Faculty Bio: Robert M. Donley, J.D.

Robert M. Donley, J.D.



  • Administrative Law
  • Advanced Criminal Procedure
  • Advanced Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Business Law
  • Civil Litigation
  • Conflict Management
  • Contracts
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Criminal Law
  • Employment Law
  • Employment Law for Managers
  • Evidence
  • Family Law
  • Foundations in Law
  • Historical Perspectives of the Constitution
  • Legal Communications
  • Legal Research and Writing
  • Torts
  • Wills and Probate

Teaching Philosophy

Teaching is more than just conveying information. It's providing a dynamic body of knowledge and skills that students can continue to develop long after the course is over.

To do this, I try to make the subject matter of each course understandable and accessible, and to show students how what they are learning matters. I use a variety of techniques, from "war stories" and humor to diagrams and mnemonic devices and sometimes even music and poetry, so the students will remember what they need to know and use it to learn more and more as their education and careers unfold.

The classroom is a creative environment, and the more creative it is, the more students will remember. My expectations are high, but I expect no more of my students than I do of myself, and I hold myself accountable to them for the quality of my teaching, just as I hold them accountable to make the effort to learn.


Professor Donley grew up in Greble, Pa., amid the farms and fields of northern Lebanon County. A graduate of Northern Lebanon High School, he attended Lebanon Valley College and then Messiah College, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. From there, he moved to the big city, Philadelphia, to attend Temple University School of Law, where he received his J.D.

After passing the bar, he practiced in Lebanon for four years and then crossed the state to Pittsburgh for another four years. Returning to central Pennsylvania, he practiced law in Reading and Harrisburg until 2003, when he began teaching full-time at Central Penn College.

He lives in Lebanon, Pa., with his wife Melissa and daughter Katelyn, who graduated from Central Penn in 2018 and practices as a paralegal for an attorney in Harrisburg. In addition to teaching, he is a certified mediator and serves as a volunteer mediator for the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission. He has written a textbook, Criminal Evidence, which was published in 2017. In his spare time, he writes music (including the Central Penn alma mater), plays the piano, and studies and practices Taoism.


  • Juris Doctor, Temple University School of Law, Philadelphia, Pa.
  • Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, Messiah College, Grantham, Pa.


  • Member of the Bar of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
  • Member of the Bar of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • Member of the Bar of the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania
  • Certified Mediator – Lancaster Mediation Center
  • Certified Professional in Managing Workplace Conflict – Mediation Training Institute

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