Staff Spotlight – Jessica Topor

July 12, 2017

Jessica Topor, CVHR Supervisory Staff Attorney, has been with the CVHR for a little over 5 years. She started her career with the CVHR as a volunteer law clerk, eventually joining the CVHR team as a Staff Attorney before becoming Supervisory Staff Attorney.

Get to know Jessica a little better through our latest Staff Spotlight Interview:

What initially sparked your interest in working for the CVHR?
I first heard about the CVHR from a job posting for a law clerk, but because I had missed the deadline, I didn’t apply. A few weeks later, I heard Raio speak at a Human Rights Day event at the law school, and was so impressed by his passion in helping victims that I sought him out after the event. An application and an interview later, and I’ve been here since!

What are you most excited to do or accomplish in your role as Supervisory Staff Attorney for the CVHR?
I want to use this opportunity to build my leadership skills, help to develop and support the CVHR’s programmatic priorities, and overall just become a better asset for the CVHR. I’m confident that being in this position will actually give me the chance to help a broader array of people and have a strong impact on victims generally.

What has been your favorite part about working for the CVHR?
I’m going to be that person and say I’ve got two favorite parts. First is the people I’ve worked with – these are all people who are dedicated to helping victims, who truly care about their work and their clients. I’ve learned so many things, both in terms of legal practice and the values that we ascribe to. The second is the actual clients. Being able to help someone through a difficult time in their life, to help them achieve safety, and knowing that you made a difference to that one individual person – that means a lot!

Best vacation you’ve been to?
About 10 years ago, I had the opportunity to travel to Poland with my dad, grandmother, and aunt. It was my dad’s first visit back since he immigrated to the US at the age of 10. It was incredible to walk around the town where he grew up, see the cellar where my grandmother sheltered during bombing raids in WWII, meet relatives, and explore the beautiful country of my heritage.

What book did you read last?
I’m in a couple book clubs, so I’ve got at least two books going at any given time. By the time this posts, I’ll have read Dead Wake (Erik Larson) and Welcome to Paradise! (Hyok Kang). The last one I read just for myself was Interpreter of Maladies (Jhumpa Lahiri).

What did you want to be when growing up?
A lawyer. I even dressed up like one for Halloween one year when I was about 9 – had a little suit and pearls and carried a briefcase.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
Be outside. I’m originally from Michigan and very much miss the water.

What is an ability you wish you had?
Singing. I love to sing along to the radio, but I can’t carry a tune to save my life, so I save it for when I’m in private or in my car. I apologize if you’ve pulled up next to me and heard my screeching.

What is the first concert you attended?
Charlie Daniels Band, at the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts. I was in absolute awe of the fiddle-playing.

What was your favorite book, toy, or outfit as a child?
Anne of Green Gables. I had that book practically memorized!