J. Reuben Clark Law Society

Brazil Chapter in the News: Society of lawyers has been serving a community in Brazil

The original article in Portuguese appeared at: http://www.saladeimprensamormon.org.br/artigo/sociedade-de-advogados-tem-servido-a-comunidade-no-brasil
In the fall of 1988, at Brigham Young University, a group of lawyers representing various important regions of the United States formally organized the J. Reuben Clark Law Society, which is currently an international professional organization.
Today, the J. Reuben Clark Law Society—JRCLS—has more than 12,000 members worldwide, and is founded on a fundamental principle, which is, to encourage higher moral and professional standards in every legal career.
The members of the JRCLS are organized in Chapters throughout the five continents, according to the region in which they live. In Brazil we have the following chapters: The São Paulo Chapter, which was organized on July 14, 2002; The Northeast Chapter, established on October 26, 2012; and the most recent, Curitiba Chapter, instituted on May 01, 2014. The Northeast Chapter is already the largest section, based on number of members, in Latin America and this number continues to grow regularly.
Membership is made up of attorneys and law students who support the mission of this society, which is: “We affirm the strength brought to the law by a lawyer's personal religious conviction. We strive through public service and professional excellence to promote fairness and virtue founded upon the rule of law.” There is no membership fee or annual payment to be a member, and members can include students and others who are associated with the legal profession. There is no requirement regarding religious preference, having an active membership with the Bar Association of Brazil, or having attended The J. Reuben Clark School of Law. In other words, to become a member, the only requirements are that one graduates from law school and supports the society’s mission.
The work that members do within the J. Reuben Clark Law Society is voluntary, and it aims to assist the legal community, be it through lectures or in legal practice. The importance of this work lies in having the ethical values of a legal professional rooted in religious beliefs. Since these activities are done pro bono, The Northeast Chapter has, on average, four events each year to strengthen these values and principles. Members continue with their normal day jobs, which include providing the poor and underprivileged with their constitutional right to legal counsel.
Among all of the voluntary legal service projects that were performed, one that stands out was the rendering of aid to nearly 80 elderly individuals at a care facility in Pernambuco, Brazil (IPLA- Santa Rita de Cássia), who were needy and could not afford to pay attorney’s fees. This historic project was accomplished in partnership with the Public Prosecutor’s Office of the State of Pernambuco, and the Public Prosecutor of Paulista.
Subsequently, as a result of the work performed by members of the JRCLS, several measures have been taken by the public prosecutor regarding crimes against the elderly.
The work performed for the elderly led to a formal tribute on August 06, 2014, at which The Northeast Chapter was honored by the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Pernambuco, in Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil. A mark of praise was also given to the Public Prosecutor that was organizing the legal partnership project. On October 03, 2014, in Aspen Grove, Utah, The Northeast Chapter also received the “Outstanding Chapter Award,” which is the highest honor given by the JRCLS to one of its affiliates. It was the only chapter outside of the United States to receive this award of excellence in 2014.
Lawyers and law students who want to become a part of the JRCLS, or learn more details, can send an email to aroldo@barretocavalcante.com.br
Text: Aroldo Calvacante-Attorney, President of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society-Northeast Chapter, and Stake President of the Recife Boa Viagem Stake
Translation by Joshua Wood

Posted: March 10, 2015