California Western School of Law said "boa vinda" (welcome) to a group of law students and lawyers from Brazil on Tuesday, June 17. They are the first participants in the law school's new American Legal Studies and Exchange - Brazil program.
The group is here for two weeks to study the U.S. legal system—to develop skills and expertise to practice law internationally, especially in America. All of them are from São Paulo, one of Brazil's largest cities.
"We are very happy to welcome our Brazilian friends to California Western," said President and Dean Niels B. Schaumann. "We hope they will enjoy and benefit from the program we have designed especially for them, and we look forward to learning from them, as well."
We have created an amazing academic program," says Carla McEwen, founder and vice president of the American Legal Studies and Exchange program at California Western, who created the program along with Professor Leslie Culver. "We are working hard to improve their international legal skills and to build strong professionals who can succeed during this time of globalization."
"The law is very different in Brazil," said Brazilian law student Luciano Cesar. "The nations are now going to interact more with globalization and this is a good chance to learn a different kind of law."
It's great to be here," said Amanda Scaff, who is in her last year of law school. "I came because I think the course is very important to my career as an attorney."
The same is true for Teresa da Silva, a working attorney who practices business law in São Paulo.
"My clients have a lot of business in the U.S. and many American clients have investments in Brazil," da Silva said. "We are developing closer relationships."
Juliana Bordalo is a Brazilian attorney studying English in San Diego, who decided to check out California Western after she drove by the law school recently.
I went to the school's website, talked to Carla, and just a few weeks later, here I am," said Bardalo, who is grateful for the opportunity to study English and the American legal system at the same time.
McEwen especially wants to thank her co-founder Culver for her "remarkable dynamism, devotion, and trust, while building the program from the "seed level."
The Brazil program is one of many strong relationships that California Western has with the South American legal system, including the Chile Summer Program and Proyecto ACCESO, a program based at the law school that promotes the rule of law and has been effectively guiding legal reform efforts for more than seven years throughout Central and South America.
Even though Brazil is now hosting one of the world's most popular sporting events, law student Gabriel Wu said, "I'd rather be here than watching the World Cup back home.