Mary K Young
Mary K Young brings a demonstrated track record of corporate strategy and branding success to her work for Zeughauser Group clients. Her practice focuses on the creation of powerful growth plans and brand strategies and the development of high-performing marketing teams. She is known for insightful analysis, producing tangible results, and leading through collaboration.
Mary K established her reputation as a legal innovator during her tenure as chief marketing officer for Howrey. Partnering with firm leadership, she was instrumental in the firm’s strategic planning initiatives and the integration of a major merger partner. She developed and launched new positioning and advertising for the firm and led the development of its new corporate identity. As Howrey extended its footprint to London, Brussels, Amsterdam, and Paris, Mary K developed and implemented the strategic plans for each of those offices.
Before transitioning to the legal field, Mary K served as a Washington-based policy analyst. She then spent ten years as a business director and brand manager for Kraft Foods, where she developed and implemented profit and revenue growth strategies for some of the company’s most important products. In this capacity, she led a team of 50 professionals and had strategy, revenue, and profit growth responsibility for an $870 million business. She subsequently returned to Washington, D.C. as senior vice president of the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, responsible for developing industrywide strategy and positioning for the $34 billion distilled spirits industry.
Mary K is a contributor to The American Lawyer and an ALM Intelligence Fellow. She is committed to bringing legal services to those who lack access to critical resources. She has provided pro bono strategic planning services to a number of organizations, including Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), Catholic Charities Immigration Legal Services, and The Pro Bono Project of New Orleans. She currently serves on the KIND Advisory Board.
Mary K holds an M.B.A. from the Anderson School of Management at UCLA and an A.B. from Vassar College.
- Develops firmwide, practice, industry sector, and office strategic plans, often involving partner interviews, client interviews, working sessions, and partner retreats
- Provides in-depth analysis of firm financials, talent strategies, competitors, growth aspirations, and industry benchmarks to guide the planning process
- Leads strategic review sessions with firm leadership to confirm or update strategic growth priorities
- Undertakes strategic research, including benchmarking of peer and aspirational peer firms on compensation, governance, expense management, and other topics relevant to strategy
Law Firm Branding
- Develops positioning strategies that lead to the creation of successful brands
- Conducts internal and external research to develop effective branding strategies, including quantitative research among target audiences
- Builds consensus and leads internal brand implementation to ensure buy-in and universal brand support
Marketing Organization Assessment and Design
- Collects data in regard to marketing and business development best practices and norms
- Conducts interviews and internal/external research to clarify leadership expectations and assess the marketing organization’s ability to meet those expectations
- Advises on marketing organization structure, roles and responsibilities, and practices and systems to ensure high performance
- For a global top 50 law firm, created detailed and integrated strategic plans for seven departments and 45 practice groups
- For an Am Law 100 law firm, led the executive board in the creation and implementation of a firmwide reengineering plan to meet client demand for efficiency and enhanced service
- For an Am Law 200 firm, led a refresh of the strategic plan followed by implementation of firmwide initiatives to increase partner engagement, improve profitability, enhance the brand, and ensure practice groups and partners created business plans consonant with the firm strategic plan
- For a leading global law firm, led an engagement to communicate the global brand through advertising and internal brand integration
- For a recently merged Am Law 100 firm, advised on the creation of a new, integrated brand, including positioning, client communications, and a detailed business development plan
- For firms ranging in size from 100 lawyers to more than 3,000, conducted reviews of marketing organizations and recommended appropriate functions, structures, levels of spending, position descriptions, technology, and systems; results include higher performance and marketing and business development initiatives that are more likely to drive profitable growth
“No one knows law firm strategy better than Mary K Young. Her advice is clear, practical, and continues to lead us to greater success.”
“Mary K Young is our go-to consultant for growth plans and brand strategies that provide tangible, measurable growth.”
“Mary K won’t just hand you a strategic plan and walk away. She provides actionable plans, helps build consensus among partners, and stays with you from concept through execution.”
“Mary K connects the dots between branding and financial growth. Her recommendations never lose sight of our business objectives, which is why they consistently achieve better outcomes.”
“She helped us build a powerful marketing organization and across offices and continents.”
“I’d keep Mary K on a permanent retainer if I could. She’s that rare consultant who is brilliant, responsive, and easy to work with.”
“I continue to be impressed by Mary K’s sharp focus, practical solutions, and ability to motivate others.”