Featured journalist: Christie Smythe
Today it is our privilege and our pleasure to feature Christie Smythe, legal reporter extraordinaire at Bloomberg News. Working primarily out of courthouses in Brooklyn and Manhattan, Smythe's coverage focuses primarily on cases having to do with business and finance, although she sometimes also writes about terrorism and other big legal stories. "I'm not a lawyer, nor do I aspire to become one," she writes. "I do, however, have tremendous respect for the many fine litigators I have observed and for the role they play in society. Some of the most decisive and important battles on this planet are fought words, not with guns -- often in U.S. courtrooms."
But Smythe's career began in Cape Cod, where she wrote for the business section at the Cape Cod Times. "Cape Cod, especially in winter, is a strange but fun place to be in one's early 20s," she notes. Even before that, she was active in journalism in high school, where she "won a modest award for writing about [her] depressing Valentine's Day." We'd like to read that! And as with many others, her reasons for becoming a journalist are simple but indisputable: "I love two things: writing and learning new things. What else is there that satisfies those desires so completely?"
Interestingly, Smythe later took a job with "an ambitious, growing start-up" that we've all come to know as Law360, just days after Lehman Brothers collapsed, where lawsuits involving the financial crisis as well as Lehman bankruptcy quickly hooked her on legal journalism. At Law 360, Smythe also earned herself a place alongside larger media in the Manhattan federal court press corps, which eventually led to her current position with Bloomberg.
For a look at her legal writing, stop by her portfolio, where you'll find articles along the lines of this one: "Stop-and-frisk led to few convictions, state study finds." And for aspiring journalists, Smythe advises, "Carve out a specialty for yourself in an area that is growing in importance and requires some expertise. Like legal journalism!"