Harold A. McDougall

Professor of Law

J.D., 1971, Yale University
B.A., 1967, Harvard University, magna cum laude


Professor Harold McDougall has been a member of the Howard faculty since 2000, teaching courses on property, sustainable development, and civil rights. He has a background in civil rights and community organizing and has served the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) as Washington Bureau Chief and the National Conference of Black Lawyers (NCBL) as U.N. Delegate.

He has served on the National Governing Board of Common Cause, the Board of Directors of the Council for the International Exchange of Scholars (Fulbright Scholars Program), and the Board of Trustees of the Paul J. Aicher Foundation (Study Circles Resource Center/Everyday Democracy). He has consulted for the Kellogg, Kettering, and Village Foundations, and the Montgomery County, MD, County Executive’s Office. A Fulbright alumnus (Jamaica 1999) he was granted a Fulbright Alumni Initiatives award for his work on sustainable development in Jamaica.


Prof. McDougall specializes in civic culture and civic infrastructure, focusing primarily on how these support sustainable social and economic development and human rights. Prof. McDougall has written several books pursuing these themes, as well as numerous articles and Huffington Post blogs.

BLACK BALTIMORE: A NEW THEORY OF COMMUNITY (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1993) proposes a new approach to the renovation and revitalization of community civic culture.

AFRICAN AMERICAN CIVIL RIGHTS IN THE AGE OF OBAMA: A HISTORY AND A HANDBOOK (Lulu.com, 2011) highlights remaining U.S. human rights “trouble spots” such as racial profiling, hate crimes, discrimination against consumers, employment discrimination, voting rights, housing discrimination and discrimination in public education. It also looks at citizen action and access to local government.

(SG Publishing 2015), is a historical simulation in which students role-play characters set in moments of crisis during the American Civil Rights Movement. They work toward achieving victory objectives by giving paper presentations, holding discussions and debates, and voting on various objectives.

DEMOCRACY ON A HUMAN SCALE (Eliva Press 2022) examines how a failure to learn the "hierarchy lesson" causes many social justice movements to either fade or transform away from their original mission. The answer lies in small groups, organized to match our genetically engineered empathic connections, linked into "citizen’s assemblies" to address social justice issues from the ground up, creating true democracy at a human scale.

Professor McDougall has published thirty law review articles during his academic career. Here is a list of his most recent publications:

His Huffington Post blogs can be found here.

Interviews and Speeches

Keynote Speech, New England Clinicians Conference on Rebellious Lawyering: rethinking how law schools teach students and engage with communities (2016)

The CAP·impact Podcast: Episode 59: The 2020 Election, The Courts, And Unions For All with Prof. Harold McDougall on Apple Podcasts
(2020) (Also available on Iheart and Stitcher Radio.)

NCoC Learning Circle: Two Essential Ideas - Civic Infrastructure and Asset-Based Community Development - Zoom
Harold McDougall and John McKnight (2022)