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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