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

  • 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?

    22 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
  • dynamite

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 03.18.15

    * An Ohio attorney was charged with making bomb threats at two state courthouses, but only after he was indicted for allegedly making bomb threats at a third courthouse. Wow, it’s almost like this guy didn’t do his homework motions or something. [Northeast Ohio Media Group]

    * Loretta Lynch, our would-be replacement for Eric Holder as attorney general, still hasn’t been able to get confirmed, and the delay — which is being blamed on our Senate Majority Leader’s “inept leadership” — is now being referred to as “unconscionable.” Lovely. [CNN]

    * What’s happening at #ATLConverge today? Check out our Twitter feed! [Converge]

    * Earlier this week, Morgan Lewis combined with Singapore firm Stamford Law Corp. Effective April 1, ML&B will become one of the largest Biglaw firms in the world, rivaled only by the likes of Baker & McKenzie and Dacheng Dentons. [Philadelphia Inquirer]

    * More federal prosecutors are stepping down from their jobs and returning to their former Biglaw homes in private practice. Once you realize government work is a giant revolving door, soon enough, it’ll be your turn to leave. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg]

    * If you’re still making a decision about which law schools to apply to, you can use the U.S. News rankings to help yourself. In the alternative, you can use the ATL Top 50 rankings to see if you’ll be able to get a job after graduation. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News]

    20 Comments / / Mar 18, 2015 at 9:04 AM
  • greed avarice dollars

    Law Professors, Money

    Law Professors Make Bank While Their Students Drown In Debt

    How much money does YOUR law professor make?

    32 Comments / / Mar 17, 2015 at 2:15 PM
  • gavel money

    Law Schools, Student Loans

    The Top 10 Law Schools With The Most Heavily Indebted Graduates

    Which law school graduates have the most debt of all? U.S. News has a ranking for that!

    52 Comments / / Mar 17, 2015 at 12:30 PM
  • yale law school

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 03.17.15

    * A ballsy decision dripping with prestige? It seems that a few too many students at Yale Law School requested access to their student admissions evaluation records under FERPA, so instead of handing them over, Yale deleted them. [New Republic]

    * Here’s some good news for women attorneys visiting clients in Massachusetts jails: you’ll no longer be forced to lift up your shirt and shake out your bra if your underwire makes the metal detector go off. Instead, you’ll get felt up a pat down. [Boston Globe]

    * According to early data culled for the Am Law 100 rankings, from revenue to profits per partner to revenue per lawyer, Winston & Strawn posted record financial results in 2014. Perhaps the days of no-offers and layoffs are long gone for this firm. [Am Law Daily]

    * Just because more people took the LSAT in February, it doesn’t mean that the law school crisis is over. It does, however, mean that law school administrators may soon be wishcasting the year-over-year growth of their first-year classes. [National Law Journal]

    * Rahul Gupta, the graduate student who used the tried and true “my girlfriend did it” defense during his trial for the fatal stabbing of a Georgetown Law student, was convicted on first-degree murder charges yesterday. He’ll be sentenced on April 16. [WJLA]

    24 Comments / / Mar 17, 2015 at 9:02 AM
  • Life is like a box of... poop?

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 03.16.15

    * Last week in court, a murder suspect in Louisiana apparently pooped his pants during a case status hearing, wiped said poop all over his face, and muttered to himself that “life is like a box of chocolates.” Sorry about that crappy candy, dude. [New Orleans Advocate]

    * According to early Am Law 100 data, New York’s most elite and prestigious firms have once again broken away from the rest of the pack when it comes to both revenue and partner profits. Biglaw’s best may be back to models and bottles. [Am Law Daily]

    * Michelle Lee, the first woman to ever serve as director of the USPTO, was sworn in on stage at SXSW Interactive. Michelle Lee, who worked with the Girl Scouts to issue a patent patch (instead of more makeup and sewing patches), is pretty damn awesome. [Mashable]

    * The federal judiciary has plans to decrease the word limit of appellate briefs from 14,000 to 12,500, and lawyers are pissed. Lawyers from Brown Rudnick say it could result in more acronyms, confusing construction, and less “punctilious citation,” oh my! [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Lee Smolen, the ex-Sidley Austin partner who faked $69,000 in travel expenses while at the firm (and possibly $379K more), has been suspended from practice for one year and will have to undergo psychiatric treatment. [Legal Profession Blog via ABA Journal]

    * Taking New York’s lead, California is considering requiring all would-be attorneys in the state to complete 50 hours of pro bono work within one year of being admitted. Leave it to people who don’t know what they’re doing yet to close the justice gap. [Los Angeles Times]

    29 Comments / / Mar 16, 2015 at 9:02 AM
  • offer girl happy

    Law Schools, Rankings, U.S. News

    Which Law Schools Do Students Love So Much That They’re Dying To Enroll?

    You may be surprised by some of the schools that made the list…

    37 Comments / / Mar 13, 2015 at 1:13 PM
  • 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
  • (Image of crying associate from 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