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Areas of Study

Organizational Ethics and Compliance

Organizational Ethics and Compliance

Ethics and compliance is a dynamic and growing field.

For- and non-profit companies need trained compliance professionals to help them navigate laws and regulations, identify and mitigate risk, build strong cultures and investigate and solve problems. The federal government employs compliance professionals to handle contracts and work as legal compliance auditors.

If you are interested in pursuing a career in ethics and compliance, St. Thomas Law offers many courses that can give you the foundation needed to be an effective professional in the field.

For those who want more depth and a note on their transcript and resume, we have a concentration in compliance that demonstrates to future employers your commitment to the career path and highlights your specialized skill set. This concentration is only available during your time as a law student.

St. Thomas offers a J.D./LL.M. in Organizational Ethics and Compliance dual degree for those who want to graduate with both a Juris Doctor and an LL.M. This degree requires 24 additional credits but utilizes 12 of your JD credits towards the LL.M. and is available to you as you proceed through the JD program and for a period of 39 months post-graduation.


Admissions Office

Phone Number
(651) 962-4895

Course List

Below are examples of some of the elective courses offered at St. Thomas Law for students interested in pursuing a career in Organizational Ethics and Compliance.

  • Administrative Law
  • Competitive Strategy
  • Compliance Externship
  • Compliance Programming: Design, Operation & Performance
  • Corporate Governance
  • Cybersecurity: Manage Risk in an Information Age
  • Employment Discrimination
  • Employment Law
  • Environmental Law
  • Ethical Culture
  • Executive Perspectives in Ethics and Compliance
  • Global Risk Leadership
  • Health Law I and II
  • Information Privacy and Data Protection Law
  • International Anti-Corruption Law
  • Int'l Regulatory Affairs for Medical Devices
  • Introduction to Legal Reasoning
  • Investigations
  • Leading Organizational Change
  • Legal Strategy for Global Business
  • Project Management
  • Negotiation Skills
  • Privacy Law
  • Reputation and Stakeholder Management
  • Risk Management
  • Securities Regulation
  • White Collar Crime and Compliance

Concentration in Compliance

In addition to completing the requirements for your J.D., in order to fulfill the compliance concentration and have it noted on your transcript, you must take 12 or more credits of compliance courses, including the three required courses below and one or more elective courses.

Required compliance courses:

  • Compliance Programming: Design, Operation, and Performance
  • Ethical Culture OR Ethical Leadership in Organizations
  • Executive Perspectives on Ethics and Compliance

Compliance electives within the school of law can be chosen from the list above. Several colleges and schools within the university also offer electives for Organizational Ethics and Compliance students.

Opus College of Business

  • Competitive Strategy
  • Global Risk Leadership
  • Leading Organizational Change
  • Legal Strategy for Global Business
  • Negotiation Skills
  • Project Management
  • Reputation and Stakeholder Management
  • Risk Management

School of Engineering

  • International Regulatory Affairs for Medical Devices

Subject to change. Preapproval for courses may be required. The University of St. Thomas reserves the right to amend the degree requirements and to add to or delete from the list of courses that satisfy the degree requirements at any time.

J.D./LL.M. in Organizational Ethics and Compliance

The J.D./LL.M. program equips students with the skills to become stewards of corporate behavior and help organizations navigate industry and government regulations.

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Experiential Learning

Compliance Externship

The compliance externship allows students to see “compliance in action.” Externs evaluate and complete projects under the supervision of a compliance professional to gain an understanding of effective ethics and compliance programming.

Featured Faculty and Staff

Neil Hamilton headshot

Neil Hamilton

Professor Hamilton is a founding director of the St. Thomas Holloran Center for Ethical Leadership in the Professions. His scholarship focuses on the formation of both students and practicing professionals into ethical leaders.

More about Neil Hamilton
Paul Floyd headshot

Paul Floyd

Paul FLoyd is an adjunct faculty member and a partner at Wallen-Friedman & Floyd, P.A. He teaches Health Law, which helps students understand the role of the legal system in health policy and health care delivery

More about Paul Floyd
Colleen Dorsey headshot

Colleen Dorsey

Colleen Dorsey teaches the compliance externship class. Prior to joining the School of Law, she spent nearly 16 years as in-house counsel for Land O’Lakes, where she developed and implemented the company’s first compliance and ethics program. She is currently the chief ethics and compliance officer for Cognovi Labs.
More about Colleen Dorsey
Law Student Talks With Mentor

We Pair Each Law Student With A Mentor

Mentor Externship Program

Each law student is matched with a mentor, such as a compliance professional, who complements their interests and goals. Our mentors allow students to engage in legal work, professional networking and meaningful reflection.

Meet our Alumni

Lawyer Search is St. Thomas Law’s online directory of alumni. It is available to those with legal needs, for attorney networking and referrals and so current and prospective law students can meet attorneys working in their area of interest—like ethics and compliance. Click below to connect with one of our alums!

During interviews, I was able to speak to broad concepts including my understanding of the cost of compliance and the importance of reputation management. I was able to speak to experiences, including working in a compliance externship. The compliance concentration gave me the opportunities I needed to show my employer that I was ready to work for their team.

Kerry Luyster '17 J.D. with a compliance concentration