FINRA Fades to Clear: CEO Robert Cook’s Plan for Transparency

Law IACBy: La’ Nise Harrington Spring 2017 Student Intern

On January 10, 2017, Robert W. Cook, the CEO of FINRA, released comments entitled Remarks: SIFMA Compliance and Legal Society. The comments are a precursor to a Public Notice that will be asking for feedback surrounding FINRA’s transparency. Cook’s comments detail why transparency is important to FINRA and shows his commitment to it.

Cook believes that transparency increases engagement and accountability and credits FINRA’s self-regulatory nature for these attributes as it causes a greater collaboration of knowledge within the industry. Obviously transparency is important to FINRA, but you may be wondering: Why is FINRA transparency important to me?

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Making the Move: From Student to Lawyer – Monday, February 20


Join the Investor Advocacy Clinic and the Philip C. Cook Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic this Monday for Making the Move: From Student to Lawyers.  Sessions will be held at noon and 5 pm in room 342.

Invited speakers –

  • Noon Panel
    Rachelle Carmel, SunTrust (JD ’16); Steven T. LaBriola, Fellows LaBriola; Michael McLaughlin, Jones Day (JD ’14); and David Risman, Ernest and Young (JD ’14).
  • 5 pm panel
    David G.H. Brackett, Bondurant Mixson & Elmore; Alexandra Hughes, Carlock Copeland (JD ’16); Morgan Marsh, The Wiggam Law Firm (JD ’16); and Jason Wiggam, The Wiggam Law Firm (JD ’10).

Food will be served.

Prepare for Practice by Enrolling in the HeLP Legal Services Clinic


Applications to participate in the fall 2017 semester of the HeLP Legal Services Clinic are due February 22. You can apply here.

Clinics give you hands-on experience representing clients in live matters.  You are able to put into practice the concepts that you learn in your courses while having practicing attorneys supervise and guide your work.  This is what former HeLP Clinic students have to say about their experiences in the HeLP Clinic.

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Meet Jimmy Mitchell, HeLP Supervising Attorney

mithcell-jimmyJames Mitchell, clinical supervising attorney, teaches in the HeLP Legal Services Clinic. Mitchell earned his juris doctorate from Notre Dame Law School, where he served as senior editor of the Notre Dame Law Review. While in law school, Mitchell completed an externship with the U.S Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago. He also participated in the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Summer Honors Program.

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Investor Advocacy Clinic Helps Build Your Confidence as a Lawyer

By Kelly Robinson, Fall 2015 Student Intern

The Investor Advocacy Clinic was a great success for me. I really enjoyed being exposed to the firm environment and becoming acquainted with what will be expected of me in my career. I really enjoyed working with clients, as I had not had a chance to do that before and the clinic allowed me to practice with clients in a variety of different environments, such as performing an intake interview and preparing them for discovery. While it was an extremely nerve-wracking experience for me, it was also very valuable because I now have a frame of reference for future interviews and interactions with clients.

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Meet Tameka Lester, Tax Clinic Assistant Clinical Professor and Associate Director

lester-tamekaTameka Lester, assistant clinical professor and associate director of the Philip C. Cook Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic, earned her juris doctorate from North Carolina Central University School of Law, where she served as vice president of the Women’s Law Caucus and Basic Income Taxation tutor. She was the school’s first graduate of the Tax Certificate Program. Lester also clerked for Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog and the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic at Legal Aid of North Carolina.

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Wednesday’s Word: Leverage

Law IACBy Robert Noens, Spring 2017 Student Intern

As an aside, I want to mention that I began this Wednesday’s Word with a different term. I originally wanted to define Business Development Company, or “BDC” in the investing world. So, like any good Investor Advocacy Clinic Student Intern, I began my search on FINRA’s website, and, according to FINRA:

BDCs are typically closed-ended investment companies. Some BDCs primarily invest in the corporate debt and equity of private companies and may offer attractive yields generated through high credit risk exposure amplified through leverage. As with other high-yield investments, such as floating-rate/leveraged loan funds, private REITs and limited partnerships, investors are exposed to significant market, credit and liquidity risks. In addition, fueled by the availability of low-cost financing, BDCs run the risk of over-leveraging their relatively illiquid portfolios.

Now, after reading that definition, I knew one thing: I had bitten off more than I could chew for a blog post that had to be completed in under 1000 words. For one thing, the definition and operation of a BDC seemed to largely rest on the concept of leverage, but what is leverage? Well, as it turns out, a simple Google search of the word “leverage” can quickly lead one down a rabbit hole investment vehicles and terms. Leverage is everywhere. And before I set out my overly eager and foolhardy task to create a BDC’s guide dummies again anytime soon, I must first conquer the definition of leverage.

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