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The FCPA And Compliance In The Classroom

FCPA in the Classroom

This recent FCPA Blog post suggested “law schools, as far as we know, haven’t caught on to the great employment prospects for compliance professionals” and that “aside from a few isolated examples, the concept of training students to be compliance officers hasn’t taken root in the law schools’ curricula.”

In the heartland, at Southern Illinois University School of Law, the FCPA and compliance skills are  part of the educational experience.  I have been teaching for two years a specific course I developed regarding the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, FCPA enforcement and FCPA compliance.  It is one of the only law school courses of its kind in the country.  (See here for media coverage of the class).

The learning objectives for the course include the following:

  • understanding the events and policy reasons that motivated Congress to enact the FCPA and what Congress intended to capture in enacting the FCPA;
  • appreciating the root causes of why companies often become the subject of FCPA scrutiny as well as the typical origins of FCPA enforcement actions;
  • gaining a comprehensive understanding of the FCPA’s anti-bribery provisions and books and records and internal controls provisions, including the ability to identify legal risk through real-world issue-spotting videos;
  • understanding the FCPA’s many ripples such as how actual FCPA enforcement actions brought by the Department of Justice and/or the Securities Exchange Commission are often just one consequence of FCPA scrutiny or enforcement, as well as exploring other negative legal and financial consequences that often result from FCPA scrutiny or enforcement;
  • going beyond the FCPA and understanding other U.S. laws (such as the Travel Act) and certain foreign laws (such as the U.K. Bribery Act) relevant to conducting business in the global marketplace;
  • gaining practical FCPA compliance skills including the ability to conduct an FCPA risk assessment and to develop FCPA compliance policies tailored to unique risk profiles;
  • gaining insight into FCPA Inc. as a niche and vibrant industry full of career opportunities;
  • analyzing various other legal and policy issues associated with the FCPA, FCPA enforcement and FCPA compliance;
  • assessing whether the FCPA and FCPA enforcement policies are best achieving the objectives of the FCPA or whether FCPA reform is warranted.

While the course is about a specific statute, its enforcement, and compliance strategies, learning objectives also include:

  • how business organizations operate in the global marketplace and various realities of the global marketplace; and
  • DOJ and SEC enforcement policies and resolution vehicles relevant to both business organizations and individuals including related resolution dynamics.

During the course, students engage with FCPA practitioners and in-house counsel with FCPA and other compliance responsibilities.

In terms of assessing accomplishment of the learning objectives, students prepare client memos on a specific FCPA enforcement action and the capstone writing assignment for the class is conducting a comprehensive risk assessment of a real company and suggesting pro-active compliance policies and procedures designed to minimize risk.

In short, the FCPA and compliance is being taught in the classroom and I am confident in saying that the students who have taken the above class know more about the FCPA, FCPA enforcement and FCPA compliance than most any other law students in America.

I encourage anyone looking for FCPA and compliance talent to give these students an opportunity to put these skills to use.  If you are interested in connecting with my students for internship or job opportunities, please e-mail me at

FCPA Institute – Miami

Featured Image FCPA Institute

Begin 2015 by elevating your FCPA knowledge and practical skills in Miami, Florida at the FCPA Institute on January 12th-13th.

At a typical FCPA conference, participants are a face in the crowd and information is conveyed in a disjointed fashion by dozens of speakers appearing on multiple panels with little opportunity for actual engagement by participants.

The FCPA Institute is different as information is presented in an integrated and cohesive manner by an expert instructor with FCPA practice and teaching experience. Moreover, the FCPA Institute promotes active learning by participants through issue-spotting video exercises, skills exercises, small-group discussions and the sharing of real-world practices and experiences.

To best facilitate the unique learning experience that the FCPA Institute represents, attendance at each FCPA Institute is capped at 30 participants.

In short, the FCPA Institute elevates the FCPA learning experience for a diverse group of professionals and is offered as a refreshing and cost-effective alternative to a typical FCPA conference. The goal of the FCPA Institute is simple: to develop and enhance fundamental skills relevant to the FCPA, FCPA enforcement, and FCPA compliance best practices in a stimulating and professional environment with a focus on learning.

The FCPA Institute presents the FCPA not merely as a legal issue, but also as a business, finance, accounting, and auditing issue. The FCPA Institute is thus ideal for a diverse group of professionals such as in-house and outside counsel; compliance professionals; finance, accounting, and auditing professionals; and others seeking sophisticated knowledge and enhanced skills relevant to the FCPA. Click here to see what these diverse professionals are saying about the FCPA Institute.

FCPA Institute participants not only gain knowledge, practical skills and peer insight, but will also have their knowledge assessed and can earn a certificate of completion upon passing a written assessment tool. In this way, successful completion of the FCPA Institute represents a value-added credential for professional development.

Click here to register for the FCPA Institute – Miami.

Continuing Legal Education (“CLE”) credit for the FCPA Institute – Miami has been applied for and is pending in Florida and Georgia. Attorneys may be eligible to receive CLE credit through reciprocity or attorney self-submission in other states as well.

Free FCPA Essentials Webinar With Continuing Education Credit – October 22nd

In conjunction with Emtrain (an innovative compliance training company with whom I offer a best-in-class online Global Anti-Bribery Course for business organizations), I will be offering a free “FCPA Essentials” webinar on Wednesday October 22nd (2 p.m. ET, 11 a.m. PT).

The webinar will help attendees

  • Understand the basics of the FCPA
  • Understand the common root causes of FCPA scrutiny & enforcement
  • Learn how to minimize FCPA scrutiny through risk assessments
  • Create uniquely tailored compliance training policies & procedures

This webinar has been certified for 1 hour of continuing education for HRCI, MCLE and CE. Attendees will also receive direct access to Emtrain’s anti-bribery videos to use in their own live training or corporate communications.

What Others Are Saying About The FCPA Institute

Featured Image FCPA Institute

A diverse group of professionals from around the world recently elevated their Foreign Corrupt Practices Act knowledge and skills by attending the inaugural FCPA Institute.

The FCPA Institute is a unique two-day learning experience that is materially different than other FCPA conferences.

At a typical FCPA conference, participants are a face in the crowd and information is conveyed in a disjointed fashion by dozens of speakers appearing on multiple panels with little opportunity for actual engagement by participants.

However, at the FCPA Institute information is presented in an integrated and cohesive manner by an expert instructor with FCPA practice and teaching experience.  Moreover, the FCPA Institute promotes active engagement by participants through issue-spotting video exercises, skills exercises, small-group discussions and the sharing of real-world practices and experiences. To best facilitate the unique learning experience that the FCPA Institute represents, attendance at each FCPA Institute is capped at 30 participants.

FCPA Institute participants have their knowledge assessed and can earn a certificate of completion upon passing a written assessment tool.  In this way, successful completion of the FCPA Institute represents a value-added credential for professional development for a diverse group of professionals such as in-house and outside counsel; finance, accounting and auditing professionals; and other compliance professionals seeking sophisticated knowledge and enhanced skills relevant to the FCPA.

You can elevate your FCPA knowledge and practical skills by attending the next FCPA Institute in Miami, Florida on January 12-13, 2015.  Space is limited and you can register here.

Set forth below is what participants at the inaugural FCPA Institute had to say about their experience.

  • “Unlike other FCPA conferences where one leaves with a spinning head and unanswered questions, I left the FCPA Institute with a firm understanding of the nuts and bolts of the FCPA, the ability to spot issues, and knowledge of where resources can be found that offer guidance in resolving an issue.  The limited class size of the FCPA Institute ensured that all questions were answered and the interactive discussion among other compliance professionals was fantastic.”  (Rob Foster, In-House Counsel, Oil and Gas Company)
  • “The FCPA Institute was a professionally enriching experience and substantially increased my understanding of the FCPA and its enforcement. Professor Koehler’s extensive insight and practical experience lends a unique view to analyzing enforcement actions and learning compliance best practices. I highly recommend the FCPA Institute to practitioners from all career stages.” (Sherbir Panag, MZM Legal, Mumbia, India)
  • “The FCPA Institute was a valuable course; well worth the investment.  The 2 day session course was well structured; led by a renowned expert, and I was very pleased with the small class size which allowed for dynamic discussions by the course participants of successes and challenges in complying with the requirements of the FCPA in today’s complex business environment.” (Global Compliance Executive, CPA, CIA for Manufacturing Company)
  • “The FCPA Institute provided an in-depth look into the various forces that have shaped, and that are shaping, FCPA enforcement.  The diverse group of participants provided unique insight into how, at a practical level, various professionals evaluate risk and deal with FCPA issues on a day-to-day basis.  The small group setting, the interactive nature of the event, and the skills assessment test all set the FCPA Institute apart from other FCPA conferences or panel-based events.” (John Turlais, Foley & Lardner)

Four-Time Ironman

My annual second Monday of September off-topic post.

Yesterday, I competed in Ironman Wisconsin for the fourth-straight year and became a four-time Ironman.  I completed the event (a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike and a 26.2 mile run) in 12 hours and 5 minutes.  A podium finish it was not, but it was my second best time in the event.

Why Ironman?

To those who have done it, you know, but it is hard to explain.

For me the answer is as follows.

There are currently people who are physically unable, or practically unable given their circumstances in life – to do an Ironman. But I am capable at the present moment.

Moreover, there will come a day in which I will be unable to do an Ironman, but that day has not yet arrived and god-willing will not arrive for some time.  But I am capable at the present moment.

Ironman is obviously a physical test, but a mental and emotional journey just the same.  It takes determination to get to the finish line as well as courage to put yourself at the starting line.  For me, Ironman is a place to channel my competitive juices and accomplish a cathartic cleanse each year.  Each year, during the physical, mental and emotional journey that is Ironman, I learn something new about myself, my life, and those around me that I might not have learned but for putting myself through the journey.

Thanks for listening and tomorrow we will return to the regularly-scheduled program.

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