Brendan earned his law degree from the University of New Mexico School of Law in 2007. He attended law school on a full scholarship from the New Mexico Commission for the Blind due to a degenerative eye condition (kerataconus) that has since been managed through bilateral cornea transplants. Throughout his life, Brendan has benefitted from the exemplary care of ophthalmologists and optometrists in Ruidoso and Albuquerque, New Mexico; Little Rock, Arkansas; and at the Gavin Herbert Eye Institute at the University of California-Irvine.
After graduating from law school, Brendan worked for one year in the Litigation Division of former New Mexico Attorney General Gary King; four years with the New Mexico Public Defender Dept. defending clients charged with felony offenses; one year with his father at the Law Office of Mel B. O’Reilly LLC; and two years with personal injury law firms in Albuquerque representing plaintiffs.
Before he attended law school, Brendan interned at the White House (Office of the Vice President: Mrs. Gore’s Office); worked as a newspaper reporter in and around Little Rock, Ark.; served as the communications director to the Democratic Party of New Mexico; and held other positions in media and sales.
A native New Mexican born and raised in Lincoln County, Brendan graduated from St. Pius X High School in Albuquerque and then graduated from Hendrix College in Conway, Ark., with a major in Politics and a minor in Gender Studies.
While dabbling online in 2010 Brendan reconnected with a woman, Amy Hawkins, with whom he rode the school bus in Ruidoso in the mid-1980s. Brendan sent her a note and a mere 10 months later he convinced her to get married and move to Albuquerque from Las Cruces. He can be quite persuasive.
Brendan and Amy married in June 2011 and live in Albuquerque with their two dogs, Jack and Ginger.