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Compliance Education in the Financial Services Industry

When Seton Hall Law School first launched its healthcare compliance programs more than a decade ago, it was one of the first law schools to focus on compliance education, and it remains a leader today in providing compliance education and advancing compliance norms and expertise.  Seton Hall’s compliance-focused offerings have since grown to include online graduate certificate and degree programs for both attorneys and non-lawyer professionals working in highly regulated industries.

We developed our new financial services offerings in response to the unprecedented demand for compliance education and skills development within companies exposed to increasing regulatory oversight and risks.  Indeed, hiring in compliance has driven much of the increased employment on Wall Street in the past year as companies seek knowledgeable compliance professionals both in-house or via outside legal and consulting services.

In part, this demand is the result of new regulation in the wake of the financial crisis, including the various aspects of the Dodd-Frank Act.  In addition, the SEC and other enforcement agencies now place greater emphasis on companies’ compliance efforts. More than ever, enforcement officials utilize legal incentives to press financial services companies to institute self-regulatory practices and procedures to prevent unlawful behavior on the front end, rather than waiting for violations to occur.

Moreover, other developments, such as the heightened focus on domestic and cross-border money laundering activities (brought into the spotlight by the recent Panama Papers revelations), have placed financial services companies on the front lines of enforcement. These institutions have responded by developing more robust compliance protocols to prevent monies derived from unlawful activities coming through their doors.  Such efforts, in turn, require larger and more knowledgeable compliance staffs.

Seton Hall’s new Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree in Financial Services Compliance for lawyers, as well as its Master of Science in Jurisprudence (M.S.J.) for non-lawyers, are offered online or in the classroom. These programs enable students to acquire sought-after knowledge of the key areas of the law and develop necessary compliance-related skills. Ultimately, they learn to both lead and participate in the critical conversations about how their organizations should respond to changing regulation, as well as anticipate where compliance practices and norms are headed in the future.

About the Author

Timothy P. Glynn is Associate Dean for Graduate and Professional Education and Professor of Law, Seton Hall University School of Law.

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