Meet Our Attorneys



About
Our Team

WILLIAM M. HARRIS
Of Counsel


William M. Harris often quips that he went from being the youngest member of a two man partnership in Roach and Harris to the oldest member in the 10 lawyer firm of Lavelle & Finn. Bill, who is of counsel at Lavelle and Finn, has been practicing law for over 44 years and in his early years handled everything from criminal cases to divorces to bankruptcies before transitioning to his preferred practice areas of estate planning and estate administration. He especially enjoys shepherding individuals through the daunting world of estate administration. His ability to clearly explain the process, step by step, and to offer thoughtful solutions to problems often provides clients with a sense of serenity during an emotionally difficult time. Being a good listener and having empathy are two key qualities he considers especially valuable in his line of work.

Very recently he completed a fairly complex estate with multiple charitable beneficiaries, a host of other individual beneficiaries, including two who died during the administration of the estate, problem assets and an admittedly high strung executor. At the end of the estate administration when the final papers were being signed, the executor praised Mr. Harris’s patience, calmness and positive attitude and said that these qualities gave her the strength and confidence to see the process through to its conclusion.

Bill is a person of many interests and talents. From serving as president of a prestigious international food and wine society, to his participation on art gallery boards, performing arts boards and his support of musical groups and historical organizations, Bill can be found rolling up his sleeves for the cultural health of the community. As a Vietnam Army veteran, Bill has served in many ways and now brings a comprehensive perspective to his many activities to the benefit of his colleagues and clients. Once back in the office, Bill’s work is characterized by his humor and thorough understanding of issues as diverse as art collections to business succession planning. The value Bill brings to engagements is his worldly knowledge coupled with decades of experience. This is made accessible by a wry wit and excellent communication skills. When he is not practicing law or at board meetings, charitable fundraisers or cultural events, he can be found ice skating, rollerblading, playing electric guitar, cooking at home, attending college and professional hockey games or traveling the world.

Credentials

Education
Colgate University, A.B., 1965
Albany Law School of Union University, J.D., 1972

Admission
New York

Professional Memberships
American Bar Association
Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law
New York State Bar Association
Trusts and Estates Law Section
Real Property Law Section
Albany County Bar Association
Estate Planning Council of Eastern New York

Community
Bailli (President) of the Albany chapter of the Chaine des Rotisseurs, Bailliage d’Albany (international food and wine society)
A director of the Fort Orange Wine Society
Director and Past President, Albany Center Gallery
Trustee of the Albany Institute of History & Art
Member of the Advisory Board of the School of Hotel, Culinary Arts and Tourism at Schenectady County Community College
Financial supporter of Capital Repertory Theatre, Albany Symphony, Proctors Theater and Opera Saratoga.
United States Army veteran who served in Vietnam from 1967 to 1968, and was recommended for The Bronze Star.

Hobbies
Travel
Wine and food
Art collecting
Cooking
Inline skating and ice skating
Playing guitar
Attending college and professional hockey games.