Derek focuses his practice on corporate law with an emphasis on mergers and acquisitions and assisting emerging growth technology companies.
During law school, Derek participated in Cozen O'Connor's 2018 summer associate program. He assisted in a variety of projects related to corporate, real estate, and labor and employment law. Derek also worked for one of Pittsburgh’s legal technology startups that applies artificial intelligence and natural language processing to certain legal tasks with the goal of helping attorneys be more efficient.
Prior to entering law school, Derek worked in public education in the Lake and Peninsula School District in rural Alaska where he held roles as principal, head teacher, and teacher. While head teacher, Derek served as teacher union president and was responsible for negotiating a three-year agreement between the teacher's union and the district administration. Given his interest in technology, Derek served as co-chair of the district’s technology committee and created technology-based enrichment programs focused on robotics and computer programming.
Derek earned his bachelor's degree in elementary education from Pennsylvania State University, and his master’s in educational leadership from University of Alaska Anchorage. He earned his law degree, cum laude, from University of Pittsburgh School of Law where he was vice president of the Class of 2019 in the Student Bar Association and editor-in-chief of the University of Pittsburgh Law Review. He authored “From Filling Buckets to Lighting Fires: The ABA Standards and the Effects of Teaching Methods, Assessments, and Feedback on Student Learning Outcomes” which appeared in the Law Review. He was the teaching assistant for Cyber Law, Policy & Security with Professor David Hickton and American Constitutional Law with Professor Jon Pushinsky. Derek was active in the law school’s Innovation Practice Institute, the Randall Family Big Idea Competition, and various law school committees. He received the CALI Excellence for the Future Award in Corporate Governance in 2018, and the CALI Excellence for the Future Award for Electronic Discovery Seminar in 2017. Upon graduation, he was awarded the Robert Maxwell DeBroff Prize, an award given by the law school faculty recognizing motivation, interest, and achievement in corporate law.