I had the privilege earlier this week of getting to speak to a class of law school students for their course on ethics and compliance. I even managed to catch the tail end of one of the student group presentations and it was great to listen to the talented minds that are contemplating a career in ethics and compliance. What gave me a lot of hope was that these future professionals were not only interested in how to think about ethics and compliance programs, but how to build ethics and compliance programs that people can trust and will actually make a difference. They asked great questions on how to build trust with employees in terms of speaking up, how can we better support people who are victims of harassment and other wrongdoing such as retaliation, and how to effectively tackle global issues such as bribery and corruption (and whether today’s efforts are doing enough).
I never even considered the idea of taking an ethics and compliance class when I was in law school, but it so encouraging to see that things are changing and the caring and talented future professionals who will be leading the charge in the years to come. Whether the future ethics and compliance professionals are in law school, another academic field or learning through work or other means, those of us practicing today have a great opportunity and responsibility to help those looking to enter the profession, and to hear and learn from them.
What are some other ways that people are helping to support the future ethics and compliance professionals?