Lines for the register in the grocery store often braid and cross each other here. As a consequence, the man in front of me was waiting in two lines and looked a little confused. I asked him in Portuguese which line he was in but he didn’t quite catch what I said. Guessing that he might be a fellow foreigner, I switched to English and we struck up a conversation.
He turned out to be a journalist from Forbes researching the investment climate here in Brazil.
He asked me what I was doing here. I explained that I am a law student from the US studying at PUC-Rio and launched into my Brazil pitch: the Why Brazil Question that I have been turning over in mind ever since I first visited in 2006.
In the next week, I’ll answer that question for the blog. The general answer is that Brazil enjoys a diverse and growing economy and is well-position to thrive in a very tough global climate. The demand for high-end legal services provided by American attorneys will expand along with the economy. Yet relatively few young attorneys with language skill are targeting the Brazilian market. And even fewer US law students like me are coming to Brazil to study for a semester alongside Brazilian law students, intern at firms run by Brazilian attorneys and develop contacts here. Each of these activities has huge potential upside, especially if it positions you to work on Brazil-US transactions. As lots of people on Wall Street and in Detroit know better than I do, it’s better to be in a growing market, than a shrinking one.
Plus I like the culture and speaking Portuguese.