‘Counting On’: Did Derick Dillard’s Law School Education Embolden Him on Instagram?

Derick Dillard has shattered the idyllic persona that the Duggar family has tried to show fans for 15 years in a string of Instagram comments. Derick has claimed that his wife was forced to continue filming when she didn’t want to, and he even lifted the curtain on some pretty controlling behavior from Jim Bob Duggar. While Derick’s admissions did come as a surprise, some fans believe his law school education is to thank for his sudden honesty. So, was Derick emboldened by what he is learning at school?

Could a non-disclosure agreement have kept the family quiet for this long?

The feud between the Dillards and the Duggars doesn’t appear to be anything new. In fact, it would appear that a falling out between Derick and Jim Bob occurred around the time that Derick and Jill Duggar walked away from TLC. That was years ago, but Derick has been relatively quiet about the family drama until recently. Some fans wonder if the couple was forced to sign an NDA.

Non-disclosure agreements are legal documents that prevent individuals from publicly speaking on any number of topics. According to NOLO, an NDA is often used to protect a business against its trade secrets being made public. While they are commonly used in the business world, NDAs have been used in personal dealings, too. According to the Latin Times, Justin Bieber required friends to sign NDAs before they were granted access to his living space. Several other celebrities have also requested friends and fans sign similar agreements.

Neither Jill nor Derick have ever suggested they signed a non-disclosure agreement, but some fans believe a legal document may have kept the couple quiet. To hear Derick tell it, Jill didn’t want to continue on with Counting On after Josh Duggar’s molestation scandal broke but was forced to continue. A non-disclosure agreement doesn’t sound out of the question if the adult children were forced into filming. Unless Derick spills the beans, the concept of an NDA is all speculation, though.

Is Derick Dillard emboldened by his law school education?

Derick’s Instagram tirade revealed a lot about the inner workings of the Duggar family. Fans were given a serious peek into how the family works, and more importantly, how the kids are reportedly forced into filming. In one comment, Derick stated, “We were made to believe we didn’t have a choice and that we would be sued if we refused. However, once we became more enlightened, we realized we could easily defend ourselves against a lawsuit from the family/TLC.”

Fans have taken the comments to mean that Derick’s law school education may have encouraged him to speak out. When he speaks about being “enlightened,” one can assume he is saying he gained a better understanding of how contracts work, and what would and would not fly in a court of law. If Derick and Jill were technically never under contract, it’s unlikely any lawsuit would stick. After all, if the contract is signed only by Jim Bob, it would not cover Derick and Jill’s involvement, one would think.  One Reddit user who claims to be a lawyer also alleges that a family-based NDA, if one exists, would also be difficult to enforce.

When did Derick Dillard begin law school?

Derick and Jill were ousted from Counting On in 2017. While the timing appeared to be directly linked to Derick’s transphobic tweets, he has spoken out against the ascertain, claiming he was never fired from the show because he and his wife were never employed by the network. Several months after the family was removed from the show, Derick and Jill announced that Derick would begin law school. He enrolled in the University of Arkansas in August 2018, according to the family’s official blog.

Officially halfway through his studies, Derick is likely in the thick of things, learning about the ins and outs of the legal world. He has never mentioned what type of law he hopes to practice, but all law students are required to take classes focusing on contracts. In fact, according to The University of Arkansas’ curriculum, all first-year students must take a course on contracts. Derick would have completed the class at some point during 2019. If you approach his recent outbursts from a legal standpoint, one can assume the completion of his contracts class likely emboldened the father of two to speak out.