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]


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.


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.


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.


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.


[1] Reuters, U.S. compliance salary report: More jobs, higher pay, but post-crisis boost is limited, May 29, 2014.

[2] 2014 Compliance Trends Survey.

[3] Risk and compliance specialists in high demand at banks.

[4] Robert Half Salary Guide 2015.

[5] 2015’s Best Finance and Accounting Jobs and Their Salaries.

[6] U.S. News & World Report, Jump-Start a Legal Career With a Job in Compliance Law, March 1, 2015.

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Student Spotlight: Carol Naples

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On April 10, 2015, Charlotte School of Law’s Immigration Law Society hosted Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author of national best seller of Enrique’s Journey, Sonia Nazario, through the leadership of 3L Carol Naples, child immigrant, loving wife, mother of two, and aspiring North Carolina and New Jersey immigration law attorney. Prior to coming to law school Naples worked in the not-for-profit and financing realm. However, her work experiences is not what peaked Naples interest in immigration—her life was.


Naples, was born in San Jose, Costa Rica and came to the United States when she was six years old. As a first grader, she struggled with speaking English and had a hearing impediment which made the first few years of elementary school difficult. Growing up in a military family, Naples moved from Fort Bragg, North Carolina to Tampa when she was nine. By the time Naples graduated high school, she had been through twelve different schools. After high school, Naples married her husband Alexander, who was also in the military. Immediately after giving birth to her two sons, Naples and her husband moved to Germany. In Germany, while Naples’ focus was on being a wife and mother, she attended college as a non-traditional student and obtained an Associate in Science in paralegal studies. When Naples’ sons were in high school, Naples stressed the importance of going to college. After pushing her sons for a couple years, Naples felt convicted to move forward with her studies. As a result, Naples pursued her Bachelors of Science in Management in 2011 from Montreat College. Fueling her passion for law, Naples applied to Charlotte School of Law and Charleston School of Law in 2011 but was not admitted. At the beginning of 2012, Naples’ undergraduate business law professor informed Naples about AAMPLE (Alternative Admission Model Program for Legal Education)—which offers determined individuals with lower traditional applicant criteria the opportunity to earn a place in the classroom by successfully completing two upper-level law school courses in six weeks followed by two law school final exams. Naples was accepted into the AAMPLE program and passed the required courses. Upon completion of the required courses, Naples was admitted into the fall 2012 class.

“This is a big accomplishment for my family and me,” Naples exclaimed. “My grandmother only had a second grade education level, and taught herself how to read by reading the Bible,” she said. Naples mother only completed a sixth grade education because she had to go to work to help feed the family. Naples is the first woman in her family to complete an education beyond elementary school. “Law school is a dream for me, but for those who came before me, it is a realization of the power of education,” Naples said.

Naples has been appreciative of all of her experiences at Charlotte School of Law. Although her law school journey has been a hard road to travel, Naples has usurp each obstacle as an opportunity to learn something new about the legal field and herself personally. During her time at Charlotte School of Law, Naples has enjoyed her Immigration, Race Law and Public Policy, Criminal Law, Interviewing, Counseling and Negotiations, and Advanced Legal Research courses. However, her clinical experience in the immigration clinic has had the most impact on her. “It has set me up to hit the ground running in my legal career,” said Naples.

Naples will be graduating from Charlotte School of Law with her J.D. on May 16, 2015. While Naples has been offered an opportunity to go into private practice, she is exploring a partnership opportunity with a CSL alumnus to establish an Immigration law firm. “I wanted to go to law school to become an immigration attorney, and because of [the opportunity that CSL has given me], I am going to make a difference in a person’s life—one person at a time,” said Naples.


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North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Sam J. Ervin IV participates in Charlotte School of Law’s “Law Week 2015”


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Charlotte School of Law’s (Charlotte Law) Student Bar Association (SBA) 2015 Law Week was held from April 6-10, 2015. This year’s Law Week theme was: Practice Readiness. With the assistance of 2L Spring Start Senator, Jhonathan Morales-Najera, Delta Theta Phi’s Dean, Mairim Zalez was able to host North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Sam J. Ervin, IV (Justice Ervin) at the law school. On Monday, April 6, 2015, Justice Ervin addressed a room full of over 70 Charlotte Law students about the transition from law school to the bench.

Justice Ervin is a graduate from Davidson College and Harvard Law. Upon graduation, Justice Ervin returned back to his hometown of Morganton, North Carolina where he practiced law with the Morganton firm of Byrd, Byrd, Ervin, Whisnant, McMahon, P.A. for eighteen years. In 1999, Justice Erwin was nominated for a seat on the North Carolina Utilities Commission by Governor James B. Hunt, Jr. Justice Erwin was nominated for a second term on the Utilities Commission by Governor Michael F. Easley in 2007. Justice Ervin was elected to the North Carolina Court of Appeals at the November 4, 2008, general election, and served on that body until he took office as a Justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina on January 1, 2015, after being elected to that position at the November 4, 2014, general election.

During his speech, Justice Ervin discussed how he appreciated the direction that Charlotte Law as taking in integrating practice-readiness in its curriculum. Justice Ervin candidly shared that upon graduating from law school that he knew nothing about the real-world practice of law. Justice Ervin shared his first experience on the job where he didn’t know what pleadings were or how to properly filed documents with the court. Justice Ervin emphasized about how important it was to ask for help and to seek advice from senior partners. “Senior partners lived the situations that new attorneys are facing and most of the time are enthusiastic and willing to help,” said Justice Erwin.

Justice Erwin then opened up the floor for questions. One student asked, “What are some of the qualities that you expect from a law clerk?” Justice Erwin responded, “I expect my law clerks to have good research and writing skills, and have the ability to give good advice.” Justice Erwin explained how important it was for his law clerk to embody all three skills. “If you can research and present pertinent case law, have the brevity in writing to analyze the case law, and then give advice to your senior partner or judge as to how to rule or argue, you are gold,” Justice Erwin said.

Justice Ervin continued to elaborate on why it was important for his clerks to be able to give him advice on how to rule so that he can either use their recommendation in his decision or explain to them why he is going to rule contrary to their advice. This led Justice Ervin to his next point about how important it was for clerks to have good communication skills. Not only the kind that is good when arguing a case in front of the court, but throughout all aspects of the practice of law itself.

Finally, one student asked the question that many Charlotte Law students often think about: “Being that Charlotte Law is a new school, how do I overcome the barriers and stigmas associated with the school?” Justice Ervin quickly responded, “Charlotte Law is a great school and people always have something to say about something new.” “After ten years of practice, people will ask, and you should also ask yourself, what kind of an attorney are you?” Essentially, Justice Erwin placed the reputation of the school back in our hands. Justice Ervin alluded that it was our responsibility as graduates to be the best attorney that we can be so that we could increase the school’s reputation. In closing Justice Ervin stated, “After ten years of practice, it won’t matter where you went to law school or where you come from but instead what kind of reputation you are able to establish for yourself.” To connect with Justice Ervin and to learn more about Jhonathan Morales-Najera, see JMN Student Spotlight.


Pictured L to R: Jhonathan Morales-Najera, Student Senator; Justice Ervin; Mairim Zalez, Dean of Delta Theta Phi; and Marlowe Rary, 2015-2016 SBA President

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Links We Love Weekly Round-Up — May 18, 2015


For More Effective Studying, Take Notes with Pen and Paper

Handwriting might be a lost art, but educators should make sure it lives on in the classroom.  According to a new study, Pam Mueller and Daniel Oppenheimer of Princeton University and UCLA Los Angeles respectively, students who write out their notes by hand actually learn more than those to type their notes on laptops.

How to Conduct Free Legal Research Using Google Scholar in 2015 (Part II)

Legal research is something lawyers do nearly every day. That’s why convenient, affordable access to legal research materials is so important.  The advent of computer-based legal research was the first step toward leveling the playing field and providing solos and small firms with access to the incredible depth of materials once only available in academic or government law libraries or in the law libraries of large law firms. But it was web-based legal research that truly gave solos and small firms the tools they needed to compete-and at a price they could afford.

HeinOnline Oral History of Law Librarianship

U.S. vendor HeinOnline has created a series of online interviews entitled An Oral History of Law Librarianship.

Better Things than Law Books to Take Your Picture in Front Of

So you need to get a portrait taken for your marketing materials. Your website bio needs a picture, and you could also use a default photo for speaking engagements. You are important, or at the very least need to look important so important people will think you are important.

What Law Students and Young Lawyers Can Learn from NBA MVP Stephen Curry

Many fans know Stephen Curry as a baby-faced assassin for his shooting prowess. His basketball-handling skills are legendary and his court awareness is unmatched. But I would argue his ability to rebound from adversity may be his greatest strength of all. In law and in life, our reactions to certain events can be just as important as our everyday actions.

Millennials Don’t Know How to Google.  Do You?

There’s been a lot talk about “digital natives” lately, that cohort of Millennials who grew up immersed in an online world, never engaging in once-common activities like flipping through an encyclopedia or trying to fold up a map. Those tasks were largely outsourced to computers by the late ’90s.  Surprisingly, it turns out that many in this generation of computer whizzes can’t do even the most basic Internet task: Google effectively. According to a study of college students at Illinois Wesleyan University, only 23 percent were able to conduct a “well-executed” Google search.

New Tool for Copyright Research: Fair Use Index

The U.S. Copyright Office recently launched a new tool for copyright researchers: the Fair Use Index.   This resource provides summaries of major fair use judicial decisions, which are searchable by court and subject matter, including category and type of use.

Life Is Beautiful

These talks will make your heart ache in the best of ways. Each is a wonderful reminder of the beautiful poignancy of life.

New PacerPro Service Automatically Retrieves and Delivers Federal ‘Free Look’ Documents

If I were to tell you that a new service could help you avoid a $40 million mistake in litigation, would you be interested?

Sometimes Learning is Dull

In the quest to motivate our students, there is one approach to definitely avoid. We shouldn’t bend over backward to make sure every single bit of the work they do is fascinating and entertaining. First, that’s not our job. And second, a certain amount of dullness is inevitable in learning any complex subject.

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Student Spotlight: Jhonathan Morales-Najera

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Morganton, North Carolina offers more than “big city services wrapped in small town charm.” It is the hometown of Charlotte School of Law’s, first semester 2L and Student Senator, Jhonathan Morales-Najera (JMN.) JMN, a first-generation American-educated in his family, was born in Guatemala in 1991 and moved to the United States when he was five years old. After living two years in Anaheim, California, JMN moved to Morgantown, North Carolina where his parents and little brother resides to this day.


Charlotte School of Law’s Jhonathan Morales-Najera, 2L and Student Senator

JMN matriculated into Charlotte Law spring of 2014. Immediately upon his arrival, JMN became active not only in the greater Charlotte community where he served as the Third Vice President of the Young Democrats of Mecklenburg County, but on-campus as the 2L Spring Start Senator. JMN accomplishments and service within the campus community include: (1) winning the SELS volleyball tournament; (2) participating in the Kilpatrick Townsend Broun 1L Trial Competition; (3) assisting with graduation as a Charlotte Law Ambassdor; (4) organizing the first intra-mural soccer program; and (5) placing in the top four of CSL’s intra-school mock trial competition.

JMN has enjoyed his three semesters as Charlotte Law thus far. JMN’s favorite classes include Property and Civil Procedure. However, his top classes were Lawyering Process I and II with his favorite instructor, Professor Carla Boles.  Prior to coming to law school, JMN’s interest was to acquire a position within law enforcement. Despite interning with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department and Homeland Security Investigations—second largest criminal investigative agency in the United States—JMN’s goal is to represent the community in either a private or public sector forum.

Currently, JMN is an officer candidate for the U.S. Marine Corps and applicant for the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard JAG Corps. For summer 2015, JMN will be interning with the U.S. Navy JAG Corps at the Regional Legal Services Office in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, where he will assist the office with providing comprehensive legal services and solutions to all Navy commands within the Hawaii area.

Jhonathan Morales-Najera is a graduate of UNC Charlotte with a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and Political Science.  After obtaining his J.D. from Charlotte School of Law, JMN plans to earn an officer commission and serve as a JAG Attorney. His secondary option is to go back home to Morganton and work for the Law Offices of Victor Yamouti where he interned summer 2014. When JMN is not focusing on his law school studies, he enjoys playing golf, soccer, running uptown, playing football at Romare Bearden Park, eating at Cabo Fish Taco in NoDA, watching the Hornets play, and getting season tickets to the Panthers game.

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