As someone who is virtually our only compliance person at a mid-size company, I often get questions for legal advice. I am not an attorney and cannot give legal advice (my disclaimer), but I do look at the situation from a compliance/policy/process lens and urge to consult legal always. I feel as though it discredits me and my advice because I’m not an attorney. How can I better differentiate compliance from legal and still provide valuable advice?

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I work in a regulated industry, although I'm not the compliance professional, and I get this a lot. A lot of the time I say: I'm not a lawyer, and you should probably consult one, but here are the underlying principles that govern what you're talking about. Then I take the chance to educate folks on FDA's approach to risk and benefit, or the principles behind making sure you don't give up sensitive info even with an NDA, or whatever, in a way that speaks to their question and gives them a shot at getting further without me or eventually using the lawyer more effectively.

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I explain to people I cannot give operational guidance. I can tell them how our policies apply and provide insight on the decisions regularities have made in our industry. If they want legal guidance, they need corporate counsel involved, who can explain legal ramifications of their business decisions.

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