Derek Black is a Professor of Law at the University of South Carolina School of Law. His areas of expertise include education law and policy, constitutional law, civil rights, evidence, and torts. The focus of his current scholarship is the intersection of constitutional law and public education, particularly as it pertains to educational equality and fairness for disadvantaged students. His earlier work focused more heavily on intentional discrimination standards. His articles have been published in the California Law Review, Vanderbilt Law Review, Minnesota Law Review, Boston University Law Review, William & Mary Law Review, Boston College Law Review, and North Carolina Law Review, among various others. His work has also been cited in the U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals and by several briefs before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Prior to teaching, he litigated issues relating to school desegregation, diversity, school finance equity, student discipline, and special education at the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. He left the Lawyers' Committee to begin a career in teaching at Howard University School of Law, where he also founded and directed the Education Rights Center. The Center studies the causes and extent of educational inequalities in public schools, provides advocacy resources to parents, and attempts to shape national and local education policy.
Professor Black has also taught at the University of North Carolina School of Law and American University Washington College of Law. Beyond teaching, he is active in various outside endeavors, including serving as pro bono counsel in civil rights cases, a consultant to civil rights campaigns, and a member of the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition Team.
He attended law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a member of the Law Review for two years, was awarded the Dan Pollitt ACLU fellowship in his third year, and graduated with High Honors.