Barbara Price Day, 70, was trailblazing attorney in Harford

January 02, 2003|By Laura Vozzella | Laura Vozzella,SUN STAFF

Barbara Price Day, one of Harford County's first female attorneys, died of cancer Saturday at Gilchrist Center for Hospice Care in Towson. The longtime Bel Air resident was 70.

Miss Day never considered herself a trailblazer, family members said, even as she grabbed headlines in a local newspaper by passing the bar in 1960.

A yellowed newspaper clipping Miss Day kept in a desk drawer announced the news under the headline, "Barbara Day and Three Men Pass Bar."

"One young lady and three men from Harford County successfully passed examinations given in July by the state Board of Law Examiners and will be recommended to the Court of Appeals for admission to the Bar," the item read.

Another story referred to her as the county's second female lawyer, behind Georgia Howard.

Miss Day was the daughter of Stewart O. Day, who in the 1960s served as chief judge of the 3rd Judicial Circuit covering Harford and Baltimore counties.

"She adored him and she admired him so," said her brother-in-law, Bill Levy, of Towson. "She would do anything he did. ... She was a very unusual avant-garde lady. She enjoyed the law. I think she was fascinated by it."

In a 1981 interview for a local magazine, Miss Day said she did not face discrimination as a female lawyer.

"When I went to law school there were so few lawyers that no one seemed to care whether you were male or female, so long as you were a lawyer," she said.

Raised in Bel Air, Miss Day graduated from the Bryn Mawr School in 1950 and received a degree from Goucher College four years later. She graduated from the University of Maryland Law School in 1960.

While in school, she worked as a reporter for several publications, including The Aegis, The Harford Democrat, and Gardens, Houses and People magazine. She also worked as a librarian for the U.S. District Court in Baltimore and taught Latin at the Harford Day School in Bel Air.

Once admitted to the bar, Miss Day launched a solo law practice. She continued working until two years ago, when her illness made that too difficult, Mr. Levy said. She had a special interest in child custody cases, he said.

An avid reader and fan of opera music, Miss Day served on the board of the Harford Opera Theater. For more than 20 years, she was a member of the county Property Tax Assessment Appeal Board. She also was a member and, for a time, chairwoman, of Bel Air's Board of Zoning Appeals.

Miss Day had a lifelong interest in horses and ponies, riding in shows as a young girl and teen and attending races at Pimlico Race Course as an adult.

A private memorial service is planned.

Miss Day is survived by a sister, Elizabeth Day Levy of Towson; a niece and nephew.

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