comments / / Oct 8, 2015 at 12:28 PM