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Drones and Pilotless Aircraft in His Future: Advancing an Aviation Career

Don Sullivan chose Seattle University School of Law’s ​online Master of Legal Studies in Compliance and Risk Management to pivot his career. “I want to take something I know well–aviation,” he said, “and learn something new, so I can use my experience in a completely different way: working with drones and pilotless aircraft.” Advancing an aviation career in a whole different way.

Don has been flying since the 1980s. He studied aviation as a graduate student, taught aviation for several years at the Florida Institute of Technology, and has worked for several years in the aerospace and defense industry. 

Why Technological Advances Pushed Don to Look at Seattle U Law’s Online Master of Legal Studies in Compliance and Risk Management?

Don’s experience with the regulatory industry motivated him to pursue the MLS degree and get the training that will equip him to lead in a changing environment. “Regulatory structure isn’t keeping up with evolving technology,” he said. “Technological advances are being hindered by outdated regulations. People trained in compliance and risk management will be pivotal in developing the governmental, financial, and industry standards necessary to take advantage of new technology.” 

Don selected Seattle U Law’s program because of his desire to lead in the evolving regulatory industry. His “ugly commute” into Seattle made the flexibility of a fully online program a good fit. And the program’s focus on legal methods and analysis was important to him. “I want to develop a better understanding of the legal system and how it interconnects with the larger world,” said Don. “I want this not only because of my particular area of interest in aviation, but also because I have a close friend who is a lawyer, and I never tire of discussing how the law affects ‘real life’ in ways most people never think about.“

Don said he recently read an article in class that sums up his philosophy for enrolling in the program. The best risk managers, Don read, are not overly conservative and risk averse, but are insightful enough to realize that missed opportunities are every bit as detrimental as taking foolish chances. “With that in mind,” said Don, “I’m looking forward to this course and learning more about how laws are made, changed, implemented, and–the part I believe is most interesting–how they evolve with technological change.”

Seattle U Law’s Master of Legal Studies Program

Seattle U Law’s fully online Master of Legal Studies in Compliance and Risk Management program prepares its graduates to lead compliance efforts in any organization, regardless of industry. Students graduate with a commanding knowledge of law, legal analysis, and the frameworks used to identify, assess, and respond to risk. 

Depending on professional goals and interests, students in the program can optionally choose to focus on financial compliance, healthcare compliance, corporate compliance, or data & cybersecurity compliance. 

To see other student stories and learn how the MLS program has already paid off for them, read about students Cynthia Scott and Anne Bayerkohler.

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