Prof. Andy Spalding Headshot

Navigating the Business Law Curriculum: Corporate Compliance

March 16, 2023

The Richmond Law & Business Forum is highlighting course offerings related to business law. In this post, we asked Professor Andrew Spalding to discuss his course on Corporate Compliance.

The term "compliance" refers to systems an entity puts in place to prevent, detect, and respond to violations of law or of company values. Our course, Corporate Compliance, is designed to be an eminently practical look at the nuts and bolts of compliance programs. It involves multiple local practitioners as guest lecturers. We will discuss the design and implementation of compliance programs, as well as the normative questions that compliance officers must address within their companies. 

This course has four main goals: 1) to master the fundamental concepts and terminology of compliance; 2) to begin thinking about how to design and implement a compliance program; 3) to communicate more effectively with practicing compliance lawyers; and 4) to decide whether you actually give a rip about any of it.

The readings for this course are quite atypical. We do not read many cases, statutes, or regulations.  There is no textbook. Rather, the course introduces you to the variety of sources that good compliance officers will depend on in the course of their practice:  the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, government memoranda, professional publications, blog posts, and even podcasts. Several practitioners will visit our class throughout the semester. If you are hungry to get outside the case study format, this course is for you; should you prefer a more conventional curriculum, it may not be.

Ultimately, the course appeals to those who want to understand how the modern corporation works, as well as those who would like corporations to become more ethical citizens.