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Patrícia Feitosa

Our Positive Woman is Patrícia Feitosa, a lawyer and daughter of two resilient northeasterners, who tells us how she started her career and asserts that in the face of difficulties, she prefers to see them as needs for adaptation. Patrícia da Silva Feitosa, a lawyer graduated from Faculdades Metropolitanas Unidas (FMU), holds a postgraduate degree in criminal law and criminal procedure from Mackenzie Presbyterian University (2017), High-Level Training in Democracy and Security from the University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain) and the Higher School of the Public Ministry of São Paulo, currently running her own specialized law office, Patrícia Feitosa Advocacia Especializada. She is currently an advisor to the Rights and Prerogatives Commission of the Brazilian Bar Association, participating in major Federal Police Operations, and a full member of the Entrepreneurship Commission of the Brazilian Bar Association. She worked at the São Paulo City Green and Environment Department (2016/2018), the São Paulo State Highway Department (2019/2020), and completed the RAPS Leadership Program: Electoral Campaigns and Sustainability 2018. She ran for city councilor of São Paulo in 2016 and for state deputy in 2018. She co-authored the book "Themes of Mediation and Arbitration" and has published an article in the magazine “Síntese Direito Imobiliário – Cautelas na Compra e Venda de Imóvel.”

1. How did your career begin? I am the protagonist of my story, which I believe is inspiring for many women who do not feel capable of taking their own flight. I am from the northeast, the daughter of a warrior woman who worked hard and always believed that education would transform the lives of her three daughters: Patrícia, Paloma, and Paula. From a very young age, my mother always said, “Daughter, you are going to study, you cannot miss school, you need to be 'somebody,' I had no opportunity, but you will.” My parents always believed in my potential. They worked day and night to pay for my law school tuition. They never shied away. My father traveled to São Paulo to work, managed to save money, and returned to the northeast. One day my sisters were diagnosed with a serious vision problem. My mother went to an ophthalmologist who gave the wrong treatment, worsening the problem. We came to São Paulo in search of better treatment. Life improved, my father, a passenger transport driver, at 47 years old, had the opportunity to become an owner, and our financial life changed completely. Today he is a businessman and has always helped me a lot. With all the challenges my parents faced with my sisters, I sought out school myself to continue my studies. I had to be strong because I was only 12 years old, a child. I needed a lot of courage and personality to overcome challenges and achieve my goals. From adolescence in the Paraisópolis community, where I studied at Etelvina de Góes Marcucci State School, to the woman who graduated and post-graduated in criminal law and criminal procedural law from Mackenzie Presbyterian University, it was a long and arduous journey, but also a provoking one, fostering my development as a citizen. Besides achieving the title of honorary doctor in prevention and combatting femicide, granted by the Apostolic Biblical Ecclesiastical College, I developed social and political awareness. With this plural motivation to work for the collective, I reached a position in the Liberal Party, where I was an active leader in the women’s movement, with prominent actions in social fronts defending the socially disadvantaged, the environment, women's rights, especially those victimized by domestic violence, and vulnerable women and girls who suffer daily from physical, psychological, and sexual violence. But I know I can do much more if I hold a parliamentary seat and have been working on this project, participating in electoral processes. Each election brings more experience and improves our relationship with people and the causes we defend. I ran for city councilor in 2016 and state deputy in 2018.

2. How is the business model of Patrícia Feitosa Advocacia Especializada structured? It is a law firm specializing in criminal law, with the main objective of developing appropriate and specific strategies for each concrete case, focusing on personalized service and crafting tailored legal work.

3. What was the most difficult moment in your career? Starting my career without a doubt was challenging due to the advertising restrictions in the legal market. The Brazilian Bar Association has its rules that cannot be violated, so I started from scratch with the well-known buzz marketing, learning to charge, and understanding that finance is the heart of the business. I found angels in my life who extended their hands. But I will not romanticize dealing with the stressful routine, in addition to worrying about networking, etc. For example, obtaining a warrant for a client accused of money laundering. This resonates with other people and thus begins the referrals. A very difficult moment in my career was when I lost a client in 2015. I was hired to file a consensual divorce action for a couple who had a daughter the same age as my Sophia. There was a disagreement between the couple on a rainy Sunday when I was about to go to Mass. I have a habit of going on Sundays. I was surprised by a call informing me that my client had been brutally murdered by her husband. This marked me deeply because I had only three years of legal practice and went into a breakdown. Today, with 11 years of experience, I realize I tried to help in every way possible. After the incident, I started working on my own, assisting women victims of domestic violence and realized that having laws that strengthen the punishment of the aggressor is not enough. We need women in positions of power, in parliamentary seats, to create public policies that increasingly strengthen women. I think of projects that promote female entrepreneurship, bring information to society, and transform our society's culture. I currently have a project aimed at bringing information to women developed in the Catholic churches of São José and Nossa Senhora do Paraíso.

4. How do you manage to balance your personal and corporate/entrepreneurial life?

I try to separate the seasons, and we have an agreement among ourselves. My husband and daughter are calm, understand, and encourage my choices. Criminal law is immediate, urgent, and dealing with flagrant arrest cannot wait; everything is very fast. When my office is called for flagrant arrest and custody, I need to leave immediately. But today I have more freedom because we have a team of experienced and empathetic professionals working with me. Recently, I traveled to Spain for work, and they fully supported me. When I arrived home, there was even a welcome breakfast (laughs).

5. What is your biggest dream? To give lectures, be an instrument of transformation in people's lives, and continue sharing my life and entrepreneurship story with the world. I hope God places people in my path who see my desire to transform lives. As a lawyer, I can transform lives, and as a politician, with the dream of becoming a deputy, I could contribute to Brazil with my knowledge and experience, not just professionally but life-wise. At 36, I feel ready to face any challenge.

6. What is your greatest achievement? My greatest achievement was realizing my dream of becoming a lawyer. When I was 8 years old, I lived in a village called Vila do Espirito Santo in São José do Egito, Pernambuco. There was a man who was a medium; I remember one day he approached my mother and me and said: “Your daughter will be a lawyer, but she has a big mission.” We were surprised, and my mother asked what it would be. He said, “To transform lives.” This is very strong. I know why, but God knows how.

7. Book, movie, and woman you admire. Movie: "Pretty Woman," Book: "The Client" by John Grisham. Woman: Fabi Saad. Recently, I participated in the women's entrepreneurship journey at the São Paulo Bar Association headquarters. I attended Fabi's lecture. I confess that with all the courage and strength I have, I was at a moment of giving up on a project I have... I met an incredible woman who awakened something in me. It seemed like she was speaking to me with every word; I felt that I couldn't give up on something so important. I was being cowardly with myself and with those who need me... I went to the bathroom and cried a lot during the lecture, a lot indeed. It was my car’s rotation day, so I made a point not to return by car. I took the bus 5119 and remembered that girl who left the backlands of Pernambuco on an Itapemirim bus bound for São Paulo to the largest community of Paraisópolis, in search of changing not only her life but her family's. I realized I couldn't give up. I connected with myself. Fabi Saad's lecture generated a feeling of ‘it’s not over yet.’ I thank Fabi Saad for the opportunity to share my story of resilience in entrepreneurship since my first year after graduation. I have a law office. It is a challenge to this day to be an entrepreneur, believe, persevere, and never give up. The challenges are constant, but God places angels when the purpose comes from the heart so that the promise is fulfilled. May God bless the entire Positive Women team, a project that should be valued more each day. We need women in politics to promote female entrepreneurship. Gratitude.


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