Ricardo Tosto Discusses the History of Brazilian Legal Education
As one of Brazil’s original law schools, the University of Sao Paulo’s Faculty of Law was established by an edict of Emperor Pedro I. These first two law schools, the other of which was located in Olinda (now a suburb of Recife), were freestanding institutions and not part of any university. Brazil did not have law universities in the European sense until the 1930s, but only independent law, medical, and engineering schools.
The law school was founded in downtown Sao Paulo and its original name was Academy of Largo de Sao Francisco, after the large square where it was founded, the home of a Franciscan monastery. The first class of students filed into the school in 1828, making it the first law school to commence operations in the country, being that Olinda’s law school only opened its doors a few months later.
As the first law school in the south of Brazil, graduates of Largo de Sao Francisco came to dominate the legal profession, with many former students sitting on the Supreme Court and other appellate tribunals. When the University of Sao Paulo was founded, the law school became a unit of the university, and to this day, graduates of the law school can be found in large numbers in the bar and on the bench.
Ricardo Tosto is the founder of Ricardo Tosto & Associates, one of the country’s best known law practices. Ricardo Tosto built up his practice from a one-man operation to become a major player that employs dozens of lawyers and staff, with satellite offices in Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia.
Although Ricardo Tosto is passionate about vocation, he is also an avid reader and writer. He is a respected historian and the author of a volume on Brazilian colonial history. Despite all of this success, the respected attorney has not rested on his laurels. As a lawyer, teacher, and writer, Ricardo Tosto believes in the power of lifelong learning, which allows people to continue to innovate and produce throughout their lives.
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