Friends Support Friends: Meet Derrick

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Derrick is one of the first people that I met at Indiana University. As a senior teammate on the track and field team, he showed myself and other underclassmen "the ropes" on how to navigate our time as student-athletes. He's a jokester and most of the memories I have of him include him flaming me in our GroupMe chat. Nonetheless, I can vouch for him because he is a very solid friend. Derrick excelled on the track and carried his ambition on to graduating law school, recently sitting for his universal bar exam, and being an avid world traveler. It's great to see how much he has accomplished up to this point and I am excited to see what he will continue to do. Meet Derrick....

Derrick Morgan Jr., 27
Instagram: @theindy400
LinkedIn: Derrick Morgan

Hometown: Indianapolis, IN (currently living in Chicago, IL)

Describe yourself in 3 words: Ambitious, Funny, and Intelligent

What is your Mission? In my current position, I mostly represent clients against big institutions that enable, aid and abet sexual assault, mostly but not limited to Olympic sport athletes. I also dabble in general practice, which can be anything from contract disputes, civil rights, or an accident.

How did you get started? I am still getting started. I interned at this firm my first year of law school. My boss is a former IU Track runner as well and I saw he was representing athletes and doing impressive work. He offered me a job after my internship and I returned after graduation.

How do you want people to feel as a result of your work and life? As a result of my work, I want people to feel heard, seen, and believed. Many of my clients feel like they are unseen, and no one believes their stories. In light of the Me Too movement, many lights have been shed on sexual assault, especially by big institutions where people have been hushed for decades. I want people to feel that I fought for their voice and their best interest, not for the money.

There is great overlap, but as a result of my life, I want people -- especially young black males (more especially, athletes) -- to be inspired to get or stay in their "bag". When you make it to a D1 school as a student athlete, you literally have all the resources in the world to succeed at the tips of your hands. Don't blow that. Often, simply getting to college is the Promise Land for people. They may get so complacent in how far they've come that they forget how long the journey is ahead.

"If you're willing to dedicate yourself to a craft and your education, whether that be formal or informal, you'd be surprised at what you can achieve."

I just finished reading The Alchemist, and one of my favorite line quotes was "the world's greatest lie is that at a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what's happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate." 

If I can make it to where I have, (and I still have a very long way to go) anyone can with hard work, dedication and a bit of calculated networking.

What is something most people do not know about you? Most people don’t know I didn’t go to law school to be a lawyer, at all. I went to leverage skills for all facets of life, both professional and personal. People have an extremely myopic view of what one can do with a law degree, but negotiation, knowledge of the law, loopholes, critical thinking, and risk management can help anyone in any endeavor. I don’t like to be put in boxes. 10 years from now, who knows if I’ll still be in traditional law practice. I plan to start an agency in the future, but will wear many hats in life. Being a lawyer is just one of them.

If you could tell your younger self one thing, what would it be? Not to be cliche, but I think everything happens for a reason. What’s meant for me is for me. With the butterfly effect, if I made a change at a certain stage, who knows where I would be right now. I am happy for the trials and tribulations I’ve gone through because we all have survived everything we’ve ever been through. I guess that boils down to trusting the process.

Derrick's favorite quote: "Be so good they can't ignore you."

Be sure to connect with Derrick either on social media or via LinkedIn.



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