Mary-Kathleen O'Connell

Mary-Kathleen O'Connell

PartnerCo-Chair, Trusts & Estate Planning
Mary-Kathleen O'Connell
+1 617 570 1391

Mary-Kathleen O’Connell, a partner in and chair of the firm’s Trusts & Estate Planning practice and a member of its Investment Committee, joined Goodwin in 1981. Ms. O’Connell’s estate planning, tax and fiduciary practice encompasses all aspects of estate, gift, generation-skipping and income tax planning, as well as trust management.


Ms. O’Connell works closely with clients to coordinate lifetime gift programs with estate plans to be implemented at death in order to reduce transfer taxes. She also counsels private companies and their owners on succession and generational ownership transfer issues, and professional fiduciaries and charitable organizations on fiduciary and tax matters.

Ms. O’Connell serves as a trustee of numerous charitable foundations and family trusts. As a trustee of family trusts, she often works closely with several generations of family members to ensure that clients’ tax and personal goals are met. In her capacity as trustee of several active private foundations, Ms. O’Connell provides tax and legal advice and has worked to structure guidelines for grant making and project review.

Professional Activities

Ms. O’Connell is a member of the Boston, Massachusetts and American Bar Associations and the Women’s Bar Association. She is also a member of the Boston Estate Planning Council and is on the steering committee of ISOS, an organization of senior women serving corporations as outside and in-house counsel. Ms. O’Connell recently served on a joint committee of the Boston Bar Association and the Women’s Bar Association on Part Time Lawyering. In addition, Ms. O’Connell is a member of the board of directors of several nonprofit institutions.




New York University School of Law


Yale University

(cum laude)



  • Massachusetts

Recognition & Awards

Ms. O’Connell has been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America Best Lawyers for her work in Trusts and Estates 2022-2023.

Ms. O’Connell is listed in Best Lawyers.


Ms. O’Connell is a frequent lecturer on gift and estate planning issues at continuing legal education seminars and has served as a panelist on numerous public presentations regarding estate planning. She was a member of the New York University Law Review at New York University School of Law.