Q:  I would like to become a part-time or adjunct university professor teaching compliance or anti-money laundering, but I don’t really know where to start. How can I reach out to universities? Many thanks for your time and help.

Best regards,

Adjunct-in-Waiting

A: Hi Adjunct-in-Waiting,   

Thanks for reaching out.  Compliance is a hot and growing topic, especially in law schools.  Many MBA programs are adding entire courses in corporate ethics and compliance, and some undergraduate colleges are adding compliance as an offering as well. 

At first it can seem tricky to get these types of roles.  After all, they don’t normally come in your LinkedIn feed.  However, it can be fun to be known as “professor,” and if you want to give back through teaching the next generation of compliance officers, it’s worth pursuing.  Here are some tried and true ways of getting into the adjunct teaching world. 

Call Your Alma Matter

The first place I’d look is to the dean at your alma mater.  Students enjoy learning from a successful professional that graduated from the school at which they’re studying.  You become a de facto role model by exemplifying a successful career post-graduation.  I almost took this route when I was contacted by the dean of my law school about teaching a course in compliance.  It would have been a great experience if I’d still been living in Los Angeles.   

Call Professional Organizations

Are you part of any professional organizations?  You can contact them to see if they know of any openings.  I’m part of the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics.  The way I became an adjunct professor at Delaware School of Law was by sending in my C.V.  to an advertisement they had in their career email listing potential jobs. 

Work the Exhibit Hall at Conferences

Do you go to any conferences?  At the aforementioned SCCE conferences, several schools that offer master’s degrees or certificate programs have a booth in the exhibition space.  You could bring your C.V. to such events, talk to the representative, and find out who to follow-up with at the school to be considered to teach.   

Check out Advertisements

Google “compliance and ethics degree,” “compliance master’s degree” or “compliance certification” to see which schools are offering compliance and ethics courses.  Some industry magazines, like Compliance Week, offer an annual e-book highlighting compliance-related courses.  Get the e-book , then call the schools offering the courses, or make an appointment to visit to see if they need professors. 

Go Local

Lastly, you can contact any school that is in your area and simply offer to teach a course.  If you’re local and can drop by with a course outline, there is a high likelihood they’ll say yes if you fit their course offerings.   

I hope that’s helpful!  Best of luck to you Adjunct-in-Waiting, and let me know how it goes!

–If you have a question for me, feel free to reach out.  Names and identifying features will be left out to protect your privacy. —

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