Next Stop: Brazil

Carlos Ivan Simonsen, president of FGV, and Dean Lester formalizing the exchange program.

Columbia Law School LL.M. students and faculty will have the opportunity to study for a semester at Brazil’s world-class Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV) Direito at its Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo campuses. In turn, the Law School will welcome FGV students and faculty to study in New York. In December, Dean Gillian Lester and Professors Jeffrey Fagan, Merritt Fox, Jeremy Kessler, Thomas Merrill, and Curtis Milhaupt met with colleagues at FGV in Rio de Janeiro to formalize an exchange program.

“We are continuing to invest in engaging with Latin America—and Brazil, in particular,” said Dean Lester. “Our partnership with FGV will give students and faculty the unparalleled opportunity to study in two of the world’s preeminent financial and cultural hubs.”

Some 200 Law School alumni work in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, and Dean Lester, the first sitting Law School dean to visit Brazil, had an opportunity to meet with many of them. In São Paulo, Dean Lester, Fox, Kessler, and Fagan attended a reception hosted by LL.M. graduates Franco Grotti ’02, Guilherme Leite ’01, Rene Medrado ’03, and Miguel Tomovsky ’00, who are partners at the law firm Pinheiro Neto Advogados. About 80 Law School alumni and guests attended the December 13 gathering at the law firm’s office.

Alumni at the São Paulo alumni reception on December 13. View more photos from the event.

While in Rio, Dean Lester met a small group of alumni at a dinner hosted by Jose Francisco Gouvea Vieira ’78 LL.M., managing partner at Gouvêa Vieira Advogados.

Columbia Law School’s LL.M. program attracts top Brazilian lawyers from both the private and public sectors, and receives around 120-140 applications each year. There are 18 Brazilian LL.M. students in the current academic year.