Closing ceremonies were held on Friday July 12 for a group of Brazilian lawyers who visited the TJSL campus for two weeks as part of the LEEP Program (Legal Education and Exchange Program).
LEEP gives the visiting attorneys an education in the ways of the American legal system, which is very different from the system in their native Brazil. Once again, TJSL Professor Thom Golden taught the Brazilian students the intricacies of the U.S. legal system.
“This group was quite a special group of attorneys,” said Carla McEwen, the director of the LEEP Program. “One of them is Nathalia Fernandes, the first lady with disability to have a scholarship in a higher education program in Brazil.
Fernandes said she had no trouble getting around TJSL in her scooter, was designed with ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) in mind.
“When they built this structure (TJSL), their first thought was about disabled people,” said Fernandes. “The teachers here treated me like another student,” she added. “In Brazil, it’s the opposite. Also this group of attorneys was really supportive. The spirit of networking is just as important as the law.”
As for the LEEP program, Fernandes, said: “I love the course. I really understand the structure and format of the U.S. legal system now.”
“The city is really wonderful, the weather, the spirit, people are very friendly and polite,” said another LEEP participant, Patricia Mélega. “The LEEP program fulfilled my expectations, especially concerning Legal English Vocabulary, English Writing, Key Words, and Introduction to the US Legal System. I had a really wonderful experience. Everything I learned here will be used for the rest of my personal and professional life. I am proud to be a part and participate in this program.”
Brazilian attorney Robert Schon loved being in San Diego and was really impressed with the TJSL campus.
“The modern and imposing architecture and technology of Thomas Jefferson School of Law is home to the professors and their amazing lectures on the most diverse subjects that concerns law school: Introduction to the U.S. Legal System, Legal Writing, Legal Research, Torts, Contracts, Civil Law, Criminal Law, Arbitration and Mediation are a few to be named,” said Schon. “The school´s structure is simply amazing, with excellent facilities and high-end classrooms and technology. The course on Introduction to U.S. Legal System fulfilled my expectations with the knowledge, contact, relationship, and the experience it provided me. Special thanks to the course coordinator Carla McEwen, to all the professors, and to my classmates for the wonderful time.”
Among the TJSL alumni who made presentations to the Brazilian students where, Renee Galente ’08, Eric Ganci ’08, Jeremy Evans ’11, Ben Aguilar ‘11, Salim Khawaja ’93 and Vikram Monder ’11.