TALI Scholarships: 2022-2023 Recipients

Emerging Leaders Program Recipient: Derrick Maultsby Jr.

Tell us
 a little about yourself. Where did you grow up, where did you go to college?

I grew up east of Pittsburgh in Monroeville, PA. I also spent time in Fort Lauderdale, FL and Scottsdale, AZ during high school. My mother was a social worker most of my childhood and currently serves as Assistant Deputy Director of Children Youth and Families for the Allegheny County Department of Human Services. I have a younger brother who also serves our community through social work.

Answering the question of where I went to college is always interesting. I attended several different universities on football scholarships, including Jackson State University, Eastern Arizona College, and the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. An injury my junior year led me to step away from football and return home to finish my undergraduate degree at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Why did you decide to go to law school? What motivated you to become a lawyer?

For most of my life, I had no idea I wanted to be a lawyer or even go to law school. When I transferred to IUP and was no longer a student-athlete, I started to really think about my future and what I wanted. I got more involved on campus and began doing work through the philanthropy council and competing on the debate team. Through those experiences, I found that some form of a career in the legal field interested me.

Why do you love Pittsburgh?

Pittsburgh is home and my family is here, so loving it is a little easier for me. However, I can never talk about Pittsburgh and my love for it without acknowledging that a lot of black professionals who move here find it hard to love. That plays a huge part in why I have chosen to stay in Pittsburgh and build my career here. I am committed to being a small piece in trying to change what the landscape for black professionals looks like in Pittsburgh.

What does this opportunity to be a TALI Emerging Leader mean to you?

It is a great honor and privilege to participate in this program with the support of the PLDIC. As a first-generation lawyer, opportunities to learn from other black business professionals who have walked a similar path to the one I am on is invaluable. Mentorship and education are key aspects to success, and we are not always given those opportunities in our careers. So, this is an opportunity I want to make the most of.

What can the legal community do better to support the growth and advancement of Black lawyers?

Two words come to mind: mentorship and endorsement. I have been fortunate to have a great start to my career, but without my mentors and those who have endorsed me, I would not be in the position I am in. My mentors have provided me with invaluable insights that have made navigating a law firm, and the legal field in general, much easier. My endorsers have referred me to potential clients or given me work themselves, allowing me to get a start in developing a book of business.

Who are your legal heroes?

Representative John Lewis, while not a lawyer, is probably my biggest legal hero. His activism and role in our government over the course of his life had a profound impact on advancing the civil rights of black people in this country. His work has inspired most of my community service and efforts to find ways to utilize my resources to benefit our people. In fact, I have the term “Good Trouble” tattooed on my forearm as a reminder to myself to always heed his advice and not be afraid to ruffle the feathers of old institutions not exactly designed for me.

Who is your favorite fictional lawyer?

This is a tough one! It is a tie between Denzel Washington’s Joe Miller in the film “Philadelphia” and Delroy Lindo’s Adrian Boseman in the television show “The Good Fight.”

Do you have anything else you want the Pittsburgh legal community to know about you?

I want to be a resource for everyone. Whether it’s coffee, lunch, or a Zoom call, I am open to meeting up with anyone and providing any assistance or guidance I can. I think we should all be here for each other in this way, and we should all do our best to know one another because there are not that many diverse lawyers in this city. We are stronger together.

Executive Leadership Academy Recipient: TBA 


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