Thomas Jefferson School of Law has taken on very much of a Brazilian flavor. 72 attorneys from Brazil have arrived to study this summer at TJSL.
It’s part of the law school’s new U.S.-Brazil Legal Education Exchange Program (LEEP).
Dean Rudy Hasl welcomed the lawyers on July 5, saying that he had arranged a special fireworks show for them the night before – which brought a big laugh from the group.
“It’s a wonderful beginning to a long-term relationship,” Dean Hasl said.
“I am impressed about everything,” said Barbara Gimenez of the new law school building. “Every single thing has a reason.” She is a lawyer with Brazil’s social security system.
“I am very interested in learning about the American system,” said Giorgia Martims, a Brazilian federal attorney who was equally impressed with TJSL as well as San Diego. “It’s all very exciting.”
Paulo Dirickson, who is very familiar with San Diego, came to the program to “help me decide whether to take the California Bar Exam.”
Amabeu Silva, an attorney with Brazil’s national treasury, says he is “very happy to be here. I really want to study U.S. Law.”
That's exactly why the Brazilian lawyers have come to TJSL - to learn about the U.S. legal system. Their class “Intro to the U.S. Legal System” will be taught by Profesor Thom Golden. Other courses include Legal Writing; an overview of Torts; Contracts; Administrative Law and Mediation/Arbitration. Interim Library Director Patrick Meyer also will teach a 12 hour course on Legal Research. During their stay they will have a chance to visit both the Federal courthouse and the Hall of Justice, which houses the Superior Courts civil division.
The program came about after TJSL's Associate Dean for Distance Learning William Byrnes visited some of the legal institutions in Brazil. He realized that both TJSL and Brazil’s AGU had a lot to offer each other. AGU is a government academic legal institution sponsored by Brazil’s Attorney General, which all government attorneys must attend. TJSL students will also be going to Brazil in 2012 as part of the exchange. They’ll be studying either in Sao Paulo or the capital Brasilia and it’s open to all students. The director of the LEEP program is Carla McEwen, TJSL’s Executive Director International Affairs. “The United States and Brazil Legal Education Exchange Program prepares students and professionals to more successfully work in an international context, thus improving current practices in both countries,” McEwen said. If you see one of the Brazilian students – and since there are 72 of them they’ll be hard to miss – don’t forget to say olá! (Hello!)
And from all of us at Thomas Jefferson School of Law – Boa vinda! Welcome!