According to Ricardo Tosto, the answer to this question would be yes, as there is no law that bars foreigners from the practice of law in Brazil. However, in practice there are some complexities. First of all, Brazilian law prohibits outside ownership of Brazilian law firms, so foreign firms seeking to establish a presence in Brazil usually do so through partnerships with domestic firms. International law firms can also act as foreign legal advisers giving advice on the laws of countries other than Brazil by registering with the local bar.
As far foreigners seeking to become qualified attorneys in Brazil, it is certainly possible, but there is no lawyer transfer process of the sort one finds in the UK, for example. There is a reciprocity policy with Portugal, though, which allows Portuguese attorneys to register with state bars and Brazilian lawyers to register with the Portuguese bar.
An individual with a degree from a civil law jurisdiction might be able to petition a public university for an equivalency degree. If successful, and it is by no means a straightforward process, the person would still likely have to take exams and courses in order to obtain their Brazilian law degree.
Unfortunately, law school in Brazil takes much longer than in common law jurisdictions. A Brazilian LLB takes five years to complete, so foreigners looking to practice law in Brazil might be better served by becoming foreign legal consultants.
Ricardo Tosto is an attorney based in Sao Paulo. His firm, Ricardo Tosto & Associates, grew from a one-man operation into one of the country’s top firms.
Fluent in English and Portuguese, Ricardo Tosto is a member of many international professional organizations and societies and is a frequent speaker and lecturer. Ricardo Tosto practices in a variety of specialties, including corporate and election law.