Jan Crawford, '93 and Douglas Greenburg, '93: Reporting and Litigating

Jan Crawford and Doug Greenburg, both class of 1993, never got past saying the casual hello to one another their entire tenure at the Law School, until the last day of their third year. After chatting at the graduation party on Friday, Doug received a call from Jan on Sunday, asking if he wanted to join her for a Bulls-Suns NBA Playoff game that night. “Unfortunately,” he told Jan, “My mother is having a graduation party for me tonight, and all the relatives are going to be there.” He paused. “Let me call her and tell her I can’t make it.” That was June. The Greenburgs were engaged by August and married the following May. The couple now has four children: Carolyn, who is eight years old; Louisa, seven; Jack, four; and Page, one and a half.

A partner at Latham & Watkins in Washington, DC, Doug Greenburg now works in the litigation department. He specializes in internal corporate investigations, representing clients in connection with SEC investigations, and white-collar criminal defense. Greenburg says he was always interested in doing investigative work, even before he went to school. His job entails a great deal of factual development, coordinating the review of relevant electronic data, the analysis of documents, and interviewing a wide variety of witnesses. “I try to put the pieces together,” he said. “In the real world, the facts are complicated. There are contradictory documents. You have people saying totally different things. We try to put together what really happened, then we do the legal analysis.” He also worked on the 9-11 Commission and, in August of 2004, co-authored the Terrorist Financing Monograph, a public study of al Qaeda financing. “I had the opportunity to work with some great people, to see things few people will ever get to see, contribute to the historical record, and, most importantly, work toward preventing these things from happening again,” he said. “I was glad [Illinois] Governor Thompson asked me to do it.”

Jan Crawford Greenburg covers the Supreme Court for the Chicago Tribune and the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer on PBS, and she provides legal analysis for CBS’s Face the Nation. According to Crawford Greenburg, “The biggest challenge I face is simplifying the issues to the point that people can understand them, but not oversimplifying them for the lawyers reading my stories. It’s true of any legal reporting.” Crawford Greenburg, who has covered the Supreme Court for the Tribune since 1994 and for the NewsHour since 1998, said it has been an exciting time to cover the Court. “It was the longest seated Court of nine justices in history, and now, with two new members, it’s poised for historic change.”

Her legal training has been an inestimable help to Crawford Greenburg. “There’s no question law school helped the way I approach stories and cases. You don’t have to have a law degree to cover the Supreme Court, but it helps you have a deeper understanding of what is at issue in each case.” Crawford Greenburg also keeps in touch with some of her former professors, asking some of them, such as Dennis Hutchinson, David Strauss, and Albert Alschuler, for comment on specific cases. “They are a terrific resource,” she said. “As they helped me understand the issues when I was a student, now they help the larger world.”