BU Law Launches Certificate in Financial Services Compliance

The certificate is the first chance for students to take online classes taught by the esteemed faculty of the Graduate Program in Banking & Financial Law.

With ongoing employer demand for compliance officers, Boston University School of Law is proud to announce its Certificate in Financial Services Compliance program, launching in the Fall 2017 semester.

The Certificate in Financial Services Compliance is a 12-credit part-time program delivered completely online, designed to give lawyers and non-lawyers alike access to the industry leading compliance faculty of BU Law’s Graduate Program in Banking & Financial Law. One of the fastest-growing fields within financial services, compliance positions at financial services institutions, consulting firms and major corporations have exploded since the passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in 2010.

“Perhaps more important than the growth in the number of compliance personnel required in the area of financial services” says James Scott, director of BU Law’s Graduate Program in Banking & Financial Law, “is the greater demand for professionalism. The scope of substantive knowledge required, as well as the increased breadth of risk management, monitoring and testing, policy drafting and implementation and training of business personnel has resulted in a dramatic rise in the professional stature of financial institution compliance officers.”

Program courses include Fundamentals of Compliance, Defining a Robust Financial Services Compliance Function, Financial Services Compliance & the Management of Risks, Consumer Financial Services and Banking Structure & Regulation. All courses are designed to build on a student’s understanding of a compliance function within a financial services organization.

The entirely online certificate program builds on the School of Law’s graduate programs that are offered completely or partially online, such as the Graduate Tax Program and the Executive LLM in International Business Law. Courses are delivered asynchronously, so that students view classroom lectures and complete course assignments on their own schedule. Interactivity and networking with peers and instructors comes through discussion boards, office hours, and group assignments.

“We have had great success in the Graduate Program in Banking & Financial Law by using senior practicing financial services lawyers with adjunct teaching experience to offer more junior practitioners guidance on the practice of a particular area of financial services law,” says Scott. “We think this model of a faculty comprised of those with many years of professional experience is one that translates to provide aspiring financial institution compliance officers with a leg up in terms of knowledge and practical guidance.”

Having conferred its first LLM in Banking Law in 1984, and having later broadened the degree to include financial services, BU Law remains the only school to offer a financial services LLM with its own faculty comprised entirely of seasoned adjunct professor/practitioners and a curriculum designed exclusively for graduate study. The program was recently recognized as being one of the ten best in the world for Banking/Finance/Securities Law by LLM Guide. Prior to the launch of the new certificate program, the only means of taking courses within the program was as a residential student, of which the program has between 50 and 75 each academic year.

“We believe that the successful teaching model of our traditional Graduate Banking and Financial Program is readily transferable to a financial institution compliance certificate,” says John Riccardi, BU Law’s assistant dean for graduate & international programs. “As in our residential LLM program, the emphasis will be on having those with significant experience as financial institution compliance professionals share not only their substantive knowledge but their practical experience in the same kind of ‘hands on’ approach.”

In addition to receiving practical compliance training within a context of select Graduate Banking and Financial Law Program courses in banking, consumer financial and funds regulation, certificate program graduates who seek to obtain the full LLM in Banking & Financial Law degree may apply their 12 certificate credits towards the 24-credit LLM program, if admitted.

More information on the Certificate in Financial Services Compliance, including a full list of courses and faculty profiles, is available on BU Law’s website. Prospective students should email any questions about the program to fincomp@bu.edu.