Melissa Lafsky

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Melissa Lafsky Wall (born 1979) is an American writer who is known as the author of the Opinionistas blog, which formerly focused on the dehumanizing aspects of law firms.

A Photo of Writer and blogger Melissa Lafsky taken by Kwaku Alston.
Writer and blogger Melissa Lafsky.

Education and legal career[edit]

Lafsky Wall graduated from National Cathedral School in Washington D.C., and then Dartmouth College in 2000. She then received her J.D. from The University of Virginia School of Law. She began writing Opinionistas anonymously while working as a junior associate at a law firm in New York City. After her blog was discovered by Gawker in April 2005, it became very popular and was profiled in The New York Times. She then resigned her law firm position in December 2005 to pursue a career in writing, and revealed her identity to the New York Observer in January 2006.

Writing & Editorial career[edit]

Lafsky Wall has written for publications including The New York Times, The New York Post, Salon, Wired, The New York Observer, Gawker and The Christian Science Monitor. She spent a year as a contributor and then associate editor at The Huffington Post, where she wrote reported pieces, editorials and media commentary. In May 2007, she was hired as editor of the Freakonomics blog, which features content by the authors of the internationally best-selling book.[1] then became part of The New York Times Online, and is now featured in the Opinion Section. In March 2008 she left The Times to become the Web editor at Discover magazine, where she wrote features and the science and politics blog Reality Base.[2] She left Discover in November 2009 to become editor in chief of[3] and has become a regular commentator on Fox Business. She is also the editorial director for the fashion/technology site, and she consults on other sites. As of September 2009, she still writes Opinionistas, which has been syndicated on Yahoo and other sites.

In August 2009, following the death of Ted Kennedy, she wrote a controversial article about the Chappaquiddick incident, in which she speculated that the victim of that incident, Mary Jo Kopechne, might have felt that the injustice of Kennedy's not facing jail time was "worth it" because it spurred Kennedy's later accomplishments.[4] The comment was attacked by the conservative media. Rush Limbaugh said on his show that it meant that "liberal young women like to die for the cause of advancing Kennedys’ careers" and Rick Moran in The American Thinker called the comment a "kind of incredible, tone deaf, idiocy."[5] Lafsky responded by criticizing the right wing media for using out-of-context soundbites to stir up controversy.[6]

In 2011, she was hired to launch Newsweek's iPad edition. [7] It launched in January, 2012 to positive reviews. [8]

Lafsky Wall also writes the "Horror Chick" column for The Awl about horror movies.[9]

In 2013, she founded Brick Wall Media, a content strategy firm.[10]


  1. ^ Please Welcome the First Editor of the Freakonomics Blog Freakonomics blog, 4 May 2007
  2. ^ Reality Base | Discover Magazine
  3. ^ Meet the New Editor of Infrastructurist
  4. ^ The Footnote Speaks: What Would Mary Jo Kopechne Have Thought of Ted's Career?
  5. ^ Liberal at Huffpo thinks Mary Jo Kopechne didn't mind dying for Ted
  6. ^ How I Became a Right Wing Talking Point
  7. ^ Newsweek iPad App Coming in January
  8. ^ Newsweek’s New iPad App is Worth a Look
  9. ^ Horror Chick
  10. ^ [1]

External links[edit]