Post economic collapse the role of compliance officers has expanded and become more widely respected, with greater government oversight and industry regulations constantly being reviewed and revised. Vivia Chen a former corporate lawyer and now Senior Reporter for American Lawyer and their online blog “The Careerist,” even went so far as to say, “…compliance is red hot.”
Compliance is an area of law with plenty of benefits to the lawyer looking to move in-house, especially after the 2013 Chief Legal Officer Survey, completed by the Association of Corporate Counsel identified ethics and compliance as the most important issue of the past and next year. (Second and third respectively were regulatory and government changes, and information privacy, all areas that directly relate to compliance.) On both sides of the border compliance is the it legal sector with Ryan McConnell of Morgan Lewis in Houston saying that, “…companies in industries ranging from financial services to technology are hiring lawyers and compliance professionals to address compliance risks…”
As a compliance officer your tasks and responsibilities may vary from company to company, as well as within different industries, which is one of the most enticing reasons to enter the field as a young lawyer. Nonetheless, here are a few examples of tasks you may encounter:
- Developing and working on corporate policies and processes
- Completing risk assessments
- Providing compliance training to the company as a whole
Compliance is also a great career step when looking for opportunities that will allow for advancement. Due to the nature of the position you will likely come into contact with most of the departments within the company, allowing you to develop your business acumen and play a role in corporate development. This type of work also lends itself to making the transition to operations or more senior business development roles.
Although compliance remains one of the less glamorous sectors, it certainly gives plenty of opportunity for growth and grants access to a gambit of industries.