For the next two-plus weeks, TJSL is playing host to the latest group of Brazilian attorneys who arrived at the law school on January 7.
They are part of LEEP (Legal Education and Exchange Program), an exchange between TJSL and the Brazilian legal community and the students who come to San Diego are here to learn about the American legal system.
Who better to teach them than TJSL Professor Thom Golden? He has taught the U.S. system to several groups of Brazilian lawyers who have been here with LEEP.
“We are in our second full year now and we have another great experience in store for the lawyers,” said TJSL Adjunct Professor Dr. Carla McEwen, director of the LEEP Program.
The first order of business, is to dissolve any language barriers where they exist, although all of the lawyers in the program have studied English resulting in varied proficiency.
Their first lesson on the U.S. system was taught by Professor McEwen in Portuguese, but with key words about American law in English.
Then the same lesson will be taught in English.
The lawyers also heard a presentation from Dr. Gail Robinson, a linguistics professor from San Diego State University, who is helping to “build a cognitive bridge between the lawyer’s experiences in Brazil and the U.S. legal system.”
Dr. Robinson is the founding director of the National Language Center at SDSU, and is an expert in cross-cultural communication- exactly the goal of the LEEP Program.
Along with the American legal system, the lawyers will take mini-courses in the building blocks of our system, including Torts, Contracts, Civil Procedure, Antitrust Regulation, Alternate Dispute Resolution, International Law and Criminal Law.
If you meet one of the Brazilian lawyers, don’t forget to say: Boa vinda! (Welcome!)