Pitt Law Online Blog
Master Corporate Compliance Law with Pitt Law’s New MSL Specialization

Master Corporate Compliance Law with Pitt Law’s New MSL Specialization

Corporate HR coworkers having corporate compliance meeting

The Master of Studies in Law (MSL) is an increasingly popular master’s program for non-lawyers, giving people who work in law-adjacent roles and positions that deal with the law a better understanding of the laws and regulations that govern business today. The number of students enrolled in MSL programs has especially grown since 2006, as institutions began to see the value of legal education outside of the traditional Juris Doctor (JD) path.1 The University of Pittsburgh School of Law was ahead of the curve in this respect, leveraging its storied history educating legal minds to create a modern-day MSL program that has a reputation for academic and professional excellence amongst legal communities.

Pitt Law’s 30-credit Online MSL program pairs core courses that give students a foundation in a wide range of legal topics with a chozen specialization. This specialization allows students to hone in on an area that directly impacts their current career path, or will give them an advantage as a career changer.

Pitt Law is proud to announce the launch of its new Online MSL with a Corporate Compliance specialization. Learn more about this latest offering and the opportunities it will open up to future students.

Why Specialize in Corporate Compliance?

The Online MSL with a Corporate Compliance specialization, also offered as a 15-credit graduate certificate program for students who are not looking for a master’s degree, was created to fill a growing need for compliance professionals and to leverage the Pitt Law School’s reputation and expertise in this area of law. This unique program offering will provide students with valuable skills to work on compliance programs for any number of organizations, including for-profit and nonprofit corporations, and hybrid and governmental entities.

Laws and regulations around corporate compliance are ever evolving. For example, in June of 2020, the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced new guidance on how to effectively evaluate corporate compliance programs, including examining the design, implementation, and effective operation of the program. This guidance for evaluation is to be used by DOJ prosecutors to determine whether a company’s corporate compliance policy was effective at the time an offense was committed by the organization and if it is effective when a charging decision is made or an offense is resolved.2

In addition to new policies and guidance, international trade and globalization continue to grow, meaning U.S. corporations and international organizations alike are finding themselves subject to a multitude of U.S. legal compliance requirements. Organizations are starting to recognize that reputational risk can be a liability that is as great as or greater than strategic, financial or operational risks. To protect against this emerging risk, compliance programs are being created, revised, and carefully scrutinized in order to prevent reputational risk and to protect the interests of employees, shareholders, and businesses.

Compliance professionals are key to ensuring that organizations are complying with their own policies and procedures as well as applicable legal statutes, regulations, and judicial decisions.

Learning Compliance Concepts to Move Careers Forward

The Curriculum

The Pitt Law faculty, who teach and practice corporate compliance law, have designed the Corporate Compliance program for U.S. and foreign corporate employees who work or wish to work in corporate compliance areas. Students will enhance their careers by expanding their knowledge, skills, and professional understanding of corporate compliance.

The program will cover key foundational topics in corporate compliance and will teach students to design, implement, and evaluate the effectiveness of a compliance program. This effectiveness includes whether or not the program monitors organizational misconduct and ensures that employees and third parties have mechanisms in place to report misconduct and seek advice. Students will also learn policies and procedures related to corporate compliance.

The required curriculum will cover legal aspects of corporate compliance including:

  • Ethics and compliance
  • Designing, measuring effectiveness, and auditing compliance programs
  • Conducting investigations and risk assessments

In addition, electives are available to students who wish to specialize in a particular area of compliance, including:

  • Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
  • Antitrust
  • International trade and export
  • Pharmaceutical and medical devices
  • Securities compliance

The Outcomes

Earning a master’s degree in legal studies leads to increased earning potential and a positive career trajectory. Holding an MSL degree with an in depth specialization, like the MSL in Corporate Compliance, will set students apart in the job market where compliance specialists are in demand.

Compliance jobs, such as a compliance officer, are projected to grow 6.2 percent between 2020 and 2030 with an estimated 21,600 jobs opening up.3 Pitt Law students who choose to specialize in corporate compliance law will find that they can stand out to employers in a landscape where corporate compliance programs at a post-graduate level are sparse.

The MSL in Corporate Compliance program will help position students for leadership in:

  • Corporate compliance and ethics
  • Regulatory affairs
  • Compliance program training
  • Policy development, including Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG)
  • Auditing and monitoring
  • Financial fraud
  • Environmental and other corporate compliance

Stay Ahead of the Compliance Curve With Pitt Law

The law influences almost every professional decision for employees working in corporate environments. Pitt Law’s Online Master of Studies in Law (MSL) program is here to help those without a JD degree learn what they need to get ahead. Set yourself apart as a leader in business with in-demand legal knowledge and skills. Small class sizes and individualized attention will set you up for success during your master’s program and after graduation.

As you prepare to apply for Pitt Law’s Online Master of Studies in Law (MSL) program or one of our graduate certificate programs (also offered online), know that our admissions advisors are always on standby to answer your questions, clarify admissions requirements, and discuss what this degree can do for you. Schedule a call today.