State Senator Speaks at Charlotte Law Paralegal Certificate Program Graduation

North Carolina State Senator, Jeff Jackson, delivered the keynote address at the graduation ceremonies for the Paralegal Certificate Program on June 9th.

The Charlotte Law Paralegal Certificate Program offers a six-month curriculum that includes development of legal research and writing skills, access to the law school’s on-campus library, career counseling, internships and networking opportunities for students. The program was designated as a Qualified Paralegal Studies Program by the North Carolina State Bar in 2012.

One of the program graduates, Johnell A. Holman, noted, “It has always been a lifelong dream of mine, becoming a lawyer, and for me, this was a necessary first step. The learning environment and wonderful scheduling of class here has allowed me to begin a path that will be full of successful achievements. CSL has given me both hope and inspiration.”

The Fall 2015 session of the Paralegal Certificate Program will begin on July 27th.

ALR Student’s Corner: Department of Commerce: Minority Business Development Agency

The Commerce Department’s mission is to make American businesses more innovative at home and more competitive abroad. Responsible for everything from weather forecasts to patent protection, the following twelve departments of the Commerce Department impact the everyday lives of all Americans:

  • Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)
  • Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS)
  • U.S. Census Bureau
  • Economic Development Administration (EDA)
  • Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA)
  • International Trade Administration (ITA)
  • Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  • National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
  • National Technical Information Service (NTIS)
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)

The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) embodies the Commerce Department’s goal of maximizing job creation and global competitiveness by creating a new generation of minority-owned businesses that generate $100 million in annual revenues. The MBDA provides services in five major areas globally through its business center:

Global Business Development: Focus is on the importance of minority-owned businesses as a key component of U.S. international trade. Minority-owned firms have the most favorable export attributes of any sector of the U.S. economy and represent the future of export growth.

Access to Capital and Financial Management: MBDA’s business advisors offer extensive experience in commercial lending and banking, financial, credit and risk analysis and general finance counseling.

Access to Contracts: MBDA business development specialists provide procurement assistance to help minority-owned firms do business with the federal, state, and local governments as well as private corporations. These specialists provide identification of procurement opportunities, solicitation analysis, bid and proposal preparation, research contract award histories, post-award contract administration, and certifications assistance.

Access to Markets: MBDA services in this area include government procurement assistance, private sector contract identification, and specialized certification assistance, including 8(a), MBE, and Small Disadvantaged Business. Assistance with market research, market plan development, and marketing communications is provided, as well.

Strategic Business Consulting: This service area includes strategic and business planning, staffing, organization and structure, policies and procedures, and general business consulting.

Most recently, MBDA featured a segment on how minority manufacturing businesses have strengthened the “Made in America” brand. This year, MBDA recognized a couple of businesses for outstanding manufacturing impact and achieving significant success in employing new and innovative techniques that led to a significant increase in market share, job growth, and customer satisfaction. “Manufacturing creates good jobs and has the largest multiplier effect of any part of the economy,” said Alejandra Y. Castillo, MBDA National Director. “We are very proud of the tremendous achievements of minority businesses in the manufacturing industry that help grow the national economy through innovation, job and wealth creation.”

MBDA’s website is user friendly and provides an unlimited amount of information and resources, including a repository of publications for public research and review, dedicated to minority business developments.

Compliance Officer: A Career in Demand

Compliance has become one of the biggest buzzwords in corporate America and one of the hottest areas of the job market. In some sectors, new compliance jobs are growing at rates that are more than double the growth rate for non-compliance jobs. Many of those jobs command six figure salaries and there is a big demand at every experience level. Jack Kelly of Compliance Search Group said, “Hiring has gone up across the board … from senior level to junior level and everything in between.”[1]

WHAT THEY DO

Corporate compliance officers have a broad array of duties. The 2014 Compliance Trends Survey, conducted by Compliance Week and Deloitte, identified four core responsibilities that over 80% of survey respondents agreed were primary areas of focus[2]:

Compliance with domestic regulation
Compliance training
Code of conduct
Complaints and whistleblower hotlines
With these primary concerns in mind, it is easy to see that you don’t have to be a compliance specialist to benefit from increasing your compliance knowledge. Businesses expect many non-compliance professionals to be more knowledgeable in this area. Human resource professionals, accountants, paralegals, and many other professionals have a growing need to understand the complexities of compliance requirements that apply to their work and their organization. The big key in compliance today is being proactive in order to prevent problems.

WHERE THEY WORK

One of the biggest growth sectors for compliance professionals is financial services. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics figures for compliance officer jobs in finance and insurance show projected growth of 11.1%[3] through 2022. That’s more than double the projected growth rate for non-compliance jobs in this sector. Many other industries are also hiring a multitude of compliance professionals.

Accounting, technology and healthcare companies have a huge and growing need for compliance professionals. Industry leaders like PWC, Deloitte, Oracle Corporation, and Healthcare Corporation of America (HCA) are just a few that top the list of companies with major hiring initiatives.

HOW MUCH THEY MAKE

Salaries for compliance professionals are strong and growing. According to the staffing firm Robert Half, even without a law degree, salaries for compliance analysts at midsized companies are between $67,500 and $89,000.[4] According to CareerBuilder, within accounting and finance, the median salary for regulatory compliance professionals is $93,550[5].

While a law degree is not required, there is huge demand for attorneys with compliance knowledge. “Compliance has opened up a whole new area for law school grads,” says Jason Wachtel, Managing Partner of executive search firm JW Michaels & Co. Chief Compliance Officers at large companies earn annual salaries in the range of $141,750 to $197,000[6]. At large multinational companies, the salaries are even higher.

HOW TO PREPARE YOURSELF

Whether you want to become a compliance professional or you want to enhance your compliance knowledge to be more effective and marketable in another profession, the best way to gain that knowledge is through a compliance program like the one offered though the Charlotte School of Law. This will ensure that you get the right information about the most relevant compliance issues that are up-to-date, which is extremely important in the rapidly changing environment businesses operate in today.