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

  • 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
  • Professor 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
  • RBG SNL

    Fabulosity, Quote of the Day, Ruth Bader Ginsburg

    You Must Watch The Notorious R.B.G. Make Fun Of Scalia

    Who knew Justice Ginsburg was so hilarious?

    22 Comments / / Mar 5, 2015 at 12:45 PM
  • fortune100bestcompanies

    Biglaw, Rankings

    Which Law Firms Are Considered Some Of The ‘Best Companies to Work For’?

    Which firms had pay that was high enough, perks that were good enough, and environments that were nurturing enough to make the cut?

    7 Comments / / Mar 5, 2015 at 12:04 PM
  • Woo, Biglaw! I got an offer, bro!

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 03.05.15

    * According to the latest data from NALP, summer associate hiring is up for the fifth year in a row. Hooray! But wait, don’t go licking each other’s popsicles just yet — some law firms (35 percent of them, in fact) actually reduced the number of offers they made. [National Law Journal]

    * In response to outcry over bar exam reforms, this Dechert partner took time out of his day to wonder: “Is it too much to expect that future lawyers know the difference between a tort and a tenancy in common, or do we expect clients to pay them $400 an hour to learn it?” [Wall Street Journal]

    * Now that oral arguments in King v. Burwell have concluded, it’s probably time you found out what’s at stake for you if you haven’t done so already, procrastinators. This is what will happen if SCOTUS strikes down Obamacare subsidies. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Edward Snowden is reportedly ready to return to the United States, provided, of course, that he’ll receive a “legal and impartial trial.” Attorney General Eric Holder has already promised Snowden that he won’t face the death penalty, so that’s a start. [CNN]

    * An ADA in Texas apparently referred to defense counsel as a “motherf*cker” in front of jurors during a trial. We think now would be a great time to add this to the list of things that will get you kicked off a case. [Austin American-Statesmen via ABA Journal]

    43 Comments / / Mar 5, 2015 at 9:03 AM
  • hire me girl

    Job Searches, Law Schools, Rankings

    The Top 10 Law Schools For ‘Job Accessibility’

    How would you rate your law school’s “job accessibility” score?

    18 Comments / / Mar 4, 2015 at 5:29 PM
  • The aftermath of the bar exam?

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 03.03.15

    * “Taking the bar is like riding a bike. A bike that’s on fire.” Never before has there been a better way to describe what it’s like to take the bar exam. Here’s how some recent examinees were able to survive. Miraculously, no one preemptively sent a letter like this. [California Lawyer]

    * DLA Piper is entering into happily married bliss with Davis, a 260-lawyer firm from the Great White North. An April wedding is planned. The couple is registered with American Lawyer and Vault. Give them a few loads of loonies! [Am Law Daily]

    * Attorney General Eric Holder took to the op-ed pages to announce the Department of Justice’s official take on the constitutionality of marriage equality in America: “Nothing justifies excluding same-sex couples from the institution of marriage.” [USA Today]

    * Speaking of Eric Holder, the attorney general released another official announcement yesterday. Ben Mizer will take over as chief of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. (For what it’s worth, people are making a huge deal over the fact that he’s gay.) [Metro Weekly]

    * If you’ve missed a law school application deadline, don’t worry, because there are ways you can boost your chances of getting in. Having a pulse is only 98 percent of the battle — you’ll also need a tuition check. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News & World Report]

    60 Comments / / Mar 3, 2015 at 9:00 AM
  • Cindy Crawford (Photo by Frazer Harrison)

    Non-Sequiturs

    Non-Sequiturs: 03.02.15

    * You betta work… on those C&D letters! The viral picture of Cindy Crawford’s “unretouched” midsection is allegedly fake, and a lawyer for the photographer who took the original picture is threatening publishers with legal action if the supposedly doctored photos aren’t taken down immediately. [CBS News]

    * You know that law school graduates from the Lost Generation are screwed when the first vignette from an article about the sad state of financial affairs for “recession millennials” is about a 2011 law grad who’s drowning in law school debt. [FiveThirtyEight]

    * Folks are going crazy over King v. Burwell, so it’s a great time to run the odds on which justices will give ACA the axe. FYI, Justice Alito is “more likely to be struck by lightning while committing in-person voter fraud” than uphold Obamacare. [ThinkProgress]

    * If you’re going to be in Washington, D.C., next weekend, why not stop by the Politics & Prose Bookstore to see David Lat have a chat with Adam Liptak of the New York Times? OMG, you can even get your copy of Supreme Ambitions (affiliate link) signed. [Facebook]

    * With oral arguments in the King v. Burwell case slated to be heard on Wednesday, the Supreme Court is going to have a busy week — but most Americans won’t know about it. Below is a new TV ad pushing SCOTUS to allow cameras in the courtroom. [Fix the Court]

    http://youtu.be/jA8B80fy0OM

    20 Comments / / Mar 2, 2015 at 5:02 PM
  • debt shackles

    Law Schools, Student Loans

    Which Law School Has The Highest Tuition In The Country?

    With sky-high tuition prices like this, it’s no wonder law school has become a game of loans.

    35 Comments / / Mar 2, 2015 at 1:02 PM