Alumni Spotlight

For Nascimento ’14, an Albany Law Degree Helped Progress Career

Alex Nascimento M.S. ’14

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For Alex Nascimento M.S. ’14, getting his Master’s degree at Albany Law School fulfilled a lifelong dream.

Inspired by his father, a practicing attorney, he completed his Bachelor of Laws at Universidade de Fortaleza in Brazil in 2007 and practiced as a labor attorney for many years. He was successful and preparing to buy his first home. Talking to his mother, a biology professor, about his accomplishments, she asked him if there was anything he wanted to do that he wasn’t pursuing already.

“I always dreamed about having a Master’s degree from a university in the United States,” he said. “I said, ‘Mom, I want to learn. I want to go there.’ She suggested maybe going to teach but I said I knew, in my soul, that I wanted to be an American student.”

He had been in New York in 2011 on vacation and happened to connect with someone at Albany Law School. Environmental law is a strong area of interest for many Brazilian lawyers and Albany Law’s program was a good match.

“I was impressed right away and applied as soon as I got home,” he said. “I had two first impressions. First, the people. The way they are genuine and when I speak they know I am from somewhere else because of my accent, but everyone was so friendly and welcoming. The second is the [1928] building. It’s just beautiful.”

He had a great experience from the start. In Brazil, lawyers complete a five-year Bachelor’s program. Most of that learning is very broad and focuses on cases at large.

“In Brazil, we have books teaching what the law is saying. We have books teaching all those things on how to study the law, but not what it means. This program was so different, in a good way. I had great professors and a great environment, it was so nice.”

He is now licensed in both Brazil and Portugal and is getting into the immigration law space in Portugal specifically. With experience on student visas, work visas, and working on the immigration process for his daughter, who was born in the U.S., he wants to help people navigate the process.

He’s also working on a doctoral program at the Universidade de Coimbra in Portugal.

“Having my Master's degree from Albany Law was something that opened my mind to the academic field and to the learning process,” he said. “I am not sure I would be pursuing my Ph.D. without it.”


Alex Nascimento