Competition stimulates legal practice in criminal law
During the second half of this year, third to fifth-year undergraduate students at the FGV´s Sao Paulo Law School will take part in an internal competition on economic criminal law. The initiative involves not only undergraduate students and professors, but also students doing a professional master’s in economic criminal law at the school, as well as professionals who work at some of Brazil’s most renowned law firms in the criminal area.
The competition is a pilot project developed within the scope of the FGV´s Sao Paulo Law School’s Economic Criminal Law Group (GPDPE) and it is inspired by international legal competitions that every year mobilize law students across the world to resolve disputes in different fields of law.
The goal is to promote in-depth exploration of topics addressed in the classroom based on the thorough examination of a criminal case, besides helping students to develop skills such as teamwork, detailed research, exploration of arguments and counterarguments, strategic thinking, public speaking and interaction with public authorities, which are essential to build any legal career. Another benefit of the activity is vertical and horizontal integration between the school’s different courses, between students and alumni, and between students and the job market.
The competition teams will be named for the renowned criminal and full-service law firms that advise them. They will be responsible for guiding students on defense and accusation strategies, as well as the structure and drafting of briefs. They will also help prepare teams for oral presentations. Judges, public defenders and employees of the Public Prosecutors’ Office will also participate in the initiative, as well as professors from other education institutions, who will sit on the judging panels for the competition’s oral phase.
According to Professor Heloísa Estellita, GPDPE’s coordinator and one of the organizers of the competition, which will take place within the scope of the Economic Criminal Law in Practice subject, the idea in future is for the competition to be open to all law schools that want to participate, as well as all law firms that are interested in contributing to legal education as coaches.
“As law is a practical science, designed to resolve conflicts, the opening up of undergraduate courses to the reality of professional life is essential to legal education,” Estellita says.