Why Temple Law School Launched a Center for Compliance and Ethics

Over the past few decades, the federal government has increased its focus on investigating and prosecuting fraud and corruption in a variety of industries. Businesses are required to develop comprehensive compliance programs to comply with a variety of federal, state, and, in some cases, foreign laws and regulations to minimize risk and avoid legal repercussions. In the current climate, every high-functioning organization has a dedicated compliance sector manned by well-trained professionals who act as stewards to ensure that their organizations remain fully compliant with applicable laws and regulations on a global level. As a result, legal professionals who can advise companies on the development and implementation of effective compliance programs are in high demand.

To meet the demand for trained compliance professionals, the Law School has launched its Center for Compliance and Ethics. Guided by its Advisory Board comprised of senior executives from many prominent companies in the Philadelphia business community (including Berkeley Research Group, Comcast, Aramark, GSK, Merck, Olympus, ACE, Morgan Lewis, Novo Nordisk and Endo Pharmaceuticals,), the Center’s primary goal is to provide thought leadership and training in the compliance arena and to endow participants with the necessary skills to operate in today’s demanding environment. This mission will be accomplished through several initiatives.

First, by offering comprehensive coursework to its law students, the Center is shaping the next generation of professionals in the compliance industry. In the Fall ’15 Semester, the Center offered Introduction to Compliance and Ethics, the first course of its kind at Temple Law. Co-taught by two industry professionals—Ed Buthusiem (Managing Director and Head of Compliance and Risk Management Practice at of Berkeley Research Group) and Jon Smollen (Executive Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer of Endo Pharmaceuticals)—students were given the opportunity to explore relevant laws, examine emerging risks, and gain an understanding of the design and implementation of compliance programs in a variety of industries. The Center also has provided students with the ability to gain hands-on experience as legal compliance professionals through practicums with well-known companies in the Philadelphia area and beyond.

Legal professionals who can advise companies on the development and implementation of effective compliance programs are in high demand.

Second, the Center plans to strengthen existing compliance programs by offering training and education directly to companies, their executives, and their Boards of Directors. By fostering constructive dialogue in both the public and private sectors, the Center hopes to facilitate the growth of more effective compliance programs as well as a greater degree of harmonization across industries. An ongoing lecture series is slated to begin in the Spring of 2016.

Finally, the Center aims to build the skill sets of the professionals themselves by sponsoring CLE programs focused on emerging trends in ethics and compliance law. The inaugural event, held on November 9th, 2015, featured keynote speaker Zane Memeger (US Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania) and covered topics such as cyber-security risks, FCPA compliance, due diligence, and third-party risk assessment. The next CLE program, featuring keynote speaker Eric Holder (Partner at Covington & Burling LLP and former Attorney General of the United States), will be held on April 7th, 2016. The event will focus on current trends in compliance and enforcement, and will include lectures by prominent experts from the industry, the government, and academia. For more information, please click here.

Edward J. Buthusiem, (CLA ‘82) is a managing director in the Health Analytics practice of Berkeley Research Group, LLC. You can reach him at ebuthusiem@thinkbrg.com.

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