Regional Conference of the Law Society in Brazil: "Providing Pro Bono Service to the Needy"
So much can be communicated by looking into a person’s eyes. And I will never forget the eyes of an elderly woman I met on the last day of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society’s regional conference in Brazil, held from June 25-27, 2015. Her eyes were bright, vivid, and intense, yet at the same time somewhat hollow and sad.
Jeremiah J. Morgan, Law Society International Chair
visiting with an elderly woman in Brazil as part of a pro bono project.
I met this elderly woman as part of the Law Society’s pro bono project to visit and document the needs and concerns of residents in privately operated (and often poorly run), nursing homes outside of Recife, Brazil. The conference organizers, including Area Director Aroldo Barreto Cavalcante, worked with local prosecutors to arrange for visits and interviews by more than 55 volunteer lawyers and law students at four local nursing homes. It was a fitting end of service to a marvelous conference held in two different cities in Brazil. The theme of the conference was “Providing Pro Bono Service to the Needy”.
Group picture of lawyers and law students from Northeast Brazil
after giving pro bono service to the elderly.
On the first day of the regional conference, the Law Society joined together with the BYU Management Society for a social hour and ethics presentations in São Paulo, Brazil. The cooperation was significant, bringing together hundreds of legal and business professionals. The presentations were equal to the audience, engaging, informative, and timely, including presentations and panel discussions featuring Judge Flavio Cooper, Area Legal Counsel Greg Clark, and several business professionals.
Law Society leaders participating in Brazil's
first-ever regional conference in Sao Paulo.
The goal was to give theoretical and practical concepts of ethics and service in both the legal and business professions. As the first conference of its kind in Brazil, organizers of the regional conference were thrilled with the opportunity to work and learn together.
On the second day of the conference, lawyers gathered from several cities in northeast Brazil, including Recife, Fortaleza and Maceió. The principal objective of the day’s activities was to assist the elderly with legal issues. The pro bono project organizer, Christiana Ramalho Cavalcante, said of the project, “The simple fact of talking to these people, even if it is on legal issues, it’s an emotional help, because most of them feel lonely and miss their families.” “The feeling of altruism and inner joy is enormous,” said Aroldo Cavalcante, “because we are serving defenseless people who need our help.”
Law Society member visiting and interviewing the elderly.
I felt that same feeling, looking into the eyes of an elderly woman while visiting a nursing home in Brazil. And it is a feeling I will not soon forget. This is the great work and noble commitment of the Law Society – to “strive through public service and professional excellence to promote fairness and virtue founded upon the rule of law.” It is a commitment that Law Society members in Brazil not only believe in, they live it!
By Jeremiah Morgan, International Chair
Posted: August 28, 2015