The annual selection process for the Professional Master's Degree at FGV Sao Paulo Law School comprises six stages:
- Curriculum analysis
- Motivation Questionnaire
- Recommendations Letters (optional and maximum of two)
- English language proficiency test
Curriculum analysis takes into account the background, current occupation, time, and relevance of professional experience, requiring at least three years of relevant professional experience after graduation. The motivation questionnaire provides additional information on the candidate's academic background, professional performance, specific skills, level of commitment, and expectations toward the course. The written test is used to assess technical and academic skills, with an emphasis on problems faced in professional practice. The English language test is intended to assess the level of proficiency, through the ability to read and understand the language.
Frequently asked questions
Why did FGV Sao Paulo Law School create the first professional master's degree in Law in Brazil?
The professional master's degree already existed in other areas of knowledge. It was clear to FGV Sao Paulo Law School that the country's development process needed qualified legal professionals, whose preparation could only be achieved through a Graduate Specialization Program, specifically aimed at this audience. FGV Sao Paulo Law School became known for its capacity to innovate in Law teaching, and has already consolidated its position in academic undergraduate, master, doctoral and graduate specialization courses.
However, a program was still lacking, specially designed to meet the needs of more experienced professionals with potential to produce applied legal knowledge to respond to practical questions. They are professionals who want to refine knowledge and develop new skills to move up in their work environment. Interest in an academic career is secondary.
What is FGV Sao Paulo Law School Professional Master’s Degree?
The Professional Master's Degree at FGV Sao Paulo Law School is a Graduate Specialization program that grants a Master's Degree in Law, in the same way as an academic Master's degree. The program is divided in five courses of action: Business Law, Tax Law, Public Law, Economic Criminal Law, and Law and Technology. It also has general courses and specific courses for each line, in addition to elective courses and international modules.
What differentiates the Professional Master from other Master programs and Graduate Specialization Programs?
While academic masters are mainly aimed at training professors and researchers, the professional master offers lawyers who already work in the labor market the theoretical basis and analytical tools to deal with difficult cases, as well as to develop studies and research that may result in innovative legal solutions. The focus of the professional master is on the concrete application of Law, through a combination of theoretical and practical approaches.
The professional master's degree differs from Graduate Specialization Programs since it requires greater professional seniority and seeks an in-depth reflection on practices already known by the students. The research project, conceived and carried out by the student under the guidance of a professor of the program, is of central importance.
The professional master's degree also stands out for its faculty composition , made up of professors who combine academic excellence and practical experience.
What is the objective of the Professional Master's Degree at FGV Sao Paulo Law School?
To train highly qualified professionals in the legal area, with solid theoretical knowledge and multidisciplinary skills, in addition to strategic vision, critical sense, analytical capacity, intellectual rigor, international connections, and the ability to make ethical judgments. They are professionals in tune with the needs of the contemporary world and capable of facing complex problems with creativity and precision. The program also serves as a privileged place for reflection on relevant topics and for sharing professional experiences between students and professors.
Whom is the Professional Master's Degree at FGV Sao Paulo Law School intended for?
The program was designed for private and public lawyers, regulators, judges, managers, and public policymakers, as well as members of bodies in charge of tax inspection, investigation, and criminal prosecution. They are professionals who already have a reasonable mastery of legal techniques in their area of expertise, and now want to extend their theoretical background and improve practical skills to deal with legal issues whose answers are still open. Professional experience is a basic requirement for admission to the program. Most students have at least eight years of practical experience. There is also a large number of students, who have already attended a Graduate Specialization Program, or even LLM programs abroad. There are no students with less than three years of professional experience, as of graduation.
Can professionals from other areas apply for the Professional Master's Degree at FGV Sao Paulo Law School?
Professionals from other areas are welcome, as long as their practice is fully or partially related to Law. As the course demands sophisticated legal knowledge and intense participation in the classroom, candidates from other areas must be prepared to make an additional effort.
I am from another city or state. Can I still apply for the Professional Master's Degree at FGV Sao Paulo Law School?
Yes, certainly. The offer of weekly classes on Mondays and Tuesdays, or fortnightly classes on Fridays and Saturdays, depending on the chosen line, covers the needs of students who live or work outside the city of São Paulo. Most of the students, by the way, come from other cities or states, and stay in São Paulo during the two days of classes. In addition, FGV Sao Paulo Law School will be able to use hybrid classrooms, within the limit allowed by the regulation, offering the option of remote connection to the classes held at the school's headquarters.
What is the maximum duration of the program?
The course has a minimum duration of 18 and a maximum of 30 months, divided in semesters. Compulsory disciplines will occur mainly through face-to-face meetings. Other academic activities, including part of the elective courses, teaching guidance and seminars, qualification boards, and final boards, may be carried out with the support of technological resources, through online sessions and appropriate interaction among participants.
What is the course schedule?
The five lines have classes in the first two semesters on Fridays and Saturdays, every two weeks, full-time. The Business Law and Tax Law lines may offer the alternative of weekly classes, on Mondays and Tuesdays in the morning. Elective courses, on the other hand, are offered without distinction, for all lines, on Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, and the student chooses the arrangement most convenient.
What teaching methodology is used?
The professional master's degree uses the participatory teaching methodology, which has already been developed and tested in other courses at FGV Sao Paulo Law School. The methodology is based on case studies and specific problem solving, to allow for a contextualized and theoretically deep legal reflection.
The student has a leading role in the classroom. The teaching strategy is not limited to transmitting information, but seeks to strengthen the student's reasoning ability and intellectual autonomy, to overcome merely intuitive approaches or those inspired by common sense.
Building innovative solutions requires that the professional be prepared to challenge consolidated understandings about legal institutes, based on uses and notions achieved in fields that complement Law. Therefore, a dialogue with related areas, such as economics, sociology, business administration, and public management is necessary.
How should the final paper of the Professional Master's Degree at FGV Sao Paulo Law School be?
The final paper must adhere to the lines of action of the Professional Master's Degree at FGV Sao Paulo Law School. It is essential that the student's research proposal have applied relevance and adopt as its starting point a complex problem, an informal legal practice, or a paradigmatic case. The final paper must have propositions, by presenting recommendations for behavior or practical action.
It is not necessary to present a research project before joining the course, nor to define an advisor beforehand. The projects are elaborated during the first semester. Then, the program coordination appoints a faculty advisor to dialogue and support the student during the execution of the research project.
The provisional version of the final paper is initially submitted to a qualifying board, in the format of an open research seminar. After qualifying, the student must submit the final paper, subject to the examination and evaluation by an examining board. The board is made up of four members, three of them with a PhD degree (among them the student's advisor), ant the fourth from the professional environment. He/she does not need to be an academic, but must know how the research subject works in practice.
Will the student be able to take courses at foreign universities that have a partnership with FGV?
Yes. There is a strong concern with the program internationalization, through interaction with foreign actors and institutions, with a view of mapping trends and identifying new directions in the legal area. FGV Sao Paulo Law School has more than twenty agreements with law schools around the world, which ensures a wide possibility of international experiences for students who wish. These are concentrated courses, which normally take place in July and August, at partner institutions located in the United States, Europe, and Asia.
Can I participate in other events and disciplines offered by FGV, even in other programs?
Yes. Professional Master's students have access to a series of events and courses offered at FGV Sao Paulo Law School andother FGV schools.
How is the selection process for the Professional Master's Degree at FGV Sao Paulo Law School?
The selection process takes place annually, and aims to select candidates with a profile appropriate to the program’s proposal. The selection process consists of six phases:
- Curriculum analysis;
- Evaluation by questionnaire;
- Recommendation Letters (maximum of two, optional);
- Written test on academic and professional skills;
- English language test (if the candidate does not have a certificate accepted by the program); and
- Face-to-face or online interview.
For candidates for the Economic Criminal Law line, there will be a test of specific knowledge, according to the bibliography described in the notice.
When does the selection process start and how long does it last?
Applications for the selection process for the Professional Master's Degree at FGV Sao Paulo Law School begin in the first semester of each year. The complete schedule of the selection process is included in the notice.
How much does the program cost?
The program is not cheap, and should be seen as an investment for the student's professional qualification, with a great return potential in the short and medium-term.
FGV Sao Paulo Law School offers the alternative of paying the total cost in installments, which can reach 30 monthly payments.
Graduated students still have the possibility of taking courses in the new classes, without additional payment, although subject to availability.
Is there any funding program for the Professional Master?
Yes. FGV Sao Paulo Law School has a fund that offers financing up to 50% of the monthly fee. The granting of funding is subject to an assessment of the student's financial need, availability of resources, and academic performance. The loan payment will start r 30 months after the beginning of the course, subject only to monetary correction.
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