Derrick J. Hensley

Derrick J. Hensley, Esq.


Derrick practices law in North Carolina, where he has resided since 2002. He attended Duke University as an undergraduate, majoring in Philosophy and History. Derrick taught ESL and worked as a window washer before deciding to attend law school. In 2011 Derrick graduated first in his class from the Evening Program, a four-year course of study at the North Carolina Central University School of Law. Upon being licensed to practice law in North Carolina, he immediately opened his solo law practice. He is a member of the National Association of Counsel for Children (NACC), the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), the North Carolina Bar Association (NCBA), and the 15B-Judicial District (Orange County, NC) Bar Association. He is licensed to practice in the State Courts of North Carolina, as well as admitted the Federal Courts for the Eastern, Middle, and Western Districts of North Carolina, the US District Court for the District of Columbia, the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and the DC Circuit, and the Supreme Court of the United States.

Derrick is dedicated to fostering an open, communicative attorney-client relationship based on trust and honesty. Derrick practices in several interrelated fields, including international family law issues, humanitarian or family-based immigration, adoption, child welfare proceedings (“DSS Court”), and work as a court-appointed neutral (a Guardian ad Litem or Parenting Coordinator). Derrick is experienced in various kinds of appeals, and is able to pursue appeals of decisions in state court as well as federal immigration matters. Derrick has represented the best interests of hundreds of children in juvenile abuse/neglect/dependency proceedings as a staff GAL Attorney Advocate. Derrick also has substantial experience in seeking Special Immigrant Juvenile Status for abused, neglected, and abandoned immigrant youth.

Because Derrick believes that giving back to the community is his most important calling, he has volunteered his time and energy in a wide variety of ways. He takes on a number of matters Pro Bono with his firm as his primary public service, and he also volunteers with various community service and legal education projects. He also frequently serves as a volunteer judge for Mock Trial competitions. He served for years as a volunteer Guardian ad Litem for children in Juvenile Abuse/Neglect/Dependency court, and took on several Pro Bono appeals on behalf of children. His other significant Pro Bono activities have previously included taking cases from the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, the NC Immigrant Rights Project, Justice Matters. He had also given time to the Lawyer on the Line project of Legal Aid of NC and the NC Bar Association, providing free advice to low income earners.

Because addressing your legal issues may not be pleasant, and indeed may be one of the most expensive and emotionally exhausting experiences of your life, Derrick is committed to running a law practice that focuses on the client’s needs and making the experience the best it can be. Although the legal system may be slow, complex, and full of uncertainty, your attorney should not compound the problem by failing to explain their role or failing to keep you involved and updated on your case. Derrick believes that you have a right to know your case’s status at every turn, and to speak about your case’s status at least every other week, a right to make prompt appointments to discuss any issues that are important to you, the right to be informed about less costly alternatives to full legal representation, the right to work out a reasonable payment plan over time, and the right to know about your options if you are not satisfied with your attorney’s services.

Legal Specializations:

Derrick is certified as:

a Child Welfare Law Specialist by the National Association of Counsel for Children and

a Family Law Specialist by the North Carolina State Bar Board of Legal Specialization


Professional Affiliations:

Derrick is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

Additional Affiliations

  • NCBA – NC Bar Association
  • NACC – National Association of Counsel for Children

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