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Law School News

South Texas College of Law Houston to Honor Derek Pershing ’13 with its 2021 Young Alumni Award

South Texas College of Law Houston (STCL Houston) will honor Derek Pershing ’13 — a shareholder at Wilson Cribbs + Goren and an adjunct professor at STCL Houston — with its 2021 Young Alumni Award at its Alumni Association Annual Luncheon Sept. 28 at Hotel ZaZa-Houston Museum District.

The law school’s annual Young Alumni Award is presented to an alumnus who has graduated in the past 10 years and has made significant leadership and service contributions to STCL Houston and the legal profession.

Pershing has counseled clients with real estate transactions at Wilson Cribbs + Goren since 2013. He is the youngest lawyer — and one of only 42 practicing attorneys in Texas — to hold three board certifications from the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Commercial Real Estate Law, Residential Real Estate Law, and Farm and Ranch Real Estate Law. Pershing was recognized as one of the American Bar Association’s Top 40 Young Lawyers, the Houston Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 honorees, and with REDnews’ 2021 Real Estate Lawyer of the Year Award.

“Very few alumni who have practiced less than 10 years have accomplished more and represented South Texas College of Law Houston better than Derek Pershing,” said Lauren Valenti, a former student of Pershing at the law school. A colleague also noted that Pershing exemplifies community service and dedication to others.

Pershing was a highly decorated combat medic in the U.S. Army from 2002 to 2006, where he attended the Army Airborne School, the Army Air Assault School, and obtained a private pilot license from the Federal Aviation Administration. He deployed to Afghanistan for more than a year to provide emergency care to fellow soldiers, and Afghan children and elders.

In addition to a law degree, Pershing earned a Transactional Law Practice Certificate while a student at STCL Houston. The law school honored him with the Dean’s Citizenship Award for his effort in spearheading the implementation of the VA Yellow Ribbon Program, which assists veterans with scholarship funds to help offset tuition and make private law school tuition affordable for this population. STCL Houston also awarded him a Pro Bono Honors Award Certificate. The Houston Young Lawyers Association recognized Pershing with its Liberty Bell Award for pro bono efforts with the Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program VA Clinic as a law student.

He earned a B.B.A. in finance, summa cum laude, and an M.B.A. in finance from the University of St. Thomas. Upon his graduation, the university named him as the Outstanding Finance Graduate, the Outstanding Nontraditional Student of the Year, and the Outstanding Graduating Senior of the Year.