In this continuously evolving regulatory environment, compliance is a function that has become imperative for all organizations.
Government authorities have become aggressive in enforcing the rules and regulations. In this scenario, compliance professionals are in high demand regardless of the industry.
Several large banks have borne the brunt for non-compliance in the past couple of years and have lost millions of dollars as penalties.
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Besides, their reputation also goes for a toss when such non-compliance issues crop up. Setting up internal compliance functions is no longer a choice for organizations.
As a result, companies are on the lookout for compliance analysts who have the right knowledge and skills to steer their company in the right direction.
If you want to direct your career goals toward this lucrative field, graduating in law can give you a good entry point.
However, when you are still in school, you may want to focus on a few skills that give you a desirable edge over your competition. Let’s look at six of these skills that you can hone in your law school.
1. Knowledge Of Legal And Regulatory Compliance
Due to the high number of compliance analyst jobs in the market, companies are mostly poaching from one another.
However, there is a limit to it, and there is always a scope for new entrants. The key is to have the right knowledge so that you can start your career on the right note.
Given the current economic and regulatory climate, compliance is becoming more and more specialized. When you are still in law school, you get the opportunity to explore your options as per your interests.
It is advisable to understand what interests you more so that you can dig deeper into it. Your interest areas could be a particular industry. For instance, Wall Street could be the place where your interest lies.
In that case, you may want to study more about the regulatory environment and laws laid down by the government bodies for banks and other financial institutions.
You can go beyond your curriculum and learn more about compliance risks in the financial sector.
2. Assessing And Interpreting Risks
As a compliance expert, you will be required to reduce risks for your organization.
Besides, the rules are not always black and white. At times, there are grey areas where you will have to interpret the laws and give direction to your organization.
All compliance professionals should know the main steps in risk management. These include identification, analysis, planning, monitoring, reporting, and control.
The first thing that you will need here is a conceptual understanding of the laws and their applications in specific businesses.
When you are in law school, you should try and give more focus on understanding and interpreting laws for the benefit of your company.
3. Problem-Solving Skills
Compliance has become such an important function that other teams go to them before starting a new project or launching a new product.
They want to avoid hefty fines and punishments by being on the right side of the law while also maximizing their profits.
When other teams approach compliance experts, they expect effective solutions. More often than not, the main problem that you will face is that of unclear and vague regulatory policies.
There will be no easy solutions, but you will have to turnaround the situation with your knowledge and expertise.
In such scenarios, you will have to apply your critical thinking to offer the best possible and practical solutions.
4. IT Knowledge
Audits are an essential part of the job responsibilities of compliance professionals. With the right knowledge of technology and business requirements, you will be able to run an effective audit.
Most organizations also use software for audits. When you get an understanding of these IT systems, you ensure that you are ahead of your competition.
While you may not be able to master these IT tools in law school, you can certainly develop a basic understanding of how regulations are built into these systems for your benefit.
5. Interpret Data And Ensure Data Compliance
Risk management also contains a statistical analysis of data. You should be able to convert raw data into meaningful information.
In your job as a senior compliance analyst, you will also have to organize and manage sensitive data.
In today’s time, when it is common for people to have digital assets, you will have to suggest measures to protect such confidential information.
There are industry standards and state or federal-level laws that govern data compliance. You will have to ensure that your organization stays compliant with these rules at all times.
6. Investigation And Presentation Skills
During your stint in law school, you will learn the skills to conduct an internal investigation. It is one of the most necessary skills that compliance professionals need to be successful in their jobs.
By focusing on developing and honing your investigation skills, you can nail any compliance analyst job.
It includes analyzing and assessing the facts that are available to you. In the end, you should understand if any legal or regulatory norms have been violated.
In the process, you will have to prepare questions and follow-up questions to interview several people related to the matter.
An important trait in a competent compliance professional is to be objective at all times during the investigation. You will have to use your judgments, arrive at a conclusion, and also document your findings in a report.
Apart from this, you will be expected to give presentations to senior management. They may seek your views and support in important business matters.
It is advisable to enhance not just your verbal skills but also your presentation skills. An ability to present your views in clear and concise slides will take you a long way in your compliance career.
The job of a compliance analyst can be an interesting career option. It is a respectable position that can land you in the company of senior management right from the beginning.
With a focussed approach in law school, you can develop the skills to kickstart a rewarding career in compliance and ethics!