Brandon Kenney graduated from Bellarmine summa cum laude with a B.A. in English and philosophy in 2011. He also holds a master’s degree in philosophy and public policy from the London School of Economics and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. He is currently an attorney practicing corporate law in New York City, where he lives with his wife, a fellow Bellarmine alum.
What other majors/minors/tracks did you have beyond English?
I double majored in English and philosophy, although I also took a few classes per semester in other departments. By graduation, I had taken multiple years of French and Attic Greek, as well as several courses in the history and music departments.
What is your current job?
I practice law as a litigation associate at Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett LLP in New York City. My practice so far has focused on securities, antitrust, and white collar defense for a variety of large multinational institutions. I have also been lucky to take on substantial pro bono matters, including representing criminal defendants in federal court who are financially unable to obtain counsel, challenging the current Administration’s executive orders on immigration, and sitting on the New York City Bar Association’s Committee on Government Ethics and State Affairs.
In what ways was your degree valuable in preparing you for your career?
The skillset I developed as an English major is the same skillset I use daily at work. I spend most of my time critically reading documents and then drafting memos or briefs that analyze those documents.
What was your favorite experience as an English major?
Being around the people involved in the Department was the most rewarding aspect of being an English major. Get to know your cohort and professors. They will push you to excel academically and personally – and you will make fantastic friends. I fondly recall spending time with classmates and professors seeing theater, hanging out in offices, and drinking coffee in the quad. Also, going to class was a treat. I had great teachers and happily look back on my time studying Faulkner, Shakespeare, creative writing, and literary theory.
Any advice for current majors or those considering an English degree?
Go to office hours. Read and write often. Have fun. And submit to Ariel.