Student Spotlight: Angela Schulz

In November 2015, Charlotte Law 3L Angela Schulz (Schulz) was responsible for the involvement of 53 Charlotte Law students and Charlotte Law Advocates Against the Trafficking of Humans (CAATH) student organization with a nationwide human trafficking legislation. See “Charlotte Law, Angela Schulz, supports Nationwide Human Trafficking Legislation” for more details. Schulz got involved with human trafficking advocacy for the same reason that she chose to go to law school—“to be a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves”

Schulz is native of Pewaukee Wisconsin, and a 2006 graduate of Virginia Tech with degrees in English and German. After college, Schulz moved to North Carolina to accept her first offer with a German manufacturer in Mooresville, NC where she worked as an Inside Sales Representative processing orders and acting as the liaison between United States clients and the manufacturing facility in Germany. In 2008, Schulz accepted a subsequent position with a second German manufacturing company that allowed her to not only utilize her professional German language skills, but to travel around the country training architects and clients on her company’s products, semi-annually to the manufacturing facility in Germany, and for two years to Puerto Rico for a large project.

While traveling to and from Puerto Rico and Germany, the President of her company assigned her with the daunting task of preparing a white paper summarizing the anticipated impact of President Obama’s stimulus package for the company to utilize to forecast their U.S. manufacturing. This task involved reviewing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. After being exposed to international contracts, administrative law, and compliance through her experiences, Schulz realized that she not only had a passion for transactional work, but for further training in a field that would allow her to make a difference in a meaningful way in the local community. Despite traveling internationally and balancing 80+ hour work weeks, Schulz buckled down to study or the LSAT and applied to Charlotte Law as her first choice law school due to its close proximity to family members and network of friends. It also helped that “Charlotte was listed as one of the top 10 cities dealing with human trafficking issues, making it ripe for reform”, Schulz shared.

Schulz was admitted into Charlotte Law’s first Charlotte Edge class in Fall of 2013. Since being at Charlotte Law, Schulz has:

interned with Love146, an international human rights organization working to end child trafficking and exploitation through survivor care and prevention, engaging in transactional work and legislative research;
served as Teaching Assistant for Legal Writing I and Torts
served as Treasurer and Secretary for Phi Delta Phi (International Legal honors Fraternity)
worked as a writing consultant in the Legal Discourse Zone
Schulz is currently working as in-house legal intern at PCLS, a toxicology and pharmacogenetics lab in Rock Hill, South Carolina and is currently a member of the Property Law Journal. Most notably, Schulz is a member of the inaugural Charlotte Law Honors Class of 2016 (1 of 12 students out of a class of over 300).

“Everyone deserves an advocate, a ride or die, someone who will never give up on them, who insists that …that if you have to run the race, they’re going to run it with you” said Schulz. Schulz “believes in organizations that understand the power of encouragement and advocacy that we all need”. As a result, after law school, Schulz plans to sit for the North Carolina Bar and find a transactional job in international law or compliance, where she can provide legal support to local nonprofit organizations that work with trafficking survivors.

Educating and Training Compliance Professionals for the Future

The compliance profession continues to grow at a fast clip. Hefty DOJ and SEC fines and criminal penalties have prodded companies to embrace the concept of compliance, and rely on compliance officers to keep their companies on the straight and narrow.

With the growing demand, companies are looking for qualified compliance professionals. Companies and recruiters are busy these days and scrambling to find qualified people to fill open positions.

Herein lies the big disconnect. Where do professionals receive the training and education to become a compliance professional?

Companies are demanding qualified subject matter experts who have had experience in running a compliance program at similar companies. In the absence of a real qualified pool of professionals, companies are going to suffer compliance difficulties.

Fortunately, we are now seeing an increase in academic programs to help train compliance professionals to move the profession forward. Barclay Simpson, recruiters for corporate governance positions, found in their 2016 Compliance Market Report that:

68% of compliance managers do not believe their department is sufficiently resourced for the demands made on it. (Up from 55% last year);
79% of compliance managers report they have found it difficult to recruit. (Down from 81% last year);
88% of compliance departments anticipate the need to recruit in 2016 with business growth and development a key driver.
These numbers suggest a tight job market, but there is more to it than that. A successful compliance professional must have a unique set of skills that is not easy to find:

Good with managing large volumes of detailed information
Persistently positive to reinforce the importance of compliance tasks, which can be viewed with distaste by operational personnel
Able to constantly be looking for areas to improve processes and procedures
Familiarity with all aspects of a business
Familiarity with legal and regulatory requirements
Ability to intermediate with multiple stakeholders
No wonder companies are struggling to find qualified personnel. I’ve seen these trends first hand. Companies are finally beginning to appropriately budget for compliance but even the biggest budget is useless without people to put it to work.

Academic programs focused on training professionals in the basics of compliance will help address the problem.

Compliance legal and regulatory compliance is a specialized body of knowledge that, luckily, can successfully be learned both through experience and through academic endeavors. I have recently partnered with Charlotte School of Law’s Center for Compliance and Ethics, and assisting in the design and delivery of compliance classes, leading to a Corporate Compliance Certificate.

I strongly believe that the Compliance Profession needs to devote time and energy to academically advancing the profession – whether through training individuals on the basics of compliance or through research and debate around compliance topics.

One of the key features of Charlotte’s Corporate Compliance Certificate is that you do not have to be an attorney to complete the program.

Completing the Compliance Certificate Program prepares students to take the compliance and ethics exam administered by the Compliance Certification Board (which also has accredited the program), and will help fill the knowledge gap a non-attorney may face when entering the compliance field. With an 18-week on-line format designed to allow students to “attend” and complete classes without leaving their jobs, this program makes sense not only for individuals looking to enter the compliance field, but also companies looking to promote internally or better equip their compliance personnel with the skills to meet the growing demands of complying with a quickly changing legal and regulatory environment.