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Derrick R. Ward


Derrick Ward is an associate at Carrington Coleman and a native of the Dallas area. His practice includes appeals, employment litigation, and insurance coverage.

Before joining Carrington Coleman, Derrick gained extensive experience working on legal matters affecting U.S. public education. From defending school districts facing Title IX and Section 1983 litigation to serving as a Civil Rights Attorney for the U.S. Department of Education, Derrick has seen firsthand the broad spectrum of legal challenges that can face even a specialized client like public schools. He began his work on behalf of students and public education during law school, where he served as an Education Pioneers Graduate Fellow with Nelson, Mullins, Riley, & Scarborough LLP’s Education Counsel LLC in Washington, D.C. and as a Youth Rights Law Clerk and Legislative Team Member with the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas. Upon graduation, Derrick spent two years as a Law Fellow in the National Education Association’s Office of General Counsel. In that role, he handled state and federal court trial and appellate briefing on matters including teacher tenure and due process protections, fair-share fees, school vouchers, employee First Amendment rights, and teacher evaluation fairness and privacy.

Derrick is proud to use the skills he learned in service of public education to advance the interests of a broader range of employers and industries. At base, all clients demand and deserve representation that can consider all sides of an issue without losing sight of the endgame or the details that will allow them to get there. Whether working to protect the interests of private or public sector clients, Derrick brings a passion for strong work and careful thought that will serve any client well.


The University of Texas School of Law
J.D., 2014; Order of Barristers

Cornell University
B.A., cum laude in Philosophy, 2009

Court Admissions

State Bar of Texas

District of Columbia

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas


Julian Vasquez Heilig, Anthony V. LeClair, Lindsay Redd, & Derrick R. Ward, Separate and Unequal?: The Problematic Segregation of  Special Populations in Charter Schools Relative to Traditional Public Schools, 27 L. & Pol’y Rev. 251 (2016).

Julian Vasquez Heilig, Derrick R. Ward, Eric Weisman, & Heather Cole, Community-Based School Finance and Accountability: A New Era for Local Control in Education Policy?, 49(8) Urban Educ. 871 (2014).