Bill Dulany - Original Credit: Portrait Studio 270
Bill Dulany - Original Credit: Portrait Studio 270 (HANDOUT)

Friends and associates remembered William Bevard Dulany as a mentor with a sharp legal mind.

Dulany, a retired McDaniel College trustee and founding partner of Westminster law firm Dulany Leahy Curtis & Beach LLP, died Sunday. He was 89.

"He was one of those people who really loved being a lawyer," said J. Brooks Leahy, a partner at the firm.


Leahy knew Dulany even before working with him — Dulany was a friend of his parents, Leahy said.

Dulany was "old school," Leahy said, and had strong relationships with all of his clients.

"That's what he enjoyed the most — being a help to them," he said.

The Westminster lawyer was a mentor to a lot of people, Leahy said. A lot of people practiced law with him over the years, he said.

"He loved being involved in civic activity and giving back to the community," Leahy said.

The Carroll County native joined the Navy in 1945 as an aerographer before returning to McDaniel — then Western Maryland College — to earn a bachelor's degree in 1950, according to a news release from McDaniel College.

Dulany graduated from the University of Maryland School of Law in 1953 after which he was admitted to the Maryland Bar and began practicing law in Baltimore. In 1959, he returned to Westminster and became the founding partner of the law firm.

Dulany retired from Dulany Leahy Curtis & Beach LLP in 2014.

Amber Curtis, a current partner at the law firm, said Dulany was a mentor for her.

"He had a sharp legal mind and was always a gentleman," she said.

Curtis said Dulany was someone you learned from by watching and trying to aspire to do what he did. He was knowledgeable and always took the time to explain things, she added.

He had phenomenal people skills, she said.

"He looked at the law as a profession of helping people," Curtis said.

Dulany was a trustee for McDaniel for nearly 40 years until he retired in 2013, according to the release. During his time on the board, the college formed its for-profit corporation and built the Best Western-Westminster Hotel and Conference Center, according to the release.


Dulany served as chair of McDaniel's Buildings and Grounds Committee during a period when every academic building on campus was restored, renovated or constructed, according to the release.

Lee Rice, also a McDaniel College trustee emeritus, spent years on the board with Dulany.

And when Rice was the board chair in the 1990s, Dulany was extremely helpful, he said. Dulany was just a great person to know as a friend, he added.

He had a great intellect, but also was a person who could turn any serious situation into something tolerable, Rice said of Dulany. He was able to lighten a mood when necessary.

"He had a stock of jokes that were just unending," Rice said.

Dulany also served in the Maryland House of Delegates representing Carroll County, and, according to the release, was elected to the Constitutional Convention of Maryland where he chaired the Public Information Committee.

Former Westminster Mayor Kevin Dayhoff said via email he was young when he first met Dulany.

"This was when I just started to have an all-consuming interest in history and I would have chance opportunities to talk with him," Dayhoff said. "Decades later when I was an elected official, Dulany always had time to give a helping hand, lend scholarly advice and to give me the academic legislative history of a particular public policy."

Dulany loved Carroll and served the community with "great distinction," Dayhoff said.

"Dulany had his finger on the pulse of all the big changes of the 1960s when county and state government re-invented itself," Dayhoff said. "Decades later, he was better than an internet search about the different political actors and how those changes affected the community."

Dulany was also a trustee of the Maryland Historical Society; a director of Episcopal Ministries to the Aging; an advocate for the American Heart Association; president of the Carroll County Bar Association; vice president and director of the Maryland Bar Association; and a life member of the American Bar Foundation.

A service for Dulany will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 1 in the Beasman Auditorium at Integrace Fairhaven, 7200 3rd Ave., Sykesville.