'I Promise You, Exxon-Mobil Does not Need Free Legal Advice from 2Ls': Constructing the First Compliance Clinic
Posted: 12 Nov 2020
Date Written: September 15, 2020
A decade ago, Praveen Kosuri, director of the Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic at the University of Pennsylvania, called for the future of clinical legal education to be characterized by “greater ideological neutrality.” “[A] so[-]called ‘social justice’ or law reform agenda for clinical education,” he argued, “should not be presumed but rather should be considered one type of clinical strategy” among others.
In January 2020, Boston University School of Law launched the Compliance Policy Clinic, with me as its founding director. To our knowledge, it is the first U.S. law school clinic to focus on the rapidly-expanding field of compliance—the organizational management of legal risk. The compliance function translates complex, shifting legal and regulatory requirements, voluntary codes, and best practices into systems that seek to protect institutions—especially corporations in highly-regulated industries—not only from legal liability, but also from operational risk and reputational damage. The Clinic was envisioned as a central component of BU Law’s formal Risk Management & Compliance concentration, which offers BU Law J.D. students the opportunity to focus on the impact of legal and regulatory compliance on business operations, legal norms underlying compliance, and the role of ethics in regulatory and compliance practice.
Is the BU Law Compliance Policy Clinic the accomplishment of Kosuri’s wish?
Keywords: Compliance, law school, legal education, law school clinic
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