Christie has worn many hats over the years which have given her a very broad perspective in her practice of law.
When Christie went to law school she already had the skill to understand high tech, so sought out the tools to manage and enable it. The answer to why she went to law school was “moving up the protocol stack”1 since most of her prior experience was in the lowest levels of interconnection, from hardware to packets. She frequently discussed her goal of establishing her own law practice. “Hanging a shingle.”2
After law school, Christie gained a lot of general experience. She started by assisting other attorneys who were engaged in formation, agreements, licensing, and contract support, otherwise known as transactional law. She tried her hand at writing patents for a patent attorney. She went on to work for a high tech litigation law firm. But eventually she came back to her dream of establishing her own high tech transactional law practice.
Christie always had an interest in the ways computers can fail badly, either by granting inappropriate access or or failing to complete tasks thus enabling those who manage them to fix potential problems. This is not unlike the task of the attorney in considering how agreements that could fail badly and doing things to avoid that. Although no courses were available back in the day when she earned her engineering degree, she kept up on issues and trends. Before law school she had a brief opportunity to pursue this passion professionally doing hardware hacking, but realized she would probably need to go back to school yet again to get where she wanted to be with it.
When the tech crash of 2001 happened at about the same time as the finance industry was shaken by the destruction in New York, Christie took a look around about how she was working as a cog in a very large machine, not moving the needle by any meter she could find. She did something like the whole drop out, tune in thing, but instead dropped in to study at Cal Berkeley. Taking whatever courses appealed to her, so studied a lot of anthropology, focusing on technology and culture change. By 2005, she was sure that there was going to be a big culture shift coming. She had a hard time convincing people of this so wound up going back to technology to watch what was coming. But she kept the tools she picked up there for understanding people and how they worked together to make things happen. They still come in handy.
When she was an engineer, Christie developed an understanding of what it’s like to have big ideas and struggle to realize them. She can talk you through the fundamentals of what you need to start up and grow in a language you can understand. She worked for many years for large manufacturing and finance organizations. But law was really in her future. When she hired on at one manufacturer, she was told the network for the international big project she was assigned to was going to just be added to the existing telecom contract. Recognizing unrealized opportunity, she negotiated down what the company would pay on the multimillion dollar contract by 40%, making sure the company was able to utilize most extensive global network available, all while adding key features that are necessary to establish global resiliency.
California Bar # 347643
New York Bar # 5805783
More Places to Find Christie
Mastodon account of random musings: https://infosec.exchange/@longobord
Privacy, Technical, and Personal writings on Medium https://medium.com/@longobord
Github where my old startup Fork the Law and other miscellany can be found: https://github.com/longobord
Old presentation slides on Slideshare: https://www.slideshare.net/ChristieDudley
- The reference was an old joke that the 7th and 8th layers of the 6 layer OSI model were “politics” and “religion”, suggesting that many decisions that were deemed technical were actually informed by esoteric things that the technologist believes. ↩︎
- Hanging a shingle comes from the ancient tradition of hanging a piece of wood with an image or lettering on it outside a building to identify business conducted inside. Lawyers are very traditional, so never stopped using the term that dates back to before most people could read and write. ↩︎