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St. Francis School of Law is pleased to announce that its online Juris Doctor program will be offering a course in Compliance.  In response to compliance failures and related scandals, the area of compliance currently is in high demand as a specialty given the complex and interdisciplinary regulatory environment for business.

Attorneys working in the field of compliance are tasked with the responsibility of advising business clients to assure that operations conform to the requirements of a diverse and developing body of legal regulation in the global environment.  The course ventures beyond the traditional case method, with a focus on practical skills needed to advise business clients, including the development of effective compliance policies with an emphasis on understanding compliance from a business perspective.  Among other case studies, students will study the infamous Enron scandal.  The course also provides students with opportunities for proactively messaging management through the development of a variety of communications and presentations designed to promote compliance at all levels throughout a multinational organization of sophistication and complexity.

The course, developed by St. Francis professor Laura Jacobus, will guide students through the disparate areas of law that an in-house corporate lawyer must understand in order to navigate the many aspects of corporate compliance, risk assessment and mitigation.  The course covers corporate governance, risk management and compliance on multiple levels including the obligations of operating executives, internal audit, and risk and compliance operations.  Professor Jacobus will guide students through best practices adopted by private organizations, focusing on the role of corporate shareholders, executives and management, as well as the legal and ethical obligations of the corporate counsel.

In addition to the technical legal aspects of compliance, the course addresses the development of a culture of compliance, including the importance of language, tone and graphics in producing and promoting an effective compliance policy.  Practical aspects of compliance training are also covered.

The role of government regulators in relation to corporate compliance is also explored in the course.  The mechanics of investigations, large and small, are explored.  Students also study the Federal Sentencing Guidelines’ expectations that corporate compliance programs prevent and detect criminal conduct and promote a culture that encourages compliance with the law.  Students actively engage in designing compliance policy to mitigate risk in real world scenarios.  In addition the course addresses the role of monitors, independent review boards and court appointed officers, as well as settlement agreements.

With the prosecution of companies often in the news, the course also investigates failures of compliance, including the process of decision-making by prosecutors about whether or not to prosecute.  Plea bargains and deferred prosecution agreements, along with non-prosecution agreements, are also explored.  The dynamics of whistleblowers, including qui tam actions, are also featured.  The course provides students with an overview of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and takes a practical approach to creating an effective compliance program for a multi-national enterprise.

Prof. Laura Jacobus is the former Senior Director and Associate General Counsel of Juniper Networks, where she directed ethics, compliance and legal operations.  She was a former member of the High Tech Compliance Group.  Prof. Jacobus holds her JD from Santa Clara University School of Law, and her BA from Santa Clara University.