Minnesota Law

Spring 2022
All Rise

Leading Questions: Henrique Beux Nassif Azem, LL.M. ’22

A federal attorney for Brazil, he holds a Master in Law degree from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul and understands five languages

Henrique Beux Nassif Azem, LL.M. ’22

Describe your work as a federal attourney in Brazil.
I work as a civil litigation attorney for the federal agencies in Brazil, a job that deals with a broad array of subjects, from the rights of indige- nous people to environmental law, securities, aerospace, and social security law. In brief, it’s about filing complaints and handling appeals for lawsuits opened against or by the federal government of Brazil and its agencies.

In what languages are you conversant?
Portuguese is my mother tongue. I can speak English, Spanish, Italian, and German. I read in French, but I am not able to speak or write it yet.

Why did you select Minnesota Law?
The program suited my expectations, since I could take any courses that fit my interests. It also helps you to build a strong basis in American law due to the Introduction to American Law and Legal Writing mandatory courses. Also, it is located in the Twin Cities, a big hub for all parts of the country.

What has been your favorite part about the LL.M. program so far?
I like to spend time at the Law Library, which has pretty much all the resources I could ask for. The comraderie with American students is also amazing, not to mention the discussions with faculty.

What do you plan to do with your LL.M. degree?
The program will certainly help me pursue higher steps in my academic career and will help me with my doctorate thesis in Brazil, which focuses on the influence of American law in judicial review in Brazil. It will help me in my daily activities at work as well, as I got broader perspectives of what law is and what solutions we can get from it in a different legal system.

Are there any misconceptions about Minnesota that your time here has dispelled?

Everyone says this part of the country is cold, with a lot of snow. It is true, but it is not bad at all. You can enjoy the time here, doing stuff you never get to do if you live in a warmer country.

What does being a lawyer-leader mean to you?
In the end it is about trying to do the best you can, to try to achieve justice and rightness in every case you deal with and treat all people fairly. It also means to give something back to the community and/or society that you are part of.

How do you like to spend your free time?
I like to play and watch tennis, watch my soccer team (Grêmio) on TV, swim, and read about law, history, politics, philosophy, and biographies in general.

What is something about you others might find surprising?
I like heavy metal music! Iron Maiden is my favorite band. And I like to go to bed early— like 8:30 to 9 p.m.

Anything else you'd like to share?
Minnesota Law is an excellent school, the academic environment is superb, the interaction with professors, other students and staff is life changing. If I can give a piece of advice, it is to find an activity that pleases you—a study group, or a student organization where you can make friends, or people with whom you share some interests—so you can have a bit of your own life experience here. Take advantage of being in the United States, in one of the top schools and in a big metropolis like the Twin Cities.