2012 Rising Star Recipient

Melissa Marshall, Clark Hill PLC

Melissa MarshallMelissa Marshall is the regional marketing manager at Clark Hill PLC, where she manages all aspects of the firm’s marketing and business development initiatives for the Chicago and Phoenix offices. Throughout her career, her positive energy and can-do attitude has won the respect and admiration of her peers and supervisors.

“Melissa’s ability to break ideas into highly organized, manageable processes is unmatched,” said Benjamin Cox, formerly the director of sales and marketing at Firefly Legal Inc. “She is respected by her colleagues as a model for optimism, professionalism and commitment, always enriching the daily experiences of those around her.”

Though the Chicago and Phoenix geographic markets that she manages for Clark Hill are vastly different, she has been successful in supporting growth in both offices through numerous initiatives, including:

Public Relations: As the media outreach lead for the firm, her efforts to build relationships have been especially fruitful in the Phoenix market. She took the initiative to join the Arizona Small Business Association; then within six months, earned a board position for one of the firm’s attorneys, positioning the firm as a law firm that is integrated into the local business community. She also built a relationship with the Phoenix Business Journal by confirming the firm as a sponsor and participant in the publication’s CFO Roundtable programming. Through these relationships, the firm has gained numerous referral sources and panel opportunities for attorneys in the Phoenix office.

New Attorney Concierge: Marshall took the initiative and created this position; she is the go-to professional that works collaboratively with new attorneys before their start date to ease their transition into the firm and to get a head-start in finalizing marketing materials.

Her leadership within LMA also has been impressive. Marshall began her career in legal marketing directly out of college and immediately became a member of LMA. She has served as chair of the LMA Midwest Chapter New Member Welcome Committee since 2007 and was vice chair of the LMA Midwest Membership Committee from 2007 to 2011. Because of her contributions to the chapter, she received the 2011 LMA Midwest Chapter Rising Star award in February 2011. And as the current co-chair of the LMA Midwest Conference Committee and Midwest Chapter Treasurer-Elect, she will continue to play a role in guiding the direction of this well-established chapter.
Marshall is an outstanding example of the next generation of LMA leaders. Dedicated, enthusiastic, thoughtful, innovative and always willing to step up and offer her assistance and wisdom. She has never refused an assignment or request. “Melissa is a wonderful team player as well as a considerate, serious and effective leader who always produces excellent results and work products,” said Sydney Iglitzen, a past president of LMA’s Midwest Chapter.

In addition, Marshall has been a volunteer for three charities since college: Saint Joseph’s College Business Network Program, Covenant House and the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Most notable is her work for Saint Joseph’s College Business Network Program. Selected from among the student body to participate during all four years of college and now as an engaged alumni supporter, Marshall has been involved with the program for nine of its 10 years of existence.

What the judges say:

  • "We all know the challenges of marketing in diverse geographies, but to have the strategic and execution responsibility for both offices and to be successful is notable. She has her finger on the pulse of both markets which we find extraordinary for a marketer with her years of experience and with the resources available to her.”
  • “Melissa is a professional who has found the balance between her professional/firm, LMA, and community involvement that has resulted in true successes and positive recognition in each facet.”
  • “In reviewing the many submissions, there were immensely talented people, but if Melissa’s resume crossed my desk, I would pay special attention. Very impressive scorecard in only five years.”