How to Retain a Lawyer in Brazil

Retaining a lawyer in Brazil can be a daunting task for clients who are unfamiliar with the country’s legal system. However, it is crucial to seek legal representation when facing legal issues to ensure the protection of your rights and interests. This article aims to provide a step-by-step guide for clients seeking to retain a lawyer in Brazil.

1 – General Overview of the Brazilian Legal System:

The Brazilian judiciary has long been criticized for being unpredictable, painful, and sometimes unreasonable. Many cases take years or even decades to be resolved, leading to frustration and disillusionment among litigants. The volatility of the judiciary is due in part to the lack of consistency in court decisions, which can vary widely depending on the judge or court hearing the case.

The lethargic pace of the Brazilian judiciary is another major concern. Cases can languish in the court system for years, with little progress made toward a resolution. This can be particularly problematic for individuals and businesses seeking justice, as delays can lead to increased costs and a loss of faith in the legal system.

Also, the Brazilian judiciary has also been criticized for being unjust at times. There have been numerous cases of corruption and bribery involving judges and court officials, which have undermined the integrity of the system. Additionally, there have been cases where judges have been accused of bias or favoritism, leading to outcomes that are perceived as unfair.

Anyway, the legal system in Brazil is a complex and extensive system that has evolved over centuries. The legal system is composed of federal, state, and municipal laws that govern different areas of Brazilian life, including civil, criminal, and commercial matters.

The Brazilian legal system is based on civil law, which means that laws are primarily based on written statutes and codes rather than court decisions. The primary source of law in Brazil is the Federal Constitution, which was adopted in 1988 and outlines the fundamental principles of the country’s legal system.

2 – Determine the Type of Legal Issue

The first step in retaining a lawyer in Brazil is to identify the type of legal issue you are facing. Brazil has a complex legal system, and different lawyers specialize in various areas of the law. Some of the common areas of specialization in Brazil include civil law, criminal law, labor law, tax law, and corporate law. Once you have identified the type of legal issue you are facing, you can start looking for a lawyer who specializes in that area of the law.

3 – Research Potential Lawyers

The next step is to research potential lawyers who can represent you in your legal matter. You can start by asking for recommendations from family, friends, or colleagues who have had similar legal issues in the past. You can also check online directories or contact the Brazilian Bar Association (OAB) for a list of licensed lawyers in your area.

When researching potential lawyers, it is essential to consider their experience, qualifications, and reputation. Look for lawyers who have experience handling cases similar to yours and who have a good track record of success. You can also check their credentials, such as their education, certifications, and memberships in professional associations.

4 – Schedule a Consultation

Once you have identified potential lawyers, the next step is to schedule a consultation with them. During the consultation, you can discuss your legal issue, ask questions, and evaluate whether the lawyer is a good fit for your needs. Most lawyers in Brazil offer a free initial consultation, so you can take advantage of this opportunity to get to know the lawyer and their approach to your case.

5 – Review the Retainer Agreement

If you decide to retain a lawyer, the next step is to review and sign a retainer agreement. The retainer agreement outlines the scope of the legal services the lawyer will provide, the fees, and other important terms and conditions of the representation. Make sure you carefully review and understand the retainer agreement before signing it to avoid any misunderstandings or disputes later on.

6 – Communicate Effectively with Your Lawyer

Effective communication with your lawyer is crucial to the success of your legal matter. Make sure you provide your lawyer with all the relevant information and documents related to your case and keep them informed of any developments or changes. It is also essential to ask questions and seek clarification if you do not understand something.

In conclusion, retaining a lawyer in Brazil requires careful consideration and research. By following these steps, you can find a qualified and experienced lawyer who can represent your interests and protect your rights in your legal matter. Remember to communicate effectively with your lawyer and keep them informed throughout the representation to ensure the best possible outcome.


Dr. Mauricio Ejchel

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.