Lawyers can be excellent compliance officers. However, a compliance officer does not have to be a lawyer.. Compliance is a function that relies on proactive strategies to promote company culture, its code of conduct, and overall compliance with the company’s law and code of conduct. As effective communicators and problem solvers, lawyers can leverage their legal training in compliance, even though a law degree may not be required.
In fact, compliance is often not technically a legal role, and compliance experts usually don’t give a legal opinion and don’t represent their companies.. The role of the compliance officer is, for example, to train and review the rules, enforce the rules, and promote an ethical work environment in which employees feel empowered to voice concerns without fear of retaliation, says Spigarelli. As a rule, a bachelor’s degree is the absolute minimum education that a compliance officer must have. There is no specific degree as a compliance officer.
In many cases, people who aspire to a career as a compliance officer acquire a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, finance, or economics. To become an employment law lawyer, candidates should have an advanced law degree and practice labor law for more than a decade. Candidates should generally expect to fill strategic roles because they provide legal advice, are thought leaders, and work with HR colleagues. Compliance jobs get a lot of attention as popular alternative careers for lawyers thanks to the number of lawyers who transition into these roles..
But what is compliance? Watch our interview with Kimberly Strong to learn how a %26 ethics compliance officer. But start with that first and tell us what is compliance? What does “compliance” even mean?. Carrie Kusserow has more than 15 years of compliance experience in healthcare as a compliance officer and consultant, and underlines the importance of considering the relationship between the two functions before conflicts arise.. It states that there are philosophical differences between the compliance officer and the legal advisor.
The latter focuses on legal advice and does not act as a decision-making authority, while the compliance officer is a program official who has to make decisions, not just give advice.. Compliance officers are most likely to receive complaints that warrant an investigation via the hotline or are referred directly to their office.. You should be able to independently investigate and act on compliance issues. You should also ensure that appropriate remedial action is taken when weaknesses are identified through investigation..
If potential violations of the code, guidelines, standards, regulations, or applicable laws are alleged, the compliance officer should conduct an initial investigation. This investigation is used to determine whether the claim is unfounded or that there is sufficient information to warrant further investigation.. There may be situations where employees or other insured persons have engaged in serious misconduct or have committed other violations related to their employment or engagement on behalf of the organization.. In such situations, the compliance officer should work closely with a legal advisor who can advise you on such issues..
If there is a reasonable indication of suspected non-compliance with criminal, civil or administrative law, investigations should be carried out by the legal advisor or the compliance officer under the direction of a legal representative. In addition, due to timely reporting requirements, credible billing and reimbursement issues should be referred to a legal advisor as soon as possible.. Should there be a specific department within the corporate hierarchy that is headed by a chief compliance officer? In recent decades, listed companies have increased attention and resources for the compliance function. Many create a new “C” in the C-suite, the Chief Compliance Officer or CCO, and split the compliance gatekeeping function away from the legal department so that the CCO does not report to the General Counsel (GC)..
By examining the literature and conducting interviews with 70 GCs and CCOs, I assume that preventive departmentalization may not be in the public’s best interest due to potential unintended consequences that offset the alleged benefits of departmental activity.. In particular, departmental activity must not increase transparency in corporate compliance violations, actual corporate compliance, or company commitment to a culture of compliance and ethics.. You may be able to gain compliance experience in the workplace in a smaller role when you set out to become a compliance officer. A law degree is recommended for candidates seeking a position as corporate compliance officer, along with Compli.
As mentioned earlier, one of the top concerns of executives of large listed companies is regulatory compliance.. I recently spoke to a compliance expert who had taken a few years to pursue other companies and is now looking to get back into the business.. They often work with C-suite executives, and some compliance officers even take on C-suite roles such as Chief Financial Officer.. Twenty-five years ago law graduates didn’t aspire to become compliance experts, says Craig Bennett ’94, vice president and chief compliance officer of the Boston Medical Center Health System.
Companies around the world are facing a huge challenge in the emerging area of compliance and ethics.. It is also agreed that compliance is not just about complying with the law.. This led us to a conversation about the benefits of studying law for working in the area of corporate compliance.. Instead, they work with HR colleagues to develop and implement policies that address federal and state compliance issues..
In recent decades, listed companies have increased attention and resources for the compliance function. Instead, a compliance culture must not only be created from the top down, but across the entire company. Kimberly loves being able to leverage her law degree in this area and gives great advice to others looking for compliance, whether you’re just finishing a law degree or leaving the law.