Chief Legal Correspondent
Laura McNeal, J.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Laura McNeal is a multi-platform law and policy analyst and prominent education scholar who has made a national reputation by providing innovative solutions to today’s social issues through her commentary, numerous publications and community outreach. Dr. McNeal has lectured widely, and contributes to the national debate on race, law, implicit bias, policing and education through op-eds and national media appearances. Her engaging, powerfully candid commentary has made her a highly sought-after legal analyst on hot topic issues such as the Michael Brown shooting, Trayvon Martin trial and instances of police brutality as a legal analyst on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Hardball with Chris Matthews, Weekends with Alex Witt and CNN’s New Day. She was also featured in a 1 hour segment of C-Span’s Washington Journal in which she provided expert commentary regarding the lack of police training in how to interact with youth, the state of police-community relations and what reforms are needed following the deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner and 12 year old Tamir Rice. Dr. McNeal masterfully breaks down complex legal issues and explains them in a way that not only elevates the discussion but allows viewers to understand what role each of us can play in promoting laws and policies that uphold notions of fairness, equity and justice for all.
Dr. McNeal is currently a Law and Policy Advisor for the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard Law School where she researches issues of access and equity in various areas such as education, employment and criminal law. Her work with the Harvard Institute also involves conducting implicit bias workshops for educators, lawyers, judges, non-profit organizations and various other entities. In addition to her work at Harvard, Dr. McNeal also serves as a Professor of Law at the University of Louisville and a summer lecturer at Columbia University where she teaches a Law and Ethics course.
Dr. McNeal’s national reputation as a preeminent law expert has led to numerous invitations to speak at several national conferences such as the Law and Education Institute at Penn State University Dickenson School of Law, the University of Houston Law Center and Harvard Law School’s Advocates for Education Conference. Recently, she served as an Expert Witness for the Indiana Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights: Hearings on the School-to-Prison Pipeline. Moreover, her reputation as a national expert transcends beyond the U.S. borders. She has served as lecturer at the University of Turku (Finland), Doshisha University (Japan) and the American Swiss Foundation selected her as one of the top 25 prominent young American leaders based on her outstanding career in law and policy. Furthermore, Dr. McNeal has received numerous fellowships, honors, and awards and has published numerous scholarly articles in the areas of law, policy, education and criminal justice.
Dr. McNeal holds a law degree from Washington University, St. Louis, Ph.D. in Education Administration from Illinois State University and a B.S. degree in Communications from Florida State University. Dr. McNeal’s diverse experiences over the years have given her a unique perspective on current issues and strengthened her personal commitment to informing the public of various aspects of the law that impact their everyday lives. She describes herself as a champion for justice and a voice for the voiceless.