Gil Topaz, L'23

Gil's headshot

This fall, we will continue spotlighting student members! Gil Topaz is a new student board member, and he is helping to plan next week’s event on venture capital and private equity funding. 

Why did you decide to join the Richmond Law & Business Forum?

I decided to join the Forum because I wanted to be exposed to different areas of business law. I was always interested in the business world, but I was unsure of how that interest would fit into a legal career. The Forum has allowed me to participate in a wide array of different events that have introduced me to a variety of different areas of business law. Consequently, this has allowed for me to narrow my focus towards finance and transactional work.

As a new board member of the Richmond Law & Business Forum, what are your goals for the organization?  

I would love for the organization to have a robust mentorship program. Although it is still early in my career, I can already attribute any success that I have had to the wonderful mentors that have helped guide me along my journey. I also firmly believe that having an established program with a reputation of building lasting relationships with alumni will help bring even more talented individuals to Richmond Law.

What Forum events did you enjoy the most last year? 

I really enjoyed the mergers & acquisitions event because it helped to solidify my interest in that area of law. We got to opportunity to listen and talk to Steven Haas, a partner at Hunton and adjunct for Richmond Law, and Sarah Mikowski an associate at Hirschler and a Richmond Law alumna.

What are your own career goals?

As cliché as it might sound, my career goal is to find a job that doesn’t really feel like a job. I want to wake up every morning ready to attack my day because I truly enjoy what I do.

Tell us about any work experience related to business law.

My previous job at S-3 Group in DC was extremely business focused. My job was to communicate on behalf of my boss to multiple Fortune 500 company executives and help coordinate their regulatory and public affairs campaigns. I was also charged with compiling monthly reports to send to the executives, which could sometimes be a bit nerve racking. For example, one time we were audited by one of the companies we represented because of an issue that was spotted by their legal team. This resulted in having to comb through more than two years’ worth of reporting, with a year of that reporting coming from me. It was a lesson learned that being organized and on top of your work can really save your butt sometimes.

What has been your favorite part of Richmond Law so far?

Professor Erickson’s classes of course...okay but seriously the close-knit community. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting some truly incredible individuals and have always felt a strong sense of support from my classmates and teachers.