Derek has experience in corporate law, governance and securities, employee benefits and executive compensation, and labor and employment. Derek also has experience with mergers and acquisitions, nonprofit entities, and assisting startups and emerging growth companies.
Before joining Cozen O'Connor, Derek earned his law degree, cum laude, from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law where he was editor-in-chief of Pitt law review. Derek's project for "Legal Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence" utilized machine learning and logistic regression models to analyze law school data and identify predictors of bar exam passage. Derek also worked for an artificial intelligence startup in Pittsburgh that focuses on improving access to justice and decreasing legal costs by using AI to automate certain legal tasks and help attorneys be more efficient with their time.
Before law school, Derek worked in public education 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 enthusiasm for technology, Derek also served as co-chair of the district’s technology committee and created the district's first 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. At the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, Derek 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 awards for the highest grade in Corporate Governance and Electronic Discovery Seminar. Upon graduation, he was also awarded the Robert Maxwell DeBroff Prize, an award given by the law school faculty recognizing motivation, interest, and achievement in corporate law.