Donald J MacDougall was a dedicated student of the law, as well as a gift to his own students. He was first admitted to study law in 1952 on scholarship to the Universtiy of Melbourne, where he received awards of distinction in no less than six subjects over the course of his studies. He continued his legal education over the academic year of 1958-1959 as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Chicago, where he obtained his J.D.
He returned to Australia and began a career in academia as a senior lecturer at the University of Sydney law school. He first visited the University of British Columbia in 1965 as a visiting associate professor, but within 3 years was a full professor at the law school. He continued to teach at UBC until his retirement in 1999, after having achieved the status of Professor Emeritus.
Over his career, Professor MacDougall's academic area of focus changed, as he describes it "when I began, I taught conflicts. As a new father, I moved into family law. As I grew older I developed an expertise in law and aging." Regardless of his academic focus, he was dedicated to the subject and its instruction. Professor MacDougall would teach in the faculties of Medicine and Nursing about genetics and the law, and in the Faculty of Graduate Studies about the elderly and the law. As a family law academic he served as vice-president of the International Society of Family Law from 1988-1991, organizing their World Conference in Tokyo as well as regional conferences in North America.
Donald MacDougall gave generously of his time. He served as managing editor of the Canadian Journal of Family Law as well as an editorial advisory to updates of BC's resources for the practice of family law. He made time for his students and their questions. He served as president of the United Way of the Lower Mainland from 1977-1979 and for three years as Director of The Mediation Development Association of B.C.
Donald J MacDougall passed away in 2012.