There is a new association of lawyers, based in Portugal, thinking about the future of advocacy in Portuguese-speaking countries. It is called the International Association of Young Portuguese Language Lawyers (JALP) and aims to not only represent and assist but also unite young lawyers from Portuguese-speaking countries (PALOP).
JALP guarantees that it will be uncompromising in the concerns and interests of its associates and provide a framework for young lawyers in the Lusophone jurisdictional context and in the linguistic-cultural movement in which the “new Portugal” is inserted. The president, Francisco Goes Pinheiro, explained to Jornal Económico (JE) how the integration of young jurists from CPLP and the Macau Special Administrative Region will take place.
The association aims to represent and support CPLP's young lawyers. What are your main concerns at the moment?
The concerns of young CPLP lawyers do not differ much from those of other young lawyers in general. There are aspects that are transversal to the majority of the younger legal communities and that cause concern, as is the case, with the rules on access to the profession, the regulation of the professional internship, the regime of access to the law, multidisciplinarity and marketing / advertising in the the profession, among others. In any case, there are also specific aspects of each jurisdiction that must be attended to, so it is our intention to listen and understand with young lawyers in these countries the best way we can contribute to the improvement of their ethical and socio-professional conditions. On another level, our mission is also to centralize and help young lawyers and trainee lawyers in the Portuguese-speaking context, namely to give visibility and enhance the protocols that already exist among the different bar associations and which, in our opinion, should be easily accessible and consultable. JALP intends to collaborate with the Bar Associations of the CPLP countries and with the Union of Portuguese Language Lawyers (UALP) in order for this information to be more accessible to the legal community in general.
How did the idea to create this project come about?
This idea emerged in the midst of personal and professional relationships that have been created and strengthened among some of the associates, over the years, and that are at the origin of this project. Among us and in a very natural way, the idea of creating an association that functioned as an aggregating pole and strengthened the Lusophone space as a privileged framework in the defense and promotion of the interests of young lawyers, emerged and consolidated, with the starting point and common denominator Portuguese language. For me, personally, it was essential that this team was as plural and representative as possible, not only in terms of jurisdictions, but also in terms of the reality of the law in which they belong. The timing chosen for the creation of the association is not innocent. At a time when the world, in general, adopts measures of isolation and social distance, JALP intends to function as a link (albeit remote) between the various colleagues. We believe that what unites us is more than what separates us, and that although physically distant, we can work and promote ideas together.
Do you agree with the PS proposal to reduce the Order's internships to one year?
As far as we know the bill of the PS parliamentary group is still not official, so we will wait for the respective release of the diploma to understand exactly what is there. As a matter of principle, JALP is not opposed to reducing the period of the internship to 12 months, which seemed to us, until some years ago, excessively long and impractical. In any case, it seems essential to us that any reduction in the duration of the internship does not imply a decrease or loss of its quality.
Do you consider that large law firms have a complete range of services - desks / teams - for those who have or want to do business in Portuguese speaking?
It seems to us that it is inevitable. Lusophone law firms, whether large, medium or small, feel the need to accompany their clients in their internationalization process, which is why it seems logical and natural to invest in a universal and integrated legal services network that meeting their claims. The reality of the market tells us that the vast majority of law firms already have a direct or indirect presence at CPLP, namely through partnerships, with a special focus on PALOP. JALP's intention is precisely to collaborate with the different stakeholders in the legal community in order to support the integration and training of young lawyers and trainee lawyers in the context of the CPLP.
The JALP board is also composed of Márcia Martinho da Rosa and José Briosa and Gala (vice-presidents), Nayda Silveira d'Almeida (member) and Natália Campos Rocha (general secretary), while the board of the general meeting includes Manuel Ferreira Mendes (president), Carlos Eduardo Coelho (vice president) and Maria Inês Costa (secretary) and the fiscal council by Catarina Fernandes (president), José Borges Guerra (vice president) and Barros Gaspar Simão (member).
Who can be a JALP member?
Any trainee lawyers or lawyers duly registered in the respective professional orders of any CPLP country, provided that the definitive registration has not occurred more than twenty years ago. The honorary and collective members may also integrate JALP, the first being lawyers who stood out in the practice of the profession or in the context of the CPLP and the collective associates, the entities that play an important role in the aforementioned jurisdictions or that continue common or similar interests to those pursued by the association.