Kathy O'Brien

Senior Vice President
Public Relations

Metro New York
Why I Love My Job
I work with an incredibly talented group of people to provide strategic public relations support to the most prestigious law firms in the country, and no two days are alike.

Professionally Speaking

Kathy is an award-winning publicist who brings nearly two decades of experience, encompassing both corporate and agency work, to Jaffe. Having been an in-house marketer and a publicist with agencies in the Tri-state area, she is the rare publicist with a dual perspective – as the client who faces dynamic challenges and as the service provider who develops realistic and results-oriented solutions.

As a highly skilled PR strategist, Kathy has developed an extensive network of media contacts and knows what will play with the press. Her breadth of skill in developing story ideas, combined with her crisis communications skills, make her a vital asset. Her clients have been covered by the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, BusinessWeek, CNN, ABC, NBC and other major media.

Kathy also built and launched Jaffe’s RankingsforLawyers™ service, which helps firms cut through the clutter and determine how to get ranked on the “right” lists. She is an industry pioneer and has become a resident expert on the rankings management process.

Kathy was named one of Lawdragon's "100 Leading Legal Consultants and Strategists," was a finalist for the PR News Platinum Award, and was the recipient of a Legal Marketing Association “Your Honor Award,” the most prestigious accolade in the legal marketing industry. She earned her BA, cum laude, in political science from Providence College and also attended the Universidad de Salamanca in Salamanca, Spain. She is based just outside New York City.


“Making the List: How to Capture the Marketing Potential of Legal Rankings, Surveys and Directory Listings”
Meritas, Annual Meeting, April 16, 2015

“How to Build an Effective Content Marketing Strategy”
LMA – Houston Chapter, September 16, 2014

“New Trends in Media Relations”
Legal Marketing Association Annual Meeting, April 2–4, 2014

“Meet the Press and Make Your News News”
Legal Marketing Association – Houston, August 20, 2013; Austin, August 21, 2013; San Antonio, August 21, 2013

“Social Media Strategies – Content Frequency and Impact”
Legal Marketing Association – New York Chapter, February 6, 2013

“Capturing the Marketing Potential of Legal Rankings”
Legal Marketing Association – Austin, October 5, 2011; Nashville City Group Chapter, September 26, 2011

“Lists & Rankings: Forming Your Strategy and Keeping Your Sanity”
Legal Marketing Association – Capital Chapter, July 14, 2011

“Comparing Legal Rankings”
Legal Marketing Association – New York Chapter, Business Development Special Interest Group, June 28, 2011

“What Lawyers, Law Firms & Legal Marketers Need to Know About Directories and Rankings”
Legal Marketing Association – Los Angeles Chapter, June 3, 2011

“Evaluating the Investment and ROI from Pursuing Directories, Rankings and Other Related Opportunities”
National Legal Marketing Association Annual Conference, April 5, 2011

“Making the List: Leveraging Legal Rankings, Surveys and Directory Listings”
Meritas, Latin American & Caribbean Regional Meeting, November 18–20, 2010

“Law Firm Rankings – Part II: Are They Worth Your Time?”
Legal Marketing Association webinar, November 16, 2010

“Law Firm Rankings – Part I - Are They Worth Your Time?”
Legal Marketing Association webinar, October 26, 2010

“LinkedIn®, Facebook® and Twitter® Redux Continuing Impact of Online Social Media for Law Firms and Clients”
Hartford County Bar Association, May 12, 2010

“Taking Control of the Rankings Process”
Legal Marketing Association – New York Chapter, Small Firm Special Interest Group, April 1, 2010

“The Zen of Law Firm Rankings”
Legal Marketing Association – Virginias Chapter, September 15, 2009

“Capturing the Marketing Potential of Law Firm Rankings”
Meritas, webinar, August 12, 2009

I can help you...

  • Use public relations to establish a presence, boost brand awareness and demonstrate relevance.
  • Focus on what’s important by developing a strategic communications plan and sticking to it.
  • Play to your strengths and shore up any weakness so that they, too, become assets.

Favorite Interests

Taking in a good show, cooking, hanging at the beach, watching college hockey, high school lacrosse and youth basketball (especially when the lads are playing!)

Personally Speaking

Kathy’s extreme energy, enthusiasm, drive and ability to think outside the box enable her to deliver creative PR strategies to our clients. She applies this zest not only to business but also to her personal life, and that is why she is considered among the most talented amateur chefs in the Connecticut neighborhood where she lives with her husband and two sons.

Like her mother, who is a legendary cook, Kathy has pursued the culinary arts first as a casual hobby and then as a serious foodie. In many ways, Kathy approaches our clients the same way. Like the best chefs, she maintains a curious, open mind and a huge imagination that spurs innovation. She is a strategic thinker who can blend the most effective ingredients to meet each challenge. It is this creative mindset that inspires her groundbreaking strategies for promoting client successes or deflecting negative news. Whether at the dining table or the conference table, Kathy has a keen ability to keep relationships strong and growing.