Tim Gilbert, LLB 1988, of Gilbert’s LLPThis donor profile is from the Fall/Winter 2011 issue of Nexus.

Tim Gilbert, LLB 1988, founder and one of just five partners at Toronto-based Gilbert’s LLP, retains a very distinct memory of his student years at the Faculty of Law.

"What I remember most is Prof. Stephen Waddams—sitting in his contracts class, and being asked to think like a lawyer. It isn't intuitive at first. But he trained me to think in terms that I always go back to."

It's a grounding, Gilbert says, that has served him consistently throughout his successful career. And it's something he sees repeatedly in the lawyers his firm hires straight out of U of T.

"The general student population at the school is very impressive," Gilbert says. "They want to be challenged, and they want to, as much as possible, change the world."

Those qualities are attractive to Gilbert's boutique firm, given its relatively small size and sometimes complicated caseload.  Among the characteristics that make it unique: all of the partners are U of T alumni, which means they have a self-confessed soft spot for the law school and tend to hire at least one of its graduates every year. The firm's sizable contribution to the building campaign is its biggest single donation ever. And Gilbert has no doubt that the money is well-spent.

"The University of Toronto is so highly regarded," he says, adding its graduates are not only smart, they're humble, too.  "I think it will play an enduring role not only in training lawyers, but in groundbreaking legal research. That will ultimately improve the quality of life for citizens around the world."