Brian Donnelly earned his J.D. from Seton Hall University School of Law, and his Bachelor of Science degree in Administration of Justice from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. He became a member of the New Jersey Bar in 1997. Donnelly has worked as a police officer for 25 years, and is currently a Captain assigned as a patrol commander for a police department in Union County. His tenure as a police officer and as a detective has included work with homicide, sex crimes, and narcotics for which he has received numerous valor awards and commendations. Donnelly also currently works with the law firm of Bramnick, Rodriquez, Mitterhoff, Grabas, and Woodruff.

In addition to his course teaching with the Program in Criminal Justice, Donnelly has taught criminal justice and business law courses at Raritan Valley Community College for 10 years. For 6 years he taught at Centenary College, and for several years he was the lead instructor for the Port Authority Police Academy in the areas of Use of Force and Constitutional Law; moreover, while teaching at the Port Authority Police Academy Donnelly wrote several policies in both areas.

Donnelly is most interested in constitutional law as it pertains to police-citizen encounters with a focus on 4th amendment arrest, search and seizure, and 5th amendment police interviews and interrogations. He enjoys blending his legal background with his police experience to give students a better understanding of criminal justice. Furthermore, Donnelly has a strong interest in the study of Police Use of Force and its various policies and case studies.