FGV Sao Paulo Law School launches Brazil’s first professional doctorate in law in 2024
In 2024, Fundação Getulio Vargas’ Sao Paulo Law School will launch its Professional Doctorate in Law and Enterprise. It will be the first course in this area of law in Brazil.
The new program, recently approved by the Brazilian Education Ministry’s graduate education support agency, CAPES, will have two cross-cutting areas of activity:
- Organization, Regulation, Compliance and Taxation of Business Activities;
- State Governance, Public Policies, Innovation and Partnerships with the Private Sector.
This new option stresses the importance of taking a multidisciplinary approach to improve legal practice and reflects the distinctive research carried out in the doctoral program.
The “Organization, Regulation, Compliance and Taxation of Business Activities” area of activity will focus on the specific conditions faced by entrepreneurs, who need to structure their businesses by using contractual and corporate instruments. It provides a broad understanding of tax, regulatory, social and environmental impacts, including potentially applicable administrative and criminal penalties, as well as dispute resolution alternatives. In turn, the “State Governance, Public Policies, Innovation and Partnerships with the Private Sector” area of activity will look at the circumstances of public sector agents, as managers, regulators, overseers, judges and formulators of public policies, including with respect to innovation, in the context of public sector institutions and governance structures, including instruments for entering into contracts and partnerships with the private sector.
The FGV Sao Paulo Law School’s professional doctoral program aims to enhance the education of its students by providing contact with state-of-the-art applied legal knowledge based on in-depth theory and extensive analysis of the practical repercussions of legal solutions. The objective of the new program is to educate national leaders with the potential to transform legal practice in their areas of work, through the design of innovative solutions that preferentially involve the use of advanced technologies. The students will be able to propose improvements and lead changes to Brazil’s legal and regulatory frameworks. At the same time, the program intends to create an academic environment that encourages doctoral students to systematize tacit knowledge based on accumulated practical experience, which is usually reserved for experienced professionals and not accessible to the general public, with the aim of benefiting the legal community and society as a whole by sharing it.
On average, the professional doctorate will take 36 months to complete. To obtain their doctorate, students must earn 28 credits in 14 courses, each 30 hours long, produce a research paper on best practices in the legal field, combining doctrinal and empirical approaches, and be approved by an examination board. The program is aimed primarily at those who already have a master’s degree, but a direct doctorate may be permitted in exceptional cases, if candidates demonstrate professional seniority and a strong ability to carry out applied legal research. As part of the selection process, candidates must present a preliminary proposal related to one of the program’s broad areas of activity and compatible with the adopted research model.
In 2013, the FGV Sao Paulo Law School launched Brazil’s first professional master’s in law and formulated a specific applied legal research model. This professional master’s is now a well-established program, with a score of 4 out of 5 from CAPES. So far, more than 400 people have completed it. Every year, around 100 students enroll for this program.
The selection process for the professional doctorate will be launched before the end of 2023 and it will be completed in the first half of next year. Academic activities are scheduled to begin in the second half of 2024.