How to Retain a Lawyer in Brazil

Retaining a lawyer in Brazil can be a challenging task for individuals and companies unfamiliar with the country’s legal system. This article provides a step-by-step guide for clients seeking to retain a lawyer in Brazil, offering a more detailed perspective on the complexities of the Brazilian legal system and the process of finding legal representation.

1. General Overview of the Brazilian Legal System

The Brazilian judiciary, criticized for its unpredictability and slow pace, is a complex system evolved over centuries. It is composed of federal, state, and municipal laws governing civil, criminal, and commercial matters. The judiciary is divided into federal and specialized federal justice systems, including labor, electoral, and military federal courts. Each area is divided into two hierarchy stages or instances, with processes beginning in the first instance court. The highest body of the judiciary is the Supreme Federal Court (STF), responsible for guarding the Constitution and prosecuting and judging cases involving constitutional threats or violations.

But, during the pandemic, the Brazilian judiciary underwent a significant transformation, driven largely by the necessity to adapt to the challenges posed by COVID-19. This period saw a rapid technological advancement within the judiciary, characterized by the adoption of digital platforms such as videoconferencing for hearings and electronic notifications. This shift not only ensured the continuity of legal processes but also enhanced their accessibility and efficiency.

Furthermore, legal professionals faced the need to adapt to new working methodologies. This adaptation led to the emergence of virtual hearings and remote consultations, which in turn resulted in reduced operational costs and the development of innovative practices within the legal sector. These changes, born out of necessity during the pandemic, have set the stage for a more agile and technologically advanced judiciary, signaling a permanent shift in its functioning.

2. Retaining a Lawyer
Brazil is projected to have 2 million lawyers by 2023, ranking third in the world in the number of lawyers, after the United States and India. The country has nearly 2,000 law schools.

In Brazil, the legal system is characterized by a division into specialized sections within the judiciary, each focusing on distinct areas of law with its procedural peculiarities. 

This structure necessitates seeking out lawyers who specialize in the specific legal area relevant to your case. It is imperative to determine which category or area your case most likely falls into from the following list: civil, criminal, labor, tax, or corporate law. (please check the list of areas at the end of the article)

This approach ensures that you receive tailored legal advice and representation from a professional who is well-versed in the nuances and specific procedures of the relevant legal field.

4. Research Potential Lawyers.

Recommendations from trusted sources, online directories, and the Brazilian Bar Association can help find potential lawyers. Evaluating their experience, qualifications, and reputation is essential. You can search for a lawyer in Brazil through the following links:


5. Schedule a Consultation:

Most lawyers in Brazil offer free initial consultations, allowing clients to discuss their legal issues and assess the lawyer’s suitability.

6. **Review the Retainer Agreement:**

Understanding the retainer agreement, which outlines the scope of legal services, fees, and other terms, is crucial before signing.

7. **Communicate Effectively with Your Lawyer:**

Providing all relevant information and staying informed about your case fosters successful legal representation.

In conclusion, careful consideration and research are needed to navigate the Brazilian legal system and find a qualified lawyer. Understanding the challenges and complexities of the system can help clients make informed decisions and work effectively with their legal representation.

If you need any further information about this topic, don’t hesitate to contact me.

Dr. Mauricio Ejchel


Dr. Mauricio Ejchel

Lawyer in Brazil

International Lawyer, graduated from the Law School of the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo, Postgraduate in International Relations at Laureate International Universities, admitted to the Brazilian Bar in 1995, founding partner of MF Ejchel Advocacy International (est. 1996), law specialist commentator at the Brazilians TV Networks and columnist for Radio Justice, that belongs to the Brazilian Supreme Court.

Dr. Ejchel concentrates his expertise on international family law, lectures on international child abduction and other international family law topics on television and radio show and is frequently featured in the print media.

As an academic writer, has several legal articles published both in Portuguese and English.
With over 25 years of legal experience and commitment to the advocacy, he provides strategic legal advices based on his ability to manage complex cases and negotiate legal contingencies, being also an experienced barrister, obstinately acting before the Brazilian Courts in numerous lawsuits.