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Compliance is the practical implementation of law within organizations, through understanding external rules imposed on an organization and developing mechanisms of internal controls to ensure adherence to these rules. Compliance work spans many substantive areas of law, including financial services, health, education, information technology, employment, immigration and even sports.

Compliance Career Path Resources

Compliance Faculty

  • Eric A. Lustig Eric A. Lustig

    Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Business Law

  • David M. Siegel David M. Siegel

    Professor of Law and Director, Center for Law and Social Responsibility

  • Gary M. Bishop Gary M. Bishop

    Professor of Law and Director of Legal Research and Writing

Compliance Path View

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  • Core Course

    Administrative Law

    3 Credit (Elective)

    This course is designed for students interested in regulatory law and those who seek additional coverage of pertinent constitutional law topics. Coverage includes the sources and nature of agency authority, agency rule making and adjudication, and judicial review of agency action. Constitutional issues addressed include the interplay of power among the three federal branches, procedural due process, and justiciability issues such as standing, ripeness, and mootness. Special emphasis is placed on the federal Administrative Procedure Act; state analogs may be studied as well. Attention also may be given to the internal functioning of typical administrative bodies and to the relationship between regulators and the regulated community.

  • Core Course

    Business Organizations

    3 Credit (Elective)

    Examines the similarities and differences among various types of business organizations (sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, and limited liability companies). Important issues studied include organization and formation requirements; roles, responsibilities, and potential liabilities of persons acting on behalf of the business organization and/or owning the business organization; the procedures and most frequent grounds for litigation involving business organizations; corporate social responsibility; and a brief introduction to the law of securities regulation and corporate control.

  • Core Course

    Investigations and Compliance Skills for In-House Counsel

    2 or 3 Credit (Elective)

    Planning and conducting investigations are frequent legal tasks for both outside and in-house practitioners, and require key legal and compliance skills such as fact gathering and evaluation, interviewing witnesses, risk analysis, problem solving, and training. For the in-house counsel faced with investigating internal compliance concerns, the list of essential skills expands to include the ability to remain impartial and objective, sensitivity to ethical and privilege issues, as well as persuasive communication techniques.

    This course provides an opportunity for students to work through the various stages of a simulated internal investigation, while learning and developing skills that will be useful to all areas of in-house practice. Students also will explore legal theories and concepts applicable to the investigatory process, such as confidentiality, spoliation of evidence, and anti-retaliation doctrine. At the beginning of the course, students will assume the role of in-house compliance and legal team for a global organization, which has been accused of engaging in international bribery tactics. Concerned about public pressure and the prospective threat of governmental intervention, the organization has assigned the team to examine the conduct of two executive employees during their business trips to Asia. Working independently and in groups, team members will investigate the relevant substantive and procedural issues of the situation, within the legal framework of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and other federal and state anti-corruption laws. As the investigative process concludes, students will communicate their findings and recommendations to the organizations "governing body" or discussion.

    During the course, students will have multiple opportunities to explore and practice investigative and compliance skills, including written assignments and oral presentations. Students will receive ongoing feedback on their performance from the instructor and occasional guest speakers. Please check the most recent course registration information to determine if this course meets the Experiential Education/Professional Skills requirement.

  • Core Course

    Nonprofit Organizations

    3 Credit (Elective)

    This course will examine nonprofit organizations and the sector in which they operate. The course will focus on the legal framework governing the operation of the nonprofit organizations, including issues of choice of form, governing bodies, and regulation of solicitations. The course also will survey the basic federal income and state property tax issues relevant to operation of the nonprofit organization. These issues include qualification for tax exemption, filing requirements, engaging in commercial activities, and the distinction between public charities and private foundations.

    This course may be offered every other year.

  • Recommended Course

    Employment Law

    2 or 3 Credit (Elective)

    This course deals with the employer/employee relationship when the employee is not represented by a labor union, but rather seeks protection under state or federal legislation. Among the topics are legal restraints on employer screening of employees, wage and hour legislation, occupational health and safety legislation, restrictions on employee discharge, employment discrimination, retirement, and other employee workplace rights and protections.

    This course may be offered every other year.

  • Recommended Course

    Health Care Law

    2 Credit (Elective)

    This course analyzes the historical developments and policies that have influenced and shaped the development of the health-care system in the United States, at both the state and federal level. Weekly reading assignments will include health-care policy articles, case law, and reports and studies on various health-care topics. Areas of coverage will include health-care financing, the regulation of health-care providers, patient access to health care, and the doctor-patient relationship and conflicts of interest.

  • Recommended Course

    Securities Regulation

    3 Credit (Elective)

    This course offers an introduction to federal securities laws, primarily covering the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as well as the rules and regulations enacted thereunder. With a focus on SEC and criminal investigation and enforcement, topics include the definition of "security," the concept of materiality, antifraud liability (such as insider trading), and the duties of industry participants in securities transactions. Although there are no prerequisites for this course, it is designed for students interested in securities litigation and not merely for the general corporate transactional practice.

  • Core Course

    Corporate Governance

    2 Credit (Elective)

    Corporate governance is the study of the law and policy governing the structure and operation of the publicly held business corporation and the allocation of power and responsibility among corporate directors, officers, and shareholders. This course explores, among other things, the regulation of corporations at both the state and federal level; the composition and duties of corporate boards of directors; regulation of corporate executives' compensation; the role of officers and shareholders in corporate governance; and the role of disclosure in the governance process.

    This course may be offered every other year.

  • Core Course

    Employee Benefits Law

    2 Credit (Elective)

    The course will examine the regulation of pension plans and welfare benefit plans under ERISA (the major federal law governing employee benefit plans). Topics to be covered include litigation involving breach of fiduciary duties of disclosure and prudent investment, employee remedies for denial of benefits, and preemption. Other important federal laws affecting employee benefits also will be discussed.

    This course may be offered every other year.

  • Core Course

    Financial Sector Compliance

    2 Credit (Professional Skills)

    This course will examine the role of compliance within the financial sector, specifically focusing on the investment management industry. Emphasis will be given to the delicate balancing act of responding to business needs while acting as an interpreter and enforcer of rules, regulations, and industry best practice. Students will work to define the role of compliance, build a successful compliance program, and appropriately navigate the key relationships and inherent tensions existing between internal and external business partners, legal counsel, and regulatory agencies. At the end of the course, students should have a clear understanding of the scope of compliance and the role of a compliance officer in the financial sector and be able to navigate common issues inherent in the role, such as maintaining independence while being a good business partner, handling regulatory exams, and integrating regulations into the business. The course will employ a real-world, hands-on approach through a variety of small projects and discussions leading up to a final written work and presentation. Familiarity with the financial industry or previous course work such as Securities Regulation is recommended but not required. An overview of the industry, applicable regulations, and key players will be covered at the start of the course.

  • Core Course

    Information Privacy Law

    2 Credit (Elective)

    This course explores the many legal issues that concern information privacy-the personal interest in maintaining control over information. Among the topics we will consider are: privacy and law enforcement; health and genetic privacy; privacy and government records and databases; and developments in consumer privacy. This course will be taught as a colloquium, after an initial introduction to legal and philosophical perspectives on information privacy, teaching will be undertaken by students in the course: each student (or team of students) will be responsible for leading discussion on a topic related to information privacy.

    This course may be offered every other year.

  • Core Course

    Alternative Dispute Resolution

    2 Credit (Professional Skills)

    Other Stage Two Options:

    Mediation OR Negotiation

    This course focuses on alternative methods of dispute resolution, including negotiation, mediation, and arbitration. In-class simulations of fact patterns are used as a means of illustrating certain resolution methods. Please check the most recent course registration information to determine if this course meets the Experiential Education/Professional Skills requirements.

  • Core Course

    Mediation

    3 Credit (Professional Skills)

    Other Stage Two Options:

    Alternative Dispute Resolution OR Negotiation

    Students are introduced to the principles of conflict resolution through the mediation process and through evolving mediation hybrids, including learning about the legal, ethical, sociological, and procedural aspects of mediation through a series of simulated exercises. Students participate directly in simulations drawn from many areas involving conflict, such as family law, trusts and estates, land use and real estate, business, sports law, construction, entertainment, and employment. During the second half of the course, the focus is on the role of lawyers in the mediation process and the skills needed to be an effective and appropriate advocate in resolving disputes for clients. Please check the most recent course registration information to determine if this course meets the Experiential Education/Professional Skills requirements.

  • Core Course

    Negotiation

    3 Credit (Professional Skills)

    Other Stage Two Options:

    Alternative Dispute Resolution OR Mediation

    Explores the theory and the art of resolving conflict through negotiation. Various styles are presented for comparison and analysis. Students are urged to evaluate their own intuitive style and to experience others. Practical experience is achieved through one-on-one and group negotiations exercises. The theory of conflict, strategic choice, ethical issues, and the negotiator's dilemma are presented in a variety of substantive contexts. Please check the most recent course registration information to determine if this course meets the Experiential Education/Professional Skills requirement.

  • Recommended Course

    Hospital Law

    2 Credit (Elective)

    The health-care industry has become perhaps the most regulated industry in the United States, resulting in a dynamic and complex area of law for legal practitioners. This course will utilize federal and state statutes, regulations and case law in addressing areas such as hospital structures, licensure and accreditation, fraud and abuse, physician credentialing, peer review, hospital governance, tax exemption, joint ventures, and antitrust issues. Students also will consider various scenarios routinely encountered by lawyers who represent hospitals.

    This course may be offered every other year.

  • Recommended Course

    Workers’ Compensation

    2 Credit (Elective)

    Examines the theory and practice of workers' compensation systems and their development through case law and statute reform, from A (assaults) to Z (zookeeper attacks).

    This course may be offered every other year.

  • Core Course

    Business Immigration Law

    Credit (Elective)

    The world of immigration in practice can be divided into family, court, and business immigration. Business immigration addresses both temporary and long-term solutions for individuals who need permission to remain in the United States where the purpose is related to an employment opportunity, one's professional accomplishments, or investment opportunities. Business Immigration will offer detailed information regarding business immigration law and practice, with a focus on current practice and procedures in the administrative law system of the federal agencies regulating immigration. During each class, students will put their knowledge into practice by working through increasingly complex problems designed to orient them around business immigration issues and problems. Additionally, students will be assigned a short research project of immigration requirements of other countries which serve as the basis of a discussion of US immigration in the context of a global market. Students should come away with a working knowledge of representing employers and employees in Business Immigration law.

  • Core Course

    Business Compliance and Human Rights

    2 Credit (Elective)

    This seminar focuses on the evolving legal framework for holding businesses to account for activities that negatively impact human rights. The course is largely structured around the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) which were approved by the UN Human Rights Council in 2011. The UNGPs have created an evolving normative framework that aims to prevent and remedy human rights abuses committed by companies and has become an important area of legal compliance work. The seminar is designed to provide students with a general overview of the general framework established by the UNGPs and will include coverage of: the international human rights legal regime; the development of international, domestic and voluntary corporate initiatives designed to bring corporations in line with human rights norms; the best practices for corporations to incorporate measures to assure respect of human rights; the potential liability of corporations for alleged violations of international human rights law; and the available judicial and nonjudicial remedies for vindicating violations of these rights. The course focuses on both the legal, practical, and political challenges that all stakeholders face in this new area of emerging international law while building the skills needed by a professional in this field.

    This course may be offered every other year.

  • Core Course

    Consumer Protection

    2 Credit (Elective)

    This overview of the law of consumer retail transactions focuses on the tools available to attorneys representing consumers (and those defending companies) when consumer disputes arise. The course will cover common law causes of action, the statutory tools regularly utilized in litigation (with an emphasis on the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act), and the regulatory regimes put in place by the Federal Reserve, Consumer Product Safety Commission, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and other administrative agencies. We also will analyze the tactics involved in consumer protection litigation by reviewing real situations and examining the choices available to both the businesses and consumer advocates in such cases. Finally, we will discuss a variety of specific substantive areas of consumer protection, such as the subprime mortgage debacle and Internet privacy.

    This course may be offered every other year.

  • Core Course

    Sports Law

    2 Credit (Elective)

    This survey of sports law investigates a wide variety of topics in the context of sports law. For example, the course considers the nature, operation, and evolution of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Both the equal protection and due process clauses of the Constitution also are studied, as applied in an athletic setting, as are the treatment and rights of women and foreign student athletes. The differing treatment by the courts of the worker's compensation--e.g., is a recruited athlete an employee of his or her university?--are analyzed. Antitrust law, as applied to both amateur and professional sports, also is reviewed. Title IX and drug testing are considered, as are the role and ethics of lawyers involved at the various levels. Representation of the athlete by both lawyer and nonlawyer agents and the role of unions and collective bargaining in professional sports are considered, as are both tort and contract law.