Alumni Spotlight: Venus Chui

The BC Law Impact blog is running a special series of alumni interviews featuring former Impact bloggers. Catch them all here.

What are you doing now? / What was your path to your current position?

After graduating from BC Law in 2018, I began working at the Kings County District Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn, NY as an Assistant District Attorney. I worked there for about four years until mid-2022, when my husband, son, and I moved to Japan. I am currently learning Japanese and volunteering with a church, in hopes of eventually using my legal education and experience in Japan.

Something you wish you did while at BC?

I wish that I spent more time asking questions and getting to know my professors during office hours!

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Food Review: Sugar! Newton’s Bakeries

This year, we launched a spotlight series focused on local foods, because no one should need to search far for good food. We started with a quintessential breakfast staple (bagels), and we then moved to a food item that’s perfect for lunch or dinner on the go (burritos). Today, we’re taking the only logical next step and focusing on desserts. We scoured coffee shops and bakeries in the immediate Newton area surrounding the BC Law campus to determine which one is the best of the best. 

Travis Salters and I traveled to six different locations for donuts, cupcakes, tarts, and more. Depending on the breadth of each place’s menu, we opted for one to two treats per stop. Several days later, we have emerged from our sugar comas and are ready to share our results. Whether you’re looking for some goodies for a graduation party or are just treating yourself after a busy year in law school, these are some options to consider.

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Alumni Spotlight: Brendan McKinnon

The BC Law Impact blog is running a special series of alumni interviews featuring former Impact bloggers.

What are you doing now? / What was your path to your current position?
I’m serving as General Counsel at an Independent Power Producer focusing on battery storage and solar energy development. I previously served as an Assistant District Attorney in Middlesex County, which was a great opportunity to get immediate litigation experience after graduation.

Something you wish you did while at BC?
I wish I had spent more time on the main campus and taken advantage of everything the larger university has to offer. I saw Attorney General Eric Holder speak, went to a few football and hockey games, and took the obligatory Bapst study break, but I probably ventured to Chestnut Hill ten times in three years. The law school is such a tight community that it’s easy to forget you’re part of a world-class university with amazing resources. Take the five-minute bus ride and enjoy it.

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Goodnight, Seattle

It’s been an honor to write for Impact. As graduation approaches, I’ve been thinking about what my final post should be about. The words have always come so easily when I sit down to write. But for this last one, the opposite has been the case.

As I sit here staring at the cursor blinking back at me, I think of the ending of Superman Returns, when Lois Lane, a journalist trying to summarize the events of the film, stares at a blank Word document with a flashing cursor under the heading, “Why the World Needs Superman.”

While I’m neither Lois nor Superman, the last three years have been an action packed adventure not easily captured with words.

I’ve always figured my last post would be a reflection on my time at BC Law. But writing such a reflection requires looking back on the last several years and putting things into perspective. How do I sum it all up? After telling stories on this blog and BC Law’s podcast for three years, how do I tell this one final story? 

I guess by starting at the beginning.

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Four Things I Wish I Knew Before Law School

Time flies when you’re having fun — and apparently it flies in law school, too. Jokes aside, as my 1L year comes to a close, I can safely say that I’ve had a great experience at BC so far. Still, looking back, there are certain things I wish I had known beforehand or done differently. For those of you with lawyers in the family or who did a lot more research than me before enrolling, some of these tips may seem like common sense. But for those who are less informed — and as an ode to a classic impact blog series — here are four things I wish I knew before coming to BC.

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Dublin Program puts the Experience in Experiential Learning

It’s not every day that class is held in another country. Yet, for the Dublin Semester-in-Practice program, it’s not out of the cards either. For students who have participated in externships, the weekly seminar requirement is nothing out of the ordinary. Usually, students spend the class time talking about their placement, divulging what they have learned and areas they seek to improve in. In a sense, the seminar serves a very practical purpose of hearing from students, learning from their experiences, and providing advice on how to proceed. 

However, for the students participating in the Dublin program, our seminar can look a little different. On an average week we get to hear from excellent speakers on a variety of Irish, legal, and political topics. This includes lecturers from Trinity College Dublin’s law school and high-ranking government officials. Every week it’s something new and relates back to the environment we are working in. While we also talk about our externship placements and how to navigate an international workplace, we get to supplement these discussions with talks on Irish sports, constitutional referendums, and EU data protection laws. And sometimes, we get to leave the classroom and experience that week’s educational topic firsthand.

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Reilly’s Declassified OCI Survival Guide

Remember that your job search is a mutual process– you want to be somewhere that values you as much as you value them.

Two of the biggest reasons I chose BC Law was the high Big Law placement and my positive interactions with the Career Services Office when I was a prospective student. Recruiting for any position out of law school can be very stressful, but our CSO is an experienced and talented group of people who do a great job supporting students in their preferred career paths. 

The third reason I chose BC Law, and it cannot be overstated, is the collegial culture. Applying to Big Law jobs and OCI is competitive but I never felt like I was competing with my friends. I had a great support system and loved sharing things I’d learned, mistakes I’d made, and celebrating my friends’ successes when they landed their 2L summer jobs. 

Before I go through any of the tips, please bookmark BC’s CSO Drive (BC Law students only, sorry). CSO does an amazing job including everything you could possibly need to know in that drive. 

I have written 10 tips to help you navigate the OCI process. If you have questions I did not answer, check out the CSO Drive, speak with CSO, or feel free to reach out to me! I love talking about all things OCI. I would like to give a huge thank you to CSO Associate Director Dorothy Commons who looked over my article to make sure I was sharing accurate information!

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Thank You For Your Time

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about time and the lack of it. Last semester, I thought maybe I just hadn’t planned well enough, so I decided my lack of time was an organizational problem. I worked on time management. I divided my workstreams. I even cleaned out my email inbox. But at the end of it all, I still didn’t have enough time. Only now, I didn’t have time in a nice, organized sort of way.

I began to notice that it wasn’t just me. No one had enough time. Even though we all get the same amount – that good ole 24/7 – and even though it’s renewable on condition (on condition that you aren’t dead) there is somehow just not enough of it to go around. Ever. It’s as though we’re being shortchanged by the universe one day at a time.

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The AI Revolution Raises Terrifying Questions about Virtual Child Pornography

Today’s post by BC Law professor and associate dean for academic affairs Daniel Lyons originally appeared on the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) AEIdeas blog. You can view the post here.

By Daniel Lyons

It was probably inevitable that the artificial intelligence (AI) discourse would eventually turn to virtual pornography. Earlier this week, CBS News noted that increasingly sophisticated AI editing programs can exacerbate the problem of “deepfake” porn: images and videos digitally altered to appear to be someone else. This article came on the heels of a Twitter discussion Matty Yglesias prompted about whether AI-generated pornography could disrupt the adult industry by removing the need for real people to be involved.

But underlying this discussion is an even more frightening concern: the prospect of virtual child sexual abuse material (CSAM). (Hat tip to Kate Klonick.) It may surprise you that Congress was way ahead of the curve on this issue: A quarter-century ago, it banned so-called virtual child pornography, computer-generated imagery designed to look like CSAM. It may further surprise you that the Supreme Court struck down this law as unconstitutional. But the evolution of technology in the decades since suggests that it is time to revisit this problematic decision.

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Korematsu v. United States Trial Re-Enactment

What makes law school worth it, in my opinion, is not the time spent with our noses buried in our textbooks or the late nights spent outlining for exams. It’s the everyday interactions you have with the people around you, and the spaces curated for you by fellow students who want to see you thrive and succeed in a comfortable environment. One such space is APALSA.

I have had the honor of being President of APALSA for the past school year. APALSA is the affinity group dedicated for law students who are of Asian-American and Pacific Island (AAPI) descent, yet it is so much more than that. APALSA provides a safe space for AAPI students to bond and socialize over mutual interests and backgrounds. In a predominantly white institution, it is easy to feel out of place as a student of color. APALSA aims to provide a welcoming environment where students can feel comfortable asking questions and having conversations that may be otherwise difficult to have with non-APALSA students. We pride ourselves on being an inclusive community, with most of our events being open to the general public so that they can share and partake in bits of our culture that we grew up on, whether through the delicious food we serve at general body meetings, the advice we offer during our attorney panels, or the social events we organize for students. 

This year, APALSA undertook a project like no other: a trial re-enactment of Korematsu v. United States.

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