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Is the Legal Compliance Industry Dying?

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By George Khoury, Esq. on September 26, 2018 6:56 AM

In these wild times of the current executive administration of the country making a massive push for federal deregulation, compliance industry insiders might be a bit nervous. Even popular media isn't holding back making compliance officers seem to be the worst of the worst and smuggest of the smug, and deserving of having their Porsches intentionally demolished by spiteful Wall Street traders.

Sure, there will always be compliance jobs, but with less regulation, comes less work for the compliance crews, which for in-house lawyers and those aspiring to go in house, is not good news. Earlier this year, a Reuters report explained that bonuses and hiring in the compliance industry, which had been booming post-financial crisis, have stagnated and significantly slowed down.

Compliance on the Outs

As a professional recruiter for the compliance industry wrote for Forbes, in the current climate of deregulation, companies are increasingly becoming more comfortable with ousting their senior compliance lawyers, in favor of keeping the less experienced, lower paid, and easier to push around, junior compliance lawyers. That report also discusses the alarming, but not new trend, of age discrimination in employment being hidden by creative business practices, like relocations and reorganization plans.

As the Reuters report explains, pay in the compliance industry is stagnant, and the once plentiful job market has dwindled. This, in turn, does not motivate individuals in the industry to seek out new opportunities. And regardless, the available opportunities often come with firm experiential requirements that are simply incredulous and unattainable, signaling that a company isn't actually in need of hiring.

Fortunately, for experienced compliance attorneys, the push for federal agency deregulation is likely to only last so long, and state and local regulations will likely step in to create even more work if the current deregulatory push continues.

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