On Friday, March 11, Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., proudly announced a $1 million gift from 1982 alumnus Jim Aviles and Milena de Goes. The gift will support Brasilian students seeking an LL.M. degree from the Law School. Law School Dean Nell Jessup Newton offered thanks to Aviles and Goes noting “this beautiful gift strengthens our LL.M. program and allows us, in the Notre Dame tradition, to form lawyers who will be a part of the authentic development of the rule of law in Brasil. We could not be more thrilled.”
Aviles co-manages a boutique investment and consulting company, Avigo Ltd., and is an active board member and investor in technology companies in the United States and Brasil, including IdentityMind. As co-founder, board member and COO of Merchant e-Solutions, Inc., Aviles grew the company into a leader in the electronic payment industry until 2012, when the company was acquired by Cielo S.A. for $670 Million. Previously, Aviles led product, marketing and technology at Bank of America’s merchant services division. “I can think of no other place that will allow – and actually require – Brasilian lawyers to learn in a context where values give meaning to knowledge,” Aviles said. “Father Hesburgh used to say that ‘it is easier to exemplify values than teach them’ and our hope is that these young lawyers will return to Brasil and exemplify all that is good about Notre Dame and the law, and in so doing, be a powerful force for good.”
The LL.M. at Notre Dame Program allows students from around the globe to study the legal system of the United States in a traditional U.S. law school environment. The program equips these lawyers with a fundamental understanding of American law and culture, and prepares them to use that knowledge and training when they return to their home country or enter the global legal market. International students, such as the Aviles-Brasil Fellows, are fully integrated into the Law School’s curriculum and culture as they attend classes and take part in student activities with their U.S. counterparts. All students have access to the core curriculum of the Law School, and may choose to concentrate their studies in a variety of specializations by taking advanced courses offered in the J.D. program.