After years of experience working in roles that involved various aspects of compliance, Margaret Singbeil, entered Seattle U Law’s online Master of Legal Studies (MLS) in Compliance and Risk Management program because she knew she needed formal education to fill out her skillset and expand her career options.
“My on-the-job learning experiences have been invaluable in preparing me for the MLS program and bringing context to the coursework,” Margaret says. “I worked for over a decade in the real estate industry, with its numerous regulation and compliance requirements. I worked as an assistant compliance officer in the tourism industry and volunteer [SM1] with the Coast Guard Auxiliary, where I have been exposed to the federally regulated compliance practices of the Department of Transportation and the Coast Guard.”
“In one of my roles,” she continues, “I saw firsthand the process of agency auditing and complex legal systems. Exposure to all of that was an invaluable learning experience for me.”
Pursuing Legal Training—Without Practicing Law
After investigating several other programs, Margaret chose Seattle U Law’s Compliance and Risk Management program because of the curriculum, the program’s philosophy of “compliance with a conscience,” and because an online program made sense for her life and schedule.
“I investigated several other compliance and risk management programs,” Margaret says, “but they were all either too specific in certain areas or had in-person requirements. They just didn’t feel ‘right.’”
“Seattle U Law’s focus on compliance with a conscience resonated for me,” Margaret continues. “My motivation to go into this field was inspired by my experience seeing compliance misdeeds. Also, the online component of the schedule was perfect because I work full time, have substantial volunteer obligations through the Coast Guard Auxiliary, and travel a lot.”
“I’ve always been fascinated by the law, but don’t want to practice it,” Margaret says. “I’m excited by this program’s training in the law and legal analysis. By understanding the history of why certain legal frameworks exist and function the way they do, I learn how to more easily navigate those structures.”
Preparation for What Comes Next
Margaret is enrolled in Seattle U Law’s MLS program while working full-time as a business operations manager for Washington State University. “In my role,” she says, “I deal with contracts and real estate. And one thing I’ve seen is that getting buy-in on compliance programs and standards can be really challenging. It’s especially difficult when you’re the one having to roll out unpopular policies. The formal training and the deep legal knowledge I’m getting in the program will help me design even better risk management structures.”
“I’m learning from the experiences of other students as well as from the instructors and the coursework,” Margaret says. “The program is giving me the broad and deep exposure I was looking for. It has really opened my eyes to the possibilities of the work.” For her next steps, Margaret says she’s researching compliance positions with regulatory agencies as well as in the private sector. “I know I’ll be well prepared in my future roles,” she says, “and I know that many options will be available to me.”
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 learn more about our students and what motivated them to choose the MLS program, read about Don Sullivan’s experience in the aviation industry, Anne Bayerkohler’s work in cybersecurity, or other stories on the MLS in Compliance and Risk Management blog.