Compliance Jobs in the Legal Field Keep Legal Community on Toes

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Take a look at what has been happening this year: all the bailout talks to keep banks from failing. One out of ten mortgages is in foreclosure and more are expected. Along with the bailouts of major banks comes the bailout of people defaulting with their mortgage payments. The money to assist people with their foreclosures is going to be handed down through the banks. Just with these two moves by Washington, job demands have been created at the bank level, and it certainly is keeping the legal community that deals with rules and regulations on their toes.

Lawyers themselves are not the ones dealing directly with the compliance regulations. They do, however, work closely with a new breed of legal people: compliance officers, compliance training specialists, compliance management, and compliance advisers. These are all newly created jobs that require some legal background or a business degree. Legal compliance employees might often be required to have experience in the industry to which they are applying compliance rules.

The work of a compliance employee is more than just checking boxes. Here is a list of duties which a compliance officer might be required to perform:

  • New regulatory requirements have to be instituted and reviewed after implementation.
  • Regular reviews must be conducted of how compliance procedures are being implemented.
  • Compliance systems must be tracked by industry standards.
  • Reports and fact-gathering methods must be developed to fulfill ongoing compliance-reporting demands.
  • Reduction of regulatory interference must be promoted.
Look through the job agencies that are offering compliance jobs. If you are considering a place to develop a career in the legal field, you probably first considered the position of a lawyer. Think twice. A number of opportunities in the legal field other than those for lawyers are advertised even as you read this article. One career recruiter of compliance opportunities boasts of having over 70,000 available compliance jobs. Below are listed some of the types of available compliance positions.

Compliance Officer

A compliance officer (CO) is the person at a company who has the responsibility of ensuring the company follows the legal and regulatory requirements applicable to its business. Most of the time there will only be one CO, and these are generally in small businesses. The job of CO carries heavy responsibility. If he or she does not ensure the rules and regulations are followed, it could mean imprisonment or heavy fines.

You can see CO positions in many different businesses. The type of industry will determine the job duties. As noted earlier, a CO will have several years’ experience in their profession and will have a high level of knowledge regarding the regulatory requirements of the business.

The position of CO is typically at a senior level. A strong background of several years’ experience in management is vital to a CO, as are good communication skills. A CO spends time with the company’s employees explaining the regulatory and legal issues. He or she needs to be able to break things down to be understood by all staff in order for the rules to be implemented.

A CO must stay abreast of the changes in the industry. This way the company can put the new policy or regulation into rhythm. The CO usually works closely with the legal department and other senior management. The officer provides help to these departments so they stay in full compliance with rules and policies that affect the company.

Compliance Examiner Job

This job requires the compliance examiner to perform both announced and surprise inspections of all offices. Offices can be inspected at any time to provide information that shows they are in compliance with security regulations, all firm policies, and procedures on a monthly basis.

A compliance examiner develops the company’s dates and times for audits. A compliance examiner trains employees in branch offices and in the home office regarding compliance procedures. The examiner improves the filing procedures during the audit.

To get a job as a compliance examiner, the applicant usually requires a business degree or something equivalent. Applicants should also have at least three years’ experience.

Compliance Specialist

As regulatory compliance has grown, another position has appeared. Large employment agencies say it is one of the hottest legal career choices today. Compliance specialists work for any corporation or legal entity which needs to monitor the myriad governmental, regulatory, and compliance forms imposed by the changes in federal law. Large companies often prefer to rank high in professional integrity. One such company’s legal and compliance department upholds the company’s reputation by locating and then studying legal and compliance risks. Companies that have such high standards often have a wide degree of influence. The company’s legal and compliance team advises on:
  • Transactions
  • Regulatory requirements
  • Employment law
  • Insurance
  • Intellectual property
  • Litigation
Here are four job listings in the area of compliance with brief job descriptions.
  1. Director, Compliance Policies and Training
    Oversees all regulatory and legal obligations. Additional responsibilities include evaluation and enhancement of new compliance and legal obligations. Revamps current compliance policy training.
  2. Senior Compliance Analyst
    Performs a section of the overall compliance function. Should specifically ensure compliance with various regulatory and legal requirements. Prepares documents on compliance.
  3. Director, Compliance Policies and Training
    Responsibilities include evaluation and enhancement of new compliance and legal obligations and translating that into training for staff.
  4. Senior Compliance Auditor
    Chief Compliance Officer to develop compliance. Opening designed to promote legal and ethical compliance. This person collaborates with other departments to direct compliance.
Compliance is a real direction for people who have been in a business for many years. It is also an option for entry-level people who want to start out as compliance analysts and have at least three years’ experience in their businesses. The demands on the regulatory bodies of industry have been called front and center and it is a big job industry now. The legal departments are preparing their teams to handle the task at hand. It is a good time to look into the opportunities in compliance.
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