Biography

Derek Dittmar developed strong advocacy skills early in life. These skills, coupled with his quick understanding of complex issues, make him a strong and empathetic defender of his clients.

He is proud to be the first person in his immediate family to attend law school and put his advocacy skills to work serving others.

At Campbell Law, Derek wrote for the Law Review where he published an article on negligence law and technology. He competed on the employment law trial team, and on the award-winning international law moot court team where he was recognized as a top advocate. He also ran an award-winning pro bono project for service animal law in his third year.

During law school, Derek earned an LL.M. in legal practice from Nottingham-Trent University in England. His thesis, which discussed the constitutional law implications of disability-accommodating technology, earned recognition as the top submission in the worldwide cohort. He also attended Baylor Law School’s Academy of the Advocate in St. Andrews, Scotland, where he was recognized as the top advocate and author of the top brief. His legal internships included time serving the Honorable Bryan Collins at the Wake County Superior Court and at the misdemeanor division of the office of the Wake County Public Defender.

Derek currently practices out of Hedrick Gardner’s Raleigh office, accompanied by his loyal companion, a black lab named Howard from Guide Dogs for the Blind. Derek has a passion for digital accessibility and, in addition to frequently writing and speaking on the topic of best practices and legal requirements for accommodating persons with disabilities, holds an international certification in digital accessibility and accommodation best practices.

Before joining Hedrick Gardner, Derek worked for the North Carolina Judicial Fellowship, a staff counsel-style office with the Administrative Office of the Courts where he provided judicial clerk services for district and superior court judges across the state.

When he is not practicing law, Derek enjoys traveling to the mountains and spending time with his fiancé. His hobbies include reading, craft beer, and writing and performing original americana/folk music. He has six guitars and enjoys local live music.

Experience and Involvement

PROFESSIONAL AND CIVIC INVOLVEMENT:

  • North Carolina State Bar
  • Governor Morehead Foundation, Board Member
  • Collegiate Forensics Association, Volunteer Judge
  • Hear Your Song, Volunteer Musician

PUBLICATIONS:

PRESENTATIONS:

  • Perspectives of Blind Attorneys in North Carolina, Panel, Administrative Office of the Courts (May 20, 2021)
  • Virtual Courts: Ensuring Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities, ABA Webinar (March 4, 2021)
  • Disability Access in the Courts, (AOC panel targeted at Disability Access Coordinators) (October 2020)
Honors

HONORS:

Campbell University School of Law:

  • Campbell Law Review
  • Cheshire/Schneider Advocacy Scholar
  • The Order of Barristers (2019)
  • Safran Moot Court Award (2019)
  • Moot Court Team
  • Mock Trial Team
  • NCBA Student Pro Bono Project of the year, Service Animal Project (2019)
  • Top Appellate Advocate in Baylor Law School’s Academy of the Advocate, St. Andrews, Scotland (Summer 2017)

Nottingham Law School, Nottingham-Trent University:

  • Dean’s Award Recipient (top dissertation out of international cohort)