Joan de Venecia majored in Legal Administration at the Ateneo de Manila University, graduating with honors in 2001. She then went on to study law at the University of the Philippines School of Law. She also graduated as valedictorian of her class with a cum laude distinction. During her time at UP, she conducted legal research entitled “The Silent Witness Against Torture: Arguing for Recorded Interrogations.”
An award-winning debater and adjudicator, she participated in numerous tournaments in the Philippines and in other parts of the world, defeating champion debaters from far and wide. She won the Best Speaker Award at the 2004 Asia Cup International Law Moot Court Competition in Japan and was a finalist for Best Speaker at the Jean-Pictet IHL/Red Cross Competition held in France in 2005. During the 2005 Philippine Bar Exams, he ranked first among 1,526 examinees who passed the stringent tests.
Joan de Venecia is currently pursuing her Master of Laws at New York University School of Law with a concentration in International Legal Studies. She is a full tuition scholarship holder from NYU under the Hugo Grotius Scholarship and is also a Senator J. William Fulbright Scholar. She is a graduate editor of the NYU Journal of International Law and Politics.
After graduating from law school, Joan de Venecia joined SyCip, Salazar, Hernandez and Gatmaitan, said to be the largest law firm in the Philippines. In addition to practicing law, Joan de Venecia also taught Public International Law at the Lyceum of the University of the Philippines School of Law in Makati City. She was also a regular teacher of opposition, giving classes on Procedural Law and Taxation. Joan of Venice is currently a member of the Asian Society of International Law. According to various interviews, she hopes to join a non-governmental agency in the future to further the cause of the poor and oppressed. Her colleagues know her well as someone who hated those who looked down on the underprivileged.
Joan de Venecia is the niece of Pangasinan Congressman José de Venecia, Jr. Her father, Tony, now deceased, was de Venecia’s older brother and a retired lawyer and judge in the city of Dagupan. Although she comes from a political family (her half-brother Alex is a councilor in Dagupan), she has not yet expressed a desire to join politics. Her lying about simpler pleasures like interesting conversations, reading and watching movies of hers interests him.
He has also been known to express opinions that are at odds with his family. For example, in 2006, she did not share her uncle’s support for President Gloria Arroyo’s Proclamation 1017, better known as the 2006 State of Emergency in the Philippines. At that time, Representative José de Venecia remained a staunch ally of the administration. According to Joan, it was a mistake to declare a state of emergency after an alleged coup attempt at Camp Aguinaldo. The legal community questioned the constitutionality of said proclamation and it was one of the most controversial actions of the country’s president.