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Earn an MLS in Financial Compliance to Advance Your Profession

MLS in Financial Compliance

Earning an MLS in Financial Compliance

Financial compliance is critical within every organization and company. It navigates the creation, adherence, and enforcement of the rules and regulations that exist to protect a business, its employees, and consumers.

Working in financial compliance and risk assessment means working in a heavily regulated industry with continuously shifting regulations. New challenges are thrown your way regularly as technology expands. What can you do to prepare?

A Master of Legal Studies (MLS) in compliance and risk management can give you a depth of knowledge in the field as well as advance your career. If you’re looking to obtain this degree, look no further than Seattle University School of Law. Seattle University’s program allows the ability to gain the skills you need to become a financial and regulatory compliance leader.

A Career in Financial Compliance

What does a career in financial compliance and risk management entail? Essentially, you’re identifying, assessing, and controlling threats to a company’s earnings and capital. Financial compliance is a complex regulatory landscape. There are financial regulations and laws that shape the environment, such as

  • CARES Act: economic stimulus bill
  • Foreign Corrupt Practices Act: federal law that prohibits U.S. citizens and entities from bribing foreign government officials to benefit their business interests
  • Sarbanes-Oxley Act: federal law that mandates certain practices in financial record keeping and reporting for corporations
  • Dodd-Frank Act: prevents excessive risk-taking and creates protections for American families
  • Gramm-Leach Bliley Act: requires financial institutions companies that offer consumers financial products or services like loans, financial or investment advice, or insurance to explain their information-sharing practices to their customers and to safeguard sensitive data
  • Fair Credit Reporting Act: protects consumer information that gets collected by reporting agencies
  • Bank Secrecy Act: helps government agencies detect and prevent money laundering

These laws exist to protect consumers from being exploited and from being victims of financial crime.

Additionally, financial compliance heavily intersects with other regulated industries, such as cybersecurity and privacy. These industries are also constantly evolving and vulnerable to attack by outside forces. 

After earning an MLS in Financial Compliance there are many career paths you can take. A career in financial compliance is grounded in ethics, audits, and leadership. Financial compliance professionals can advance to roles such as compliance analyst, or chief compliance financial officer. In each position, you must assess and ensure internal rules comply with external regulations.

Advancing Your Career

In 2021, there were 334,340 compliance officers employed in the United States. This number has been steadily increasing since 2010. In 2010, the number of compliance officers was 204,000 a 48.4% increase in about a decade. The reason for the spike? Compliance gained importance after the 2007-2009 financial crisis. Today, we’re seeing record numbers of inflation, banks failing, and unprecedented events. Compliance officers are in demand and must be prepared.

In a growing field, an MLS in financial compliance lets you stand out amongst your peers About 13.1% of Americans have a professional, doctorate, or masters degree. Seattle University School of Law offers a fully online program, where you’ll take courses such as Financial Fraud, Corporate Compliance and Ethics, and Financial Privacy and Cybersecurity. Our faculty are compliance leaders in organizations across Seattle and the country.

Earning an MLS in Financial Compliance

Students graduate with a commanding knowledge of the law, legal analysis, and the frameworks used to identify, assess, and respond to risk. And our part-time, fully online MLS program has both asynchronous and synchronous components, allowing our students flexibility in obtaining their degrees.

If becoming a trusted expert in compliance and risk management aligns with your career goals, Seattle University is the place for you. Contact the law school admissions office at Seattle University today to learn more. Email your questions to

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