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Margaret McFarland, JD

Visiting Professor, Law and Real Property

“The Property discipline, usually referred to as Real Estate, is one of the broadest in academia.  Property – land (and the natural environment), buildings (houses, offices, schools and shops) and infrastructure (transportation and utilities) – is part of every business and impacts every citizen.  Indeed, real estate makes up 30% plus of the US economy as it’s largest business sector.    My passion as an educator is to be a voice to students and the industry for multi-disciplinary real estate education addressing not only financial viability, but environmental respect, social responsibility and beautiful and sustainable design.  The field is vast and complex, the impacts widespread and long lasting, and the public policy choices of where and when to build affect us all.  Understanding this field is essential for our students and is equally critical to business and society at large.”

Education Background


Margaret McFarland has been involved in the real property arena from multiple perspectives for over four decades. In 2018, Dr. McFarland joined Menlo College to found The Real Estate Center @ Menlo College [TREC] and to advance the curriculum and opportunities for students interested in real property courses and careers.  Dr. McFarland began her career as an urban planner for the Toledo-Lucas County (Ohio) Planning Commissions.  Thereafter she completed her law degree at the University of Michigan, and joined the law firm of O’Melveny & Myers in Washington, DC.   McFarland left private practice to take a position as General Counsel and Chief Ethics Officer for the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development where she focused on affordable housing and infrastructure finance.

Dr. McFarland moved on to be the General Counsel for Historic St. Mary’s City – an outdoor museum and archaeological research facility at the site of Maryland’s First Capital and America’s 4th English settlement founded in 1644.   Thereafter, she went to work with public and private organizations advocating and administering affordable housing programs followed by 5 years as General Counsel and Chief Ethics Officer to the DC Housing Authority working with public housing residents and commissioners.   In 2006, Dr. McFarland joined the faculty of the University of Maryland where she served as the Founding Director of the Colvin Institute of Real Estate Development and as the Area Chair and Professor of Practice for the Graduate Programs in Real Estate Development.

Professional Activities

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Awards & Honors

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Menlo College

Menlo College