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Paul Caulfield

Paul Caulfield, Adjunct Professor, Fordham Law School; Chief Risk Officer, IDB Bank

What led you to pursue corporate compliance as a career?

It was actually timing. I was a Manhattan prosecutor some (OK, many!) years ago and then in private practice working with companies. The New York Law Journal wrote a feature on my practice in 2007 (I was doing some trendy stuff they thought - one NY attorney was working for me from India, and we Skyped at my night / her morning; I was also using a lot of technology to keep my billing low). Another law firm read the piece and reached out. They asked if I did anti-money laundering monitorships at banks. That’s how I began working for my current bank (IDB Bank) in Compliance. Today, after many years in Financial Crimes Compliance and Consumer Protection, I’m now the Chief Risk Officer. 

Describe your research interest or area of expertise within the field. Include any significant publications, podcasts, etc. 

9/11 had a profound impact on me. I was in the Manhattan D.A.’s Office at the time. I’d only started my second week after having just moved up from Washington, D.C. Combating money laundering and terrorist financing has been a driver for me as I’ve managed my career. There are people, families, friends who are ultimately affected, and I’ve never forgotten why it is Financial Crimes Compliance professionals do what they (we) do. Through the experiences, I’ve written a book, “Getting to D.A.N.Y.: Lessons from a New York Job Hunt”, and with Professor Zila Acosta-Grimes launched a podcast, “Opinions My Own: Expert Insights on AML, FinTech & the Law”. Please check them out! 

Describe a professional accomplishment that you are most proud of.

An early accomplishment was landing the job at D.A.N.Y.  I had no “ins” and came from a good but not top law school. I had some very good work experience before then that helped but, I’ll never forget Mr. Morgenthau (the then Manhattan D.A.) and the opportunity he gave me.  A later accomplishment was coming to teach here. Prior to law school I taught middle school. I’ve always wanted to get back to teaching in some way. I’m similarly thankful for this opportunity. Fordham really is a special place. 

Why did you decide to teach at Fordham and what class do you teach?

I went through Catholic and Jesuit schools my entire life. In college (Fairfield University), I visited Fordham often and loved it - the people and the school spirit. Being in New York and being able to teach at the Law School now just is such a reward. I’ve taught a fantastic course on Anti-Money Laundering (I’m biased, I know) for the past two years. Next year I’ll teach an introductory course on Blockchain, Cryptocurrency  & the Law. 

What is your teaching philosophy and style?

Many parts Socratic method, a solid helping of pop culture, a splash of empathy (the students have got day jobs!) and a dash of humor. 

What do you hope students will learn from taking your class?

I want them to walk out thinking, “I’m now dangerous in this discipline.” I want them to know the textbook, of course, but I more want them to be confident in applying it. 

What do you enjoy most about working with students in the compliance program?

I coached youth sports many years ago. In coaching, all (or at least most) players want to be on the field. In middle school, when I was teaching, not everyone wanted to be in English. These students here, they all want to be here. They’re into their careers and are intent on advancing themselves. I can’t say enough how much I enjoy going through each semester with them.