Dentons’ first female U.S. Managing Partner, Mary Wilson is a national finance, health care law and tax-exempt organization lawyer who has served in various leadership roles during her tenure. She embodies strong female leadership, leveraging her experiences to innovate, inspire and pay it back. Mary helps lead Dentons’ innovation through Golden Spike, as the first truly national law firm, while also representing borrowers, banks and underwriters in tax-exempt bond issues, loans and other finance transactions aggregating billions of dollars in principal amounts.
The great conundrum of the US legal market is that, while it is the largest legal market in the world, US law firms are disproportionately small compared to firms in other nations, both in terms of headcount and the number of communities served. Dentons launched Project Golden Spike to solve this challenge and offer clients the benefits of the first law firm providing services broadly and deeply throughout the US. Golden Spike utilizes a distinctive partnership model that enables member firms to maintain their existing partnerships or corporate structures, leadership teams, and other key attributes, meaning that they will reap all the benefits of a global firm without losing their local relationship with clients. Mary has been key in facilitating collaboration and creating processes across member firms and practice groups, including joint participation in an upcoming Summit on women, retention and success at Dentons.
In addition, Mary is an active member of Dentons’ US Women’s Leadership and Growth Network, a women’s mentorship initiative entitled Dentons Women LEAD. Women LEAD (Leadership, Entrepreneurism, Advancement, Development) is a network that plays a critical role in supporting and building the success of women in the Firm. The network’s mission is to foster an environment that attracts, develops and inspires women business leaders and builds networks with our clients and the communities in which we work. Example activities include: Sponsorship program, New mother outreach programs, Business development planning programs, Networking Forums, and Women’s events. Mary also helped design a new program called Dentons’ Executive Mentoring program that recently launched. This program pairs Dentons US Board members with diverse associates in a 360 mentoring program to provide new opportunities for diverse associates while simultaneously sharing the views and experiences of these associates with Board members. She serves as a mentor herself in the inaugural class, showcasing her commitment to the program. She was also part of the faculty for the 2019 Dentons’ Preparing for Rain Program which focuses on supporting and training women senior managing associates and new partners in the art of business development.
Furthermore, Mary is the former Chicago office managing partner and a continuing member of Dentons’ US Board. She has served on the Chicago leadership board of the American Diabetes Association and the boards of KEEN Chicago and Heartland Health Outreach.