Laura R. McNeal

Associate Professor of Law

About

Professor Laura McNeal joined the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law as tenure track faculty in Fall 2012. She was promoted to Associate Professor of Law with tenure in December 2017. She teaches civil procedure, education law and employment discrimination courses. Her scholarly interests examine issues of access and equity in employment and education law, with a particular emphasis on issues of access and equity for individuals from traditionally marginalized populations. Professor McNeal has contributed to the national debate on law, education policy, and race relations through op-eds and radio and television news features for CNN, CBS, NBC, NPR and various other news networks.

Professor McNeal has worked with the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard Law School since 2012 where she conducts national empirical legal studies that explore issues of access and equity in education, employment and criminal law. She also conducts implicit bias workshops for educators, lawyers, judges, non-profit organizations and various other sectors. Dr. McNeal is currently conducting a national prosecuting attorney study through her work with the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute that examines prosecutorial decision-making and incentive structures. Dr. McNeal has served as an invited speaker and panelist at several conferences such as the Law and Education Institute at Penn State University Dickenson School of Law, 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 School-to-Prison Pipeline. She has received numerous fellowships, honors, and awards, including the Washington University Employment Law Achievement Award and a two-year Stafford Faculty Fellowship for the National Institute on Leadership, Disability and Students Placed at Risk. Lastly, Dr. McNeal was inducted into the Illinois State University Hall of Fame for her innovative work in the area of education law and policy. During the summer she serves as a Guest Lecturer at Columbia University where she teaches a Law and Ethics course.

Prior to teaching at the Brandeis School of Law, Professor McNeal served as an Assistant Professor of Urban Education in the highly recognized Department of Teacher Education and Educational Policy at Michigan State University. She also served on the faculty at Georgia State University where she taught education law, policy and leadership courses. While at these institutions, Professor McNeal helped develop the curriculum for a $5 million education pipeline program grant to help at risk students successfully matriculate into college. Additionally, during her career, she has contributed more than 35 peer reviewed articles, book chapters and presentations to the education field.

Public Education, Urban Revitalization & The Law

Civil Procedure I and II

Employment Discrimination

Education Law

Editor

M. Gooden, L. McNeal, S. Eckes & J.F. Mead (Eds.), Principal’s Legal Handbook (5th ed.) (2013).

M. Gooden, S. Eckes, J.F. Mead & L. McNeal (Eds.), From the Courtroom to the Schoolhouse: Recent Advancements in School Law and Implications for School Leadership [Special Issue], Journal of School Leadership (2012).

Other Publications

McNeal, L., Hush Don’t Say a Word: Safeguarding Students' Freedom of Expression Rights in the Trump Era, Georgia State University Law Review (Forthcoming, Fall 2018).

McNeal, L. From Hoodies and Skittles to Kneeling Through the National Anthem: The Colin Kaepernick Effect and the Implications for K-12 Sports, Louisiana State University Law Review (2017).

McNeal, L. & Lathon, B. Truancy and the Law, Principal’s Legal Handbook (6th ed., 2017).

McNeal, L. (Fall 2016). Managing Our Blind Spot: The Role of Bias in the School-to-Prison Pipeline, Arizona State University Law Review.

McNeal, L. (2015). The Milliken Effect: Moral Exclusion Under the Guise of Equity, Harv. J. on Racial & Ethnic Just. (2014).

McNeal, L. (2015). Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action: The Majority’s Tyranny Toward Unequal Educational Opportunity, St. Louis University Law Journal.

Total Recall: The Rise and Fall of Teacher Tenure, Hofstra Lab. & Emp. L.J. (2013).

L. McNeal & M> Gooden, Legal Issues for Diverse and Equitable Schools, in L. Tillman & J. Scheurich (Eds.), AERA Division, A Handbook of Research on Educational Leadership for Diversity and Equity, London: Lawrence Erlbaum (2013). (Peer Reviewed)

C. Dunbar & L. McNeal, A League of Their Own, Urban School Principals’ Rejoinder to NCLB Law, in J. Moore & C. Lewis (Eds.), Urban Schools: Critical Issues and Solutions for Achievement, (2012).

Labor Unions, Collective Bargaining Agreements and NCLB: The Calm Before the Storm, J. of School Leadership (2012). (Peer Reviewed)

L. McNeal & C. Dunbar, In the Eyes of the Beholder: Urban Student Perceptions of Zero Tolerance Policy, Urban Education Journal, (2010). (Peer Reviewed)

Access Granted: The Winkelman Case Ushers In A New Era in Parental Advocacy, BYU Educ. & L.J. (2010).

L. McNeal & C. O'Rourke, Legal Foundation of Special Education. Special Education for All Teachers, Kendall/Hung: Dubuque, IA (2009).

Turning Back the Hands of Time: The Legality of Voluntary Integration Plans, Education & Urban Society (2009). (Peer Reviewed)

Works in Progress

Extreme Make-Over: Re-Envisioning Education Equity

Invited Speaker, A Call to Action: Restructuring Disciplinary Reform. The Present and Future of Civil Rights Movements: Race and Reform Conference, Duke Law School. (November, 2015)

Invited Speaker, Every Child Matters: Achieving Equal Educational Opportunity in the 21st Century. American Swiss Foundation Global Young Leaders Conference, Zurich, Switzerland. (November, 2015). One of 25 national scholars selected from the U.S.

Invited Speaker, Dismantling the School-to-Prison Pipeline: Redirecting Our Future. The National Bar Association Conference. (July, 2015)

Invited Speaker, The Uphill Battle: Implicit Bias and the School-to-Prison Pipeline, National Diversity Retention Conference, Law School Admissions Council (LSAC). (April, 2015)

Dismantling the School-to-Prison Pipeline, Keynote Speaker, University of Arkansas School of Law (November, 2014).

From Hollow Hope to New Beginnings: Achieving Educational Equity in the Post-Milliken Era. Keynote Speaker, 40 Years After Milliken: Remedying Racial Disparities in Post-Racial Society Conference, Harvard Law School (April, 2014).

The Enduring Legacy of Charles Hamilton Houston, Invited Speaker, Harvard Law School (September, 2013).

Self-Promotion in the Mode of Abraham Lincoln — not P.T. Barnum, Panelist, SEALS Conference (August, 2013).

Invited Speaker, Kentucky Bar Association Convention, Implicit Bias, Ethics and the Courtroom (June, 2013).

Taking It Back: Reclaiming the Purpose, Refocusing the Debate, and Recapturing the Dream, Invited Speaker, Harvard Law School (March, 2013).

Rodriguez at 40: Exploring New Paths to Equal Educational Opportunity, Invited Speaker, University of Richmond School of Law (March 2013).

Keynote Speaker, Rice University, Urban Education Symposium (February, 2013).

Dismantling the School to Prison Pipeline, Invited Speaker, Black Educator Alliance Conference, Northeastern University (March, 2012).

Closing the School to Prison Pipeline: Redirecting our Future, Invited Speaker, Advocates for Education Conference, Harvard Law School (March, 2012).

Invited Speaker, The Law and Education Institute at Penn State University Dickinson School of Law (June, 2010).

Legal Issues for Diverse and Equitable Schools, Panel presentation at the Education Law Association Conference, Vancouver, Canada (2010).

The Role of Economic Globalization on the Need for High Quality Education in Racially Isolated Public Schools, Panel presentation at the Education Law Association Conference, Louisville, Ky. (2009).

NCLB Reconstitution: A Parasite to the Recruitment and Retention of Teachers of Color, Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association Conference, San Diego, Cal. (2009).

Access Granted: An Analysis of the U.S. Supreme Court Winkelman Case and the Implications for School Leadership, Paper presented at the University Council for Educational Administration Conference, Los Angeles, Cal. (2009).

Hollow Hope: Urban School Leaders Unveiled, Paper presented at the University Council for Educational Administration Conference, Los Angeles, Cal. (2009).

Navigating Change: Urban School Principals Discuss Challenges in Creating Effective School Culture, Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association Conference, New York, N.Y. (2008).

Turning Back the Hands of Time: The Legality of Voluntary Integration Plans, Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association Conference, New York, N.Y. (2008).

Urban Student Perceptions of School Leadership Unveiled, Paper presented at the University Council for Educational Administration Conference, Washington, D.C. (2007).

Professional

Treasurer, AALS Education and the Law Section, 2013-2014

Secretary, AALS Education and the Law Section, 2014-2015

President, AALS Education and the Law Section, 2015-2016

Law School

Communications Committee

International Committee

Diversity Committee