Full Time Practice

Friday, February 1, 2013

Meet Debora Leal Soares de Castro

Recently I asked Debora Leal Soares de Castro, the WIL rep for the Brazil Northeast JRCLS chapter, to tell us a little bit about herself.  Most graciously, she did.  She is 38 weeks pregnant, so her taking time to share her thoughts is particularly appreciated.  I hope you enjoy getting to know her.

It is a pleasure and an honor to serve as chair of the Women in Law in my region. All those involved in the Northeast Brazil Chapter are great people and we are all so happy for having the opportunity to serve as reps of the JRCLS here in our country. We really enjoy planning our activities and discussing ways to help our community. Being a member of the JRCLS has given me the opportunity to grow, learn and to serve others in ways I never thought it was possible. I also got the chance to meet other lawyers in my area and exchange information and experiences. It's been really amazing!

I have read this blog and I really like it. Reading about these intelligent, faithful women is a great encouragement for someone like me who is only starting in this path. 

I'm Débora Leal Soares de Castro, I was born in 1986 in Recife, Brazil where I currently live with my husband Daniel and very soon, our little baby girl Rebeca. My husband graduated as a Production Engineer in 2007. We were married in the Recife Brazil Temple on July 4th, 2009 after dating for two years. I'm the oldest daughter of Denise and Saulo Soares, I have a sister Regina and a brother Moacyr. 

Receiving bachelor degree
graduation ring from her father
 I got my bachelor of law degree (our J.D. equivalent) at the Catholic University of Pernambuco, Recife, Brazil (2005-2009). During my final years of Law school I worked as an intern at Julio Oliveira Law Firm and after graduation I was hired as an associate attorney. I worked there for 5 and a half years (left to go to BYU) and had the opportunity to work in a variety of areas in the law, which included family law and business law. I was also responsible for analyzing business contracts, assisting clients in court hearings, participating in case studies, researching and drafting court petitions. I'm a member of the Brazilian Bar Association (OAB – Ordem dos Advogados do Brasil), admitted to practice since 2010. 

When I was younger I always thought I'd grow up to be a math teacher or an engineer like my father, but like most teens, I was not a hundred per cent sure of what I was going to do for the rest of my life. In Brazil we have to decide at a very young age what profession we want to learn, because at the age of 16 - 17 teens have to apply to the University of the profession of their choice and take a test to see if they can get in. If you later on decide that was not a good choice then you'll have to start again, and take the test again and wait to see if you're approved. To avoid all that trouble I decided to pray so I could know for sure what the Lord wanted from me in that area of my life, and I was blessed with an unexpected answer, that I should go to Law School. I received my answer while talking to my grandfather who didn't even know I was trying to decide on a profession. Being a lawyer was something I had never thought about it before but it brings me so much joy and a sense of realization today. 

BYU LL.M graduation photo

I also just got back from Provo, UT where I finished my LL.M in Comparative Law at BYU. I was a student there during the fall and winter semester of 2011-2012. It was the best learning experience I had. Not only did I have the chance to learn more about the law, and how other legal systems work in other parts of the world, but I was also surrounded by wonderful, friendly people and immersed in a clean virtuous environment. I also loved hearing the devotionals and having classes that included the discussion of gospel principles. There's nowhere else in the world where I could learn about the gospel while learning about the law. I especially loved participating of Prof. Welch's class about the law in the times of the Book of Mormon and listening to the advice of Prof. Gordon during our contracts classes on how to become an incorruptible lawyer.  It was an experience I will cherish forever.   

A few weeks after graduation I found out that I was pregnant and that was truly a gift from heaven. Our baby already brings joy to our lives. She's much loved and we can't wait to see her little face. I pray that I can be a good mom for her and an example of a faithful woman. My career now is on hold, because I know that my role now is the role of a mother. To teach and guide my children so they can grow up to be good citizens and faithful members of the church. I do have career related goals I want to achieve in the future. I want to study more and gain experience in my profession to make a difference and to help in the reestablishment of moral values in my community. 

Thank you, Debora.  You have done amazing things and we know you will continue to do amazing things in the future.  Say "hello" to Rebeca when she arrives!

(We want to regularly use this blog to highlight you: women of faith who have been trained in the law.  You are doing great things--in the courtroom, in your community and in your home.   Getting to know each other better will strengthen each of us individually as well as strengthen us as a whole.  If you know anyone you think we should highlight, please let us know at nanbarker@gmail.com.)

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