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Derek Ulmer

Derek Ulmer

Class of 2017
Year Graduated: 2017

Hometown: Lodi, Calif.
Undergraduate: CSU, Sacramento
Major: English
Year/Track: 2017


Derek Ulmer graduated in May 2017 with a JD degree.

Derek spent seven years after high school developing the skills to build a house from the ground up, but when he started looking for a different career, he says it was not a surprise to anyone who knows him that law was his choice. "I've had a knack for picking apart other people's arguments since I was young," said Derek.

After graduating from high school in Lodi, Derek worked construction in Sacramento. When the economic downturn began, Derek pursued a higher education at Sacramento State, and a professor suggested that he look into law school.

McGeorge was the obvious place for him. "I had no intentions of moving out of the area, and I have several relatives who got degrees from Pacific's main campus," said Derek. "I liked that McGeorge is so highly regarded here."

As a student, Derek has found that the small size of the campus means that he's not just a number at McGeorge. "Faculty and staff remember my name, which is important. It means that when I talk to them they are really listening," he said.

A guitar player who is also a singer/songwriter, Derek is the vice-president of the newly formed McGeorge Legal Music Society. Derek and the other players in the group met at an orientation event about stress relief for law students, and Derek says that playing with others has indeed been a great way to relax.

"Doing something different from thinking and reading is a nice break," said Derek.

Upon arriving at McGeorge, Derek did not know what area of law he wanted to practice, but through the classes he has taken, and internship and judicial externship experiences he's had, his focus has narrowed to business. "I didn't come to law school thinking I knew exactly what I wanted to do in the future," he said. "In the past two years though, I have had plenty of chances to learn about so many different options and found a good fit."

Derek has recently accepted a position at Radoslovich Parker Turner, a boutique firm in Sacramento that focuses on business but takes on different concentrations as well. "I think the only thing we don't do is family law and immigration," he said, "which is perfect because I like variety."

 He will work full-time through the summer, part-time through his third year and, upon passing the bar, begin work as an associate attorney. "It is just nice already having a job lined up," said Derek. "It's just one less thing to have to worry about."

In the meantime, Derek looks forward to serving on the Student Bar Association and playing more gigs with his fellow McGeorge musicians. And perhaps even taking the occasional construction job. "Yesterday I installed a whole kitchen of cabinets," said Derek. "It was pretty therapeutic."

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