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Student Spotlight

Craig Winters

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Craig Winters '07The discovery of an incriminating email changed the course of Craig Winters’s legal career.

Probing potential abuses in the insurance industry for then-New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, Winters, a summer intern, came across the smoking gun: an email from an employee of insurance broker Marsh & McLennan providing evidence of bid-rigging. That eventually led Spitzer to file a civil complaint against Marsh in October 2004, and to clean up the insurance industry. It also gave Winters a jumpstart on another career: writing.

That winter break he started work on a book, tentatively titled The Spitzer Effect, which would examine the AG’s impact on the mutual-fund and insurance industries. Winters, whose interest is market regulation, assisted in Spitzer’s earlier investigation into the mutual-fund business. In February 2005, he received an initial book offer that was too low to pay his credit card debt. Financially strapped—he juggled academic jobs and house-sat while working for Spitzer—Winters believed in his book enough to aggressively court a top literary agent, and, by September, he had signed a handsome two-book deal (the second book deals with the impact of excessive executive compensation) with Knopf. Winters took off that fall semester to research the book (due out by January 2008), but was never far from campus. His bylines continued to appear in the Law School’s student newspaper, the Commentator.

In September, he and his girlfriend, Katie Roberson-Young ’06, plan to move to Miami, where he’ll take a year to finish his books before looking for work as an assistant district attorney. Although Winters’s long-term career plans are to investigate and prosecute white-collar crime as a D.A., he will keep his pencils sharp—just in case: “Writing is as fulfilling [as law] and allows me to enter and exit the legal profession.”