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An Interview with Eduardo Soares, Foreign Law Specialist

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This week’s interview is with Eduardo Soares, a foreign law specialist at the Law Library of Congress who covers Brazil and Portuguese speaking jurisdictions.

Describe your background.

I was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  I started working at a law firm after entering high school, which most likely influenced me to pursue a career in this field.  I studied law at the Universidade Federal Fluminense and obtained my license to practice law in 1988.  In 1999, I moved to the United States and earned a master’s degree in International Legal Studies at American University Washington College of Law.Eduardo Soares seated at a desk with papers stacked on top, and shelves with books in the background.

How would you describe your job to other people?

I usually describe my duties as the legal specialist in charge of Brazil and all Portuguese-speaking countries.  This encompasses providing legal advice and assistance and conducting legal research and analysis for the U.S. Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court and executive agencies in the laws and legal systems of Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal, São Tomé e Príncipe, and Timor Leste.  In this position, I produce or contribute to research and analytical products, including legal reports, opinions, briefs, memoranda, and comparative analyses for the mentioned jurisdictions.  Our clients include the U.S. Congress, the Supreme Court, executive agencies, and the judiciary.  We also provide reference assistance to members of the bar and the general public.

Why did you want to work at the Law Library of Congress?

When I first read the job description for my position I immediately thought about the amazing opportunity of working with so many jurisdictions and, basically, all fields of law, which is a challenge that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

What is the most interesting fact you have learned about the Law Library of Congress?

There are a lot of interesting facts that I continue learning about the Law Library, but two of them really express the uniqueness of this institution.  One of them is that the collection of the Law Library has been used to restore or recompose the legal heritage of nations that have had their patrimony destroyed by the calamities of war or natural disaster.  The second is the international reach of the Law Library that in many instances is used as a reference resource for other institutions throughout the world.

What’s something most of your co-workers do not know about you?

I was the director of a samba school in Brazil.  In this capacity I was responsible for the legal and administrative aspects of an association that during the Carnaval Parade would involve as many as 4,000 people, including close to 200 children, which required special permission from the relevant authorities.  And yes, I know how to dance samba.

Comments (2)

  1. During some research regarding intercountry adoption I was lucky to find a helpful and clarifying article written by Mr. Soares on the Library of the Congress website which led me to other articles of him. Then I had the great pleasure to find out that he is brazilian and expert in foreign law at the Law Library of Congress.
    So I would like to thank you for the opportunity to share with us a little bit more about him.
    It would be great if we had the chance to reach Mr. Soares somehow.
    Is there any contact available? Maybe email?
    Thank you again.

  2. Thank you for your good work! I am glad to know that the Library of Congress has a specialist who works with and explains legal research and concepts of Brazil and other Portuguese-speaking countries.

    I really liked Brazil. We still have friends there — we had a Brazilian exchange student from Vitoria. Brazilians are great hosts!

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