February 01, 2010
Thanks for having me
Posted by Miriam Baer

Thanks so much to Gordon and the gang for inviting me to guest blog. 

As Gordon noted in his introduction, before I headed out onto the academic market, I was fortunate enough to participate in a Conglomerate Junior Scholars workshop on my job-talk paper, and it was extremely helpful.  Nowadays, I teach Corporations, Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure.  This works well for me because I was once a federal prosecutor with a focus on white-collar crime.  After my stint as a prosecutor, I headed over to Verizon for a little more than a year to see firsthand what it meant to be a Compliance attorney.  These were in the heady days following Sarbanes-Oxley, when everyone thought that beefed up compliance departments could do everything from improve corporate culture to implement complex internal policing schemes.  Hard work! 

For a number of reasons, I think most compliance departments are likely to tend towards the "policing" aspect of the job more than the "culture" aspect.  In a world of metrics and accountability, it is far easier to police (and show results from such policing) than it is to identify, agree upon and demonstrate an improvement in cultural norms.  In my most recent article, I argued that the focus on policing (encouraged in part by the federal government) fueled an adversarial culture within firms, which in turn undermined claims that corporate compliance was an example of "New Governance," which refers generally to the experimental and cooperative forms of regulation that scholars have been arguing for since at least the early 1990's. 

Nowadays, my interests have morphed from questions about corporate compliance to broader questions about how we should design and regulate law enforcement agencies; the role law enforcment agencies should play in regulating business entities; and law and economic analysis of certain law enforcement policies, such as cooperating with criminal defendants in exchange for leniency at sentencing.   Hopefully, I'll get the chance to blog about some of these topics over the next two weeks.

Thanks again for hosting me as your guest.  I look forward to hanging out on the Glom!

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