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Students taking oath

Following the Rules is Just the Beginning

J.D./LL.M. - Organizational Ethics & Compliance

About J.D./LL.M.

Companies must intentionally build ethical cultures and compliance procedures and systems to back them up, or they leave themselves vulnerable to potential fines, increased scrutiny from regulators and damage to their reputations, which can lead to a loss of customers.

Given recent increases in the regulatory landscape for non- and for-profit companies, the call for leadership in the areas of ethics and compliance is growing. It’s a crucial field for industries such as banking, finance and health care.

The J.D./LL.M. in Organizational Ethics and Compliance dual degree, offered in partnership with the St. Thomas Opus College of Business, allows you to complete both the Juris Doctor and the LL.M.—two degrees in a shortened time period.

St. Thomas Law also offers a J.D. with a concentration in Organizational Ethics and Compliance for students who are interested in the field and want to go further in depth in the subject area, but do not want to pursue the full LL.M. The concentration is noted on your transcript, and you can tell future employers of your concentration in law school toward this skill set.


Admissions Office

Phone Number
(651) 962-4895

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

Subject to change. 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 students must complete all of the graduation requirements for their J.D.—31 credits in first-year courses and no fewer than 57 credits in the second and third years, completing a minimum of 88 credits.

After completing the 88 credits required to earn the juris doctor, some J.D./LL.M. students graduate with their class and take the bar exam in the summer, and then return and complete the LL.M. in just one more semester.

The LL.M. program requires 24 credit hours, including 3 required courses (9 credit hours) and 15 credit hours of electives. But as a J.D. student, if you plan your coursework with the LL.M. in mind, up to 12 credits of electives from your J.D. program can be applied to the LL.M.

Required LL.M. Courses (9 credits)

  • Compliance Programming: Design, Operation and Performance (3 credits)
  • Ethical Culture (3 credits)
  • Executive Perspectives on Ethics and Compliance (3 credits)

Examples of LL.M. Electives (15 credits)

Several colleges and schools within the university offer electives, some of which require preapproval.

  • Administrative Law
  • Compliance Externship
  • Corporate Governance
  • Employment Discrimination
  • Employment Law
  • Environmental Law
  • Health Law I & II
  • International Anti-Corruption Law
  • Investigations
  • Privacy Law
  • Securities Regulation
  • Topics: Privacy and Data Protection
  • White Collar Crime and Compliance
  • Competitive Strategy
  • Global Risk Leadership
  • Leading Organizational Change
  • Legal Strategy for Global Business
  • Negotiation Skills
  • Project Management
  • Reputation and Stakeholder Management
  • Risk Management
  • International Regulatory Affairs for Medical Devices
  • Data Analytics and Visualization

The exterior of the Opus College building in the evening

Highly Principled, Global Business Leaders

St. Thomas Opus College of Business

Opus College of Business offers a comprehensive, relevant business education that combines leadership, technical skill building and experiential learning. Its mission is to unlock the talent of future problem solvers and prepare students to be highly principled business leaders.

Meet our Compliance 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 compliance and risk management. Click below to connect with one of our alums!

Mentor and student

Hands-on Experience

Compliance Externship

St. Thomas Law offers a compliance externship to provide students interested in the field an opportunity to see “compliance in action.” Our externs have worked at companies such as Target, Medtronic, Thomson Reuters, U.S. Bank and CHS, Inc.

Featured Faculty and Staff

Colleen Dorsey headshot

Colleen Dorsey

Colleen Dorsey is the director of the Organizational Ethics and Compliance program. She supports the program's visibility and growth, and supports student recruitment, advising and employment.

Read more about Colleen Dorsey
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.

Read more about Neil Hamilton
Christopher Michaelson headshot

Christopher Michaelson

Professor Michaelson is the Opus Distinguished Professor of Principled Leadership. His work focuses on Business ethics, humanities and business, and meaningful work.

Read more about Christopher Michaelson

J.D. with a Compliance Concentration

St. Thomas Law offers multiple academic paths for those interested in pursuing a career in the field of ethics and compliance. Law students who take 12 or more credits of compliance courses, including 3 required courses and 1 or more elective courses will have a compliance concentration noted on their transcript.

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

Conor Marrinan headshot Josh Matushin headshot Carrie Rydeen

Conor Marrinan ‘20

"As a student at St. Thomas, you will learn from and work with nationally recognized legal and compliance experts. Additionally, St. Thomas does not apply a 'one size fits all' approach in the J.D./LL.M. experience; rather, students can be selective in what their preferred experiences may be."

Josh Matushin ‘20

"Having the combined education allowed me to develop the mindset of an attorney but the ethical compass and awareness of a compliance professional. The J.D./LL.M. program can broaden the range of opportunities students can find after graduation and jumpstart their career in either field."

Carrie Rydeen '17

"The program opened doors for me that my J.D. alone would not have. The dual degrees working together have been extremely crucial in the forward progression of my career."