Juridico sem Gravata

New short courses for in-house lawyers in Brazil

Eleanor Warnick

With more and more legal courses opening up in Brazil, particularly in São Paulo and Rio, lawyers no longer need to look abroad for specialist qualifications in their chosen area. As well as an increase in MBAs, seminars, events and workshops, there are is now a larger variety of short courses targeted specifically at in-house lawyers. 

In São Paulo, Brazilian Teaching and Research Institute Insper, has just launched a post graduate qualification for in-house lawyers looking to hone their business skills and better manage their legal departments.

The course has a practical emphasis, drawing on first-hand business experience from visiting professors, many of whom are established legal directors and have worked for large companies such as Yara International, Dell, Itaú and Grupo Abril. According to Flavio Franco, executive legal director at Netshoes and visiting professor at Insper, this approach will enable in-house lawyers to “truly focus on the in-house team and enable lawyers to better handle issues in the real, corporate game field.”

The course’s principal aim is to help general counsel add value to their company’s business. With this in mind, it centres on developing people management skills and project management, including talent management and crises. The curriculum covers key performance indicator measurement and relationships with stakeholders. It advises students how to communicate with external lawyers, negotiate strategies and deal with issues related to compliance. Lawyers will also be asked to draw on their numerical skills and get to grips with financial statements analysis, budgeting and accounting. The classes are designed to be interactive, following the participant-centred learning model developed by Harvard Business Publishing. This provides an alternative approach to the growing number of legal courses available online, which may be better suited to those who prefer a self-taught learning style.

In Rio, the Fundação Gertulio Vargas (FGV) has also opened up a new postgraduate short course for those looking to learn more about compliance. Its focus is on anti-corruption practices, prohibited conduct, antitrust measures, money laundering and contracts with government agencies. Students will be expected to familiarise themselves with the 2013 Clean Company Act (Law No. 12,846), the penalties incurred by anti-corruption legislation, how compliance is used in corporate governance, plea-bargaining and crisis management. Other modules examine the role of the FCPA and other foreign anti-bribery and anti corruption investigators and address legal sanctions and leniency.

The Gestão de Departamentos Jurídicos Insper course begins in October and the FGV Compliance course starts in September. Courses will be 42 and 60 hours long, respectively.