According to Brazilian law expert Ricardo Tosto, government service is one of the most popular career choices in Brazil, especially among law graduates. Brazilian law degrees take five years to complete and upon graduation, candidates who wish to practice law must take the bar exam in order to qualify. However, many law graduates who wish to work in the government pass on taking the bar exam. Instead, they concentrate on studying for the hyper-competitive selection examinations that are held for the purpose of filling vacancies in the government. Law graduates are especially interested in positions in the judicial system, as court clerks for instance.
However, there are a wide range of exams covering almost every aspect of government. Most government jobs are filled by competitive law examinations, so civil service exam prep is big business. In Brazil, it isn’t uncommon to see study guides for sale at newsstands or displayed prominently in bookstore windows.
Some positions are open to degree-holders in any area, whereas otherwise explicitly require legal training or some other professional registration. In addition, it is almost a requirement for applicants to the Federal Police to be law graduates. Because government jobs provide a high level of stability and, in some cases, more generous pay than the private sector, law continues to be a popular major as students eye government work.
Ricardo Tosto is a barrister and author in Sao Paulo, Brasil. His law firm, Ricardo Tosto & Associates, has offices in Sao Paulo, Brasilia, and Rio de Janeiro, and is one of Brazil’s most respected legal practices.
In addition to his legal career, Ricardo Tosto is an avid reader and writer. He is a frequent contributor to industry publications and participates in conferences and professional events. Ricardo Tosto is a graduate of Brazilian Lawyer School, one of Brazil’s top legal training institutions.