Published on March 5, 2024 by Sofia Paglioni  
law student working on laptop

In 2024, U.S. News & World Report ranks compliance officer as the #13 best business job. Additionally, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics projects a 4.6% increase in job openings for compliance offers through 2032, equaling more than 17,000 jobs.

At Samford University Cumberland School of Law, two online master’s programs, the Master of Laws (LLM) and the Master of Studies in Law (MSL), are designed to equip graduates for a compliance-focused career. The LLM for lawyers and the MSL for nonlawyers can help professionals advance in their current career or pivot to a new profession.

Alumna Taylor Treankler, MSL ’22, is the vice president of risk management for Alpine Bank in Grand Junction, Colorado. She reflected on her experience, sharing, “When I came across Samford’s MSL program, with a focus in financial services regulatory compliance, I was ecstatic! This was exactly what I was looking for. Professors and classmates were super involved in the classes, which made it very worthwhile. I learned a lot while gaining great connections that I still utilize! Plus, examiners love to hear that we have someone with a Masters in the field of compliance! My MSL degree hangs proudly in my office as I work to become the bank’s next compliance officer."

Students within the LLM and MSL programs are empowered to communicate and interact effectively with attorneys, compliance professionals, and other members of the legal community while developing core competencies in a specialized field of study which are necessary for professional success.

Alumnus Steven Boydstun, JD ’17, LLM ’22, reflected on his LLM journey, “Last year, at age 35, I was named general counsel at the University of Montevallo. I became one of the 10 youngest university general counsels in the country according to my professional association. I believe my LLM in higher education law and compliance from Cumberland School of Law gave me a depth of knowledge to effectively ‘punch above my weight’ in higher education law. I knew if I wanted to set myself apart in such a competitive field, I would need to have something that showed I was committed to this industry and to working toward being an expert in it. The hiring committee was intrigued that Cumberland School of Law offered an LLM in higher education law and compliance, and I believe it has played a role in my career advancement.”

After completing their LLM or MSL degree, students can utilize legal databases to access the primary sources of law in the United States, analyze key issues in policy and compliance from ethical, legal and economic perspectives. Students also learn how to interpret and evaluate cost effectiveness and outcomes used in decision making. By understanding how to confidently communicate complex ideas and use legal and industry-specific terminology, students enhance their area of expertise and are prepared for emerging developments in the legal landscape.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.