Beyond borders: Law student from Brazil completes internship in Mexico

By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

A licensed attorney from Brazil, Rosana Moura has focused her career in public interest law for the past seven years.

“Brazil is a country with a huge social inequality and access to justice is very difficult and precarious,” she says. “With a law degree I always hoped to speak up about social injustice and help my community.”

With a view to a career in international law, Moura completed a Master of Laws in U.S. Law at Wayne State University Law School last year, and now is studying for her juris doctor so she can become licensed in any U.S. state.

“My goal is to be an international corporate Latin America lawyer and help the Latin American community internationally,” she says.

The rising 2L is enjoying her time at Wayne Law.

“It’s an incredible school and the faculty is very attentive and helpful to all of the students,” she says. “I’ve had exceptional opportunities to gain experience in the U.S.”

In an internship at the National Labor Relations Board, Moura sharpened her legal research and writing skills while gaining knowledge in the labor and employment field.    

She spent a year as a law clerk at Shifman and Carlson PC in Farmington Hills, developing her expertise in U.S. corporate law, real estate, municipal and governmental law and education law.

And this year, she was selected for a summer internship at the law firm of Hogan Lovells BSTL in Mexico City. The position, sponsored by the law school’s Program for International Legal Studies, was a unique opportunity to gain invaluable experience and expertise at the leading Latin America law firm.

“I had an incredible experience and I learned a lot during my stay about the Mexican legal system and its international interactions, especially with the corporate team,” she says.

Moura had the opportunity to meet with the firm’s corporate team and participate in cross-border conflicts of law issues and research. Proficient in English, Portuguese, and Spanish, she translated documents, and performed legal research on issues related to extra-contractual liability in Mexico and other civil law countries; drafted termination agreements and revised around 60 contracts in both English and Spanish; drafted summary of the contracts and recommendations for clients; and drafted a summary report regarding an antitrust issue and translated it to English.

In addition, she performed legal research of Mexican “amparos” (an instrument for the protection of individual rights) and gave her insights on the difference of common law and civil law that were relevant to contracts and international corporate matters.

She participated in an investigation on sex gender based violence in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, researching and compiling court decisions related to the topic in the Supreme Courts of these three countries and translating them to English. She also researched jurisprudence in this issue in the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. 

Moura enjoyed her immersion in Mexican culture.

“Mexico City is a very nice, cosmopolitan city with a lot of historical places to visit and with a great nightlife,” she says. “The food is amazing and with so many different traditions and spices. The environment is friendly, warm and so kind. On a number of occasions, firm members took me out for dinner, lunches and to tourist attractions. I made great friends that I hope to have for life.”

Originally from Goiania, the capital and largest city of the Brazilian state of Goias, Moura has previously lived in Clarkston and Detroit, and currently lives in Royal Oak with her husband Alan and a 9-month-old Golden Doodle.

“I enjoy Detroit downtown – the city has made huge strides in the past few years and the restaurants and nightlife have been a huge contributor to this success,” she says.

A painter since the age of 14, she enjoys painting in her leisure time, and also running.

“I love to run, I ran two half marathons and want to run a whole marathon in the near future,” she says. “My new passion is CrossFit.”

She also serves on the board of the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan’s Kidney Ball, a black tie charity event held every December in Detroit.

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