Get ahead of the compliance curve.
Get ahead of the compliance curve.

Corporate Compliance Certificate Program

Pitt Law’s Online Corporate Compliance Certificate program is designed for U.S. and foreign corporate employees who already work in the corporate compliance field, or wish to make a career move to focus on this area of business, making this certificate program perfect for paralegals, lawyers, and other compliance professionals in finance, internal audit, human resources and environmental sustainability.

After earning your Corporate Compliance Certificate, you will know how to establish an effective program to monitor organizational misconduct, audit compliance and ethics risks, evaluate the effectiveness of the ethics and compliance program, and much more. Enhance your career by expanding your knowledge, skills, and professional understanding of corporate compliance with Pitt Law.

Program Benefits

  • Learn on your schedule with asynchronous classes
  • Certificates can be completed in 10 months
  • Learn from experienced, working legal experts who teach and practice corporate compliance
  • Gain access to a valued and diverse network of colleagues and mentors within the Pitt Law and broader Pitt communities
  • Learn how to establish an effective corporate compliance program
  • For non-lawyers, build concentrated expertise to work more knowledgeably with lawyers

Meet the Program Director

Meet Max Laun, the Director of Pitt Law's online Corporate Compliance Certificate program. In this illuminating interview, Laun draws from his extensive experience as a seasoned corporate counsel to provide invaluable insights into the ever-evolving realm of corporate compliance. He emphasizes the indispensable role of ethics and compliance expertise in today's business landscape, highlighting the program's pivotal role in shaping the next generation of industry professionals.

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Video Transcript

Max Laun:
Hello, my name is Max Laun, and I’m the Director of the online Corporate Compliance Certificate program at Pitt Law.

By way of background, I’m a long-time (30+ years) inhouse corporate counsel. After receiving my undergraduate degree from Rice University, I spent two years in Romania in the mid-80s as a Fulbright Scholar doing research in history, then changed directions and came to the University of Pittsburgh for law school.

As you might expect, my area of interest and specialization was international. I spent 20+ years as my company’s primary international mergers & acquisitions (M&A) lawyer, doing transactions on six continents (sorry, Antarctica!), and over 25 countries. Later in my career I became a manager and spent nine years as the general counsel of two publicly-traded companies, overseeing our worldwide legal operations as well as ensuring the compliance of the parent company and its myriad subsidiaries with applicable laws, rules, and regulations. My last two years, I also served as the Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer (CECO), leading our Corporate Compliance group, so I have seen first-hand the importance of this work.

We are very excited to offer the online Certificate program in Corporate Compliance.I teach the introductory course, as well as co-direct the final seminar. Across the five courses, we impress on our students both the importance and centrality of ethics and compliance to everything an organization does. For an entity to have the legal and social license to operate, it must both be compliant, but also committed to doing the right thing, everywhere, every day, whether people are watching or not.

I strongly encourage you to apply today to join our Corporate Compliance program.

Pitt Law is a very nurturing environment for learning: we have small class sizes, and you will have the opportunity to get to know your professors and your classmates even though we connect virtually. We are developing the next generation of compliance professionals, and would love to have you come learn with us!
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Program Brochure

Are you considering a master’s degree in law or a graduate certificate to take your career to the next level? Pitt Law’s Master of Studies in Law online program is designed for professionals seeking to enhance their careers with a versatile alternative to the traditional three-year JD degree. The certificate programs are ideal for those who are not currently looking to pursue a master’s degree.

Complete the form to get a program brochure for Pitt Law’s Online MSL plus your chosen specialization, or your chosen certificate program, delivered to your inbox.

Pitt Law’s Corporate Compliance Certificate Program Students

The Corporate Compliance Certificate is ideal for:

  • U.S. and international professionals who work in a corporate environment and are focused on, or looking to focus on, securities compliance, antitrust issues, and other compliance-related activities
  • U.S. and international non-lawyers, including paralegals and other business professionals who work closely with lawyers day-to-day, including financial, insurance, and legal support professionals
  • U.S. lawyers who wish to expand their knowledge and practice portfolio of corporate compliance
  • Foreign-qualified lawyers seeking a flexibly obtained U.S. credential that does not require residence in the U.S.

Position yourself 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
Black male executive standing and leading a work meeting

Objectives of the Online Corporate Compliance Certificate Program

The Corporate Compliance Certificate program was developed to meet the growing need for compliance professionals. Busy professionals will build a strong compliance foundation by learning how to:

  • Understand the fundamentals of corporate compliance
  • Design a compliance program from the ground up, as well as related policies and procedures
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of ethics and compliance programs
  • Work with third-party mechanisms to report misconduct and seek advice
  • Audit for compliance and ethics risks
  • Manage other issues around public company disclosures and compliance programs
  • Understand the nuances of the different potential clientele students may work with, such as individuals, for-profit and nonprofit corporations, and hybrid and governmental entities

Corporate Compliance (15 credits)

Introduction to Corporate Compliance (3 credits)

Course Description
This course will provide an introduction to corporate compliance programs for U.S. and foreign lawyers, as well non-lawyers. Learn the basics of a compliance program to build a strong foundation to approach corporate compliance.

Topics covered in this course will include:
  • Importance of a compliance program
  • Importance of ethics, organizational culture (vision and values), and a code of conduct
  • Understanding the key issues of an organization’s compliance policies and procedures
  • Understanding which policies and procedures should be covered in a compliance program
  • Incorporating compliance and ethics standards in contractual arrangements

Ethics and Compliance Programs (3 credits)

Course Description
This course introduces students to creating an ethics and compliance program.

Topics covered will include:
  • Framework: U.S. Department of Justice Sentencing Guidelines and Guidance on corporate compliance programs
  • How to create an effective ethics and compliance program
  • Conducting a risk assessment to determine the greatest risk facing an organization, including understanding its path to market (agents, distributors, licensees, and other intermediaries)
  • Creating a culture of integrity
  • Effective drafting of compliance policies and procedures
  • Effective drafting of a code of conduct
  • Drafting a gifts and entertainment policy
  • Integrating the ethics and compliance program into the organization

Designing, Measuring Effectiveness, and Auditing Compliance Programs (3 credits)

Course Description
This course introduces students to designing and measuring effective audit compliance programs. This will be based on the Department of Justice Sentencing Guidelines.

Topics covered will include:
  • Administering an effective compliance program, such that the goals and objectives are achieved
  • Defining the authority and role of ethics and compliance professionals, including reporting lines and access to an organization’s board of directors or audit committee
  • Creating an annual ethics and compliance work plan
  • Ensuring that the organization has processes in place to assess key areas of risk, including intermediary review and assessment
  • Compliance lines and other telephone or online reporting mechanisms
  • Communication, education and training of a compliance risk program
  • Monitoring for organizational misconducts
  • Monitoring ethics and compliance related activities and risks
  • Conducting a risk-based assessment of the compliance program

Conducting Investigations and Risk Assessments (3 credits)

Course Description
This course introduces students to conducting investigations and risk assessments and teaches them how to conduct an internal investigation.

Topics covered will include:
  • Representing the company, not the interviewee
  • Purpose of the interview
  • Legal and ethical considerations of internal investigations in foreign jurisdictions, i.e., preserving attorney client privilege where it exists
  • Responding to governmental inquiries and investigations and voluntary disclosures to regulatory agencies
  • EU Dawn Raids and other unannounced governmental investigations
  • Conducting periodic risk assessments
  • Use and development of risk assessment methodology

Special Topics in Compliance Seminar (3 credits)

Course Description
This seminar study allows students to take an in-depth look at special topics in corporate compliance.

This includes topics such as:
  • Securities Compliance, including SEC Disclosures
  • Antitrust Compliance
  • Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
  • UK Antibribery Act
  • Joint Ventures
  • Enterprise Risk Management
  • Financial Compliance
  • International Trade and Export Compliance
  • Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Compliance

Earning Your Corporate Compliance Certificate is Just the Beginning

With your certificate, you will have a sure footing in corporate compliance. Certificate students who successfully complete a graduate certificate program with a 3.0 GPA have the option to pursue the Master of Studies in Law degree at Pitt Law.

Pitt Law opens doors for you. Start your journey today.

Fall 2024 Admissions Deadlines

Priority Deadline
August 2
Fall 2024
Final Deadline
August 12
Fall 2024
Start Date
August 19
Fall 2024