My undergraduate business law prof invited me to be a research assistant for her upcoming publication on honest services fraud. That was 2009 at the University of Miami. It was my introduction to compliance.
A few years later, as a rising 2L at Miami’s law school, I landed a compliance internship for a multinational wireless services provider and SoftBank company headquartered in Miami. Like most companies, compliance was still new there, and handled by the legal department.
By the end of that summer, I was hooked on compliance — risk assessments, training, communications, investigations and most of all, cross-department collaborations. From the compliance perch, I was able to see and learn about the operations of a global business.
I returned to the company during summers and on a part-time basis until I finished law school. After the bar exam (I passed), I became the company’s associate corporate counsel — global ethics & compliance.
I led the implementation of a global anti-corruption program, a trade compliance program, and screening software for AML and trade compliance. We also enhanced the company’s global compliance helpline.
I dealt with data privacy issues and helped create the company’s global data privacy program and security breach response plan.
At ground level, I conducted due diligence for various transactions.
And I had the honor of assembling and submitting the company’s two successful nomination packages to be named one of the Ethisphere Institute’s World’s Most Ethical Companies.
Last year I became global vice president of compliance & support services for a new compliance technology firm. It’s a compliance-related position, but from a completely different angle. I think of it as a perfect next step.
I could not be more grateful for all of the opportunities I’ve had in this amazing industry. I look forward to growing with the field and its ever-evolving challenges.
Lindsay Columbo, Esq. is a founder of eSpear LLC, a developer of due diligence and screening solutions, where she serves as the Global VP of Compliance & Support Services. She previously served as Associate Corporate Counsel, Global Ethics & Compliance for Brightstar Corp. a SoftBank company headquartered in Miami, Florida. She can be contacted here.