LAW SCHOOL: CRITICAL ACTION TRANSFORMING SOCIETY
The Law School has the mission and vocation of providing high-level training
for professionals who have to develop critical thinking and ethics as well as
the competences required to build a brilliant career. On concluding the
course, a graduate will be qualified to work in a number of different fields in
the legal profession, the Judiciary, Executive, or Legislative powers, or in other
activities where law is involved, including
Founded in August 1999, the Law
course is anchored on a basic tripod of
modern teaching methods; encouraging
academic research; and university extension activities as a resource to develop professional practice. Teaching, research,
and extension activities at the School are intertwined to produce its own specific and
particular methodological approach. Thus the pedagogic design of the course translates
the current standards and postulates of the Commission of Legal Education Specialists
of the Ministry of Education and the Brazilian Bar Association.
The Law School was quick to show signs of energetically and successfully fulfilling its
charter purpose. Close relations between teaching, research, and extension activity have ensured
that the education and training of future professionals will match the advances this
area of knowledge poses as an opportunity for a critical and transformative role in society.
Personalized teaching, a final-year thesis, monitoring of extension activities, and
combining traditional disciplines with innovative ones keep students in touch with new
fields, emphasizing an interdisciplinary approach and the indispensable link between
theory and application. Innovation is also seen in the inclusion of Drama as a discipline
to provide supplementary differentials for students such as text interpretation, self-confidence,
posture, gesture, methods of arguing, persuading, and convincing.
On reaching the stage of supervised internship (in the Legal Practice Laboratory),
students have contact with professional activity and are given guidance on work in the
civil, commercial, penal, and labor areas of practice. Internships comprise practical
classes; simulations in an experimental court; visits to registry offices, agencies, and
courts; attending hearings; case-law research; and learning the techniques of arbitration,
conciliation, and collective bargaining. Laboratory activities are concentrated at the Legal
Practice Center near the campus, where floor space of around 1,000 square meters
is available, with modern equipment and specialized professors. There are also special
arrangements with government agencies, the Judiciary, business, community, and union
organizations, and law firms, thus providing more opportunities for interns, as well as
vigorous university extension activity and community services. This practice center enables
students to experience the professional routine, take part in hearings, assimilate
relations with other lawyers, and follow progress in cases.
Based on the same concept, an agreement for cooperation was signed by the School
of Law and the Judiciary to constitute a Special Court for Civil Law cases in the Higienópolis
neighborhood to be annexed to FAAP. Following the model of the former small
claims courts, this initiative provides quicker access to the law and helps reduce the
backlog of cases underway in the courts of São Paulo. Students benefit from learning activity
supervised by lawyers, who accompany all stages of conciliation work performed
there. There is a continuous evaluation system to gauge student performance - the aim
is to educate a "thinking elite."
Academic events and publications of articles and studies provide an important
complement to legal education, as well as helping to spread knowledge of this field
of practice. Legal Week takes place in the first semester every year, with lectures and
debates involving ministers, chief judges, judges, members of congress, and government
authorities in general, as well as professors, specialists, and professionals from
the field. The School of Law also publishes a legal review (Revista da Faculdade de
Direito) featuring articles by Brazilian and international contributors as well as professors
at the School, including essays, opinions, lectures, class notes, conventions,
and seminars and award-winning studies. In fact the publication is more of a book
than a mere review.
Also noteworthy are the frequent contacts, visits, and interchanges with leading law
schools in Brazil and other countries.