Laughlin McDonald, a South Carolina native, received a B.A. degree from Columbia University and an LL.B. from the University of Virginia. He became the director of the Voting Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union located in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1972. He is currently special counsel and director emeritus of the Voting Rights Project. Prior to that he was in private practice and taught at the University of North Carolina Law School. He has represented minorities in numerous discrimination cases and specialized in the area of voting rights. He has argued cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and numerous district courts and courts of appeals, testified frequently before Congress, and written for scholarly and popular publications on numerous civil liberties issues. He is the author of several books, including A Voting Rights Odyssey: Black Enfranchisement in Georgia, and American Indians and the Fight for Equal Voting Rights.