Previous Rising Star Award Recipients

The Rising Star award recognizes professionals who are 35 or younger or who have less than 10 years of overall work experience. The Rising Star honoree is an LMA member who is truly "one to watch" because of his/her contributions to the profession, the association, the community — and shows promise of leadership in the future.

Get to know the previous Rising Star Award recipients:

  • 2017 Rising Star Recipient

  • 2016 Rising Star Recipient

    2016 Rising Star Recipient

    Caroline Yarborough - Photo.jpg

    Caroline Yarborough

    Business Development Manager, McGuireWoods LLP

    Caroline Yarborough, business development manager at McGuireWoods LLP and current city group chair for LMASE in Charlotte, NC, began her career at Best Lawyers during the launch of the “Best Law Firms” partnership with U.S. News & World Report.

    From the “Best Law Firms” project, Caroline had the unique opportunity to learn first-hand about marketing and business development objectives in a macro-setting from an array of law firm leaders throughout the country. This broad national exposure to legal marketing was instrumental in positioning her to immediately add value in her various roles, as her career transitioned into working within law firms’ marketing departments.

    From her base in Charlotte, Caroline supports the marketing, business development and client service initiatives of McGuireWoods’ industry teams and departments.  She has made significant contributions inside the firm, such as process improvement around the structure and execution of industry teams.

    Caroline remains committed to the furtherance of marketing and business development in today's legal market, and works daily to advance the status of marketing personnel as trusted advisors to executives in law firms.   It is her collaborative nature, dedication to fully supporting the success of her attorneys, management and colleagues, and her commitment to quality and professionalism in the legal marketing industry that have contributed to her recognition as 2016’s Rising Star recipient.

  • 2015 Rising Star Recipient

    Jessica Dobias | 2015 Rising Star RecipientJessica Dobias Aries

    Marketing Manager at Bickerstaff Heath Delgado Acosta LLP

    Member of the LMA Technology Committee’s Member Engagement Sub-Committee

    Chair of the LMA Austin City Group

    Technology Chair of the LMA Texas Chapter

    Member of the Planning Committee for the LMA Marketing Technology Conference — West



     As the marketing manager at Bickerstaff Heath Delgado Acosta LLP in Austin, Texas, Jessica Dobias Aries leads the firm’s marketing, business development and client services initiatives. She oversees the firm’s branding, website, external communications and client services support team. Jessica works daily with cross-functional teams of attorneys and administration, and is often called on as an adviser to the firm’s attorneys, legal assistants and staff.

    In Jessica’s first year at Bickerstaff, she led two significant projects, including a firm rebranding/reidentification project and a 10-month website redesign project. She also conducted multiple training sessions for the attorneys and staff on various marketing technology tools and low-to zero-cost legal research tools.

    Jessica received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 2008, her juris doctorate from The John Marshall Law School in Chicago in 2011, and her LL.M. in Information Technology & Privacy Law from the John Marshall Law School in Chicago in 2012.


    A relentless advocate for technology in marketing, Jessica serves the Legal Marketing Association in numerous capacities.

    As a member of the LMA Technology Committee’s Member Engagement Sub-Committee, she helped develop questions for the LMA Connect technology survey, encouraged participation in the survey and even served as interim co-chair.

    She serves as the LMA Austin City Group chair and the LMA Texas Chapter technology chair, and is a member of the Planning Committee for the LMA Marketing Technology Conference — West. Her contributions to LMA also include providing social media marketing advice to the LMA Social Media SIG’s followers during their 2014 “12 Days of Social Media.”

    As a member of the Austin City Group, Jessica was one of the first City Group leaders to adopt the LMA Bay Area Chapter’s Technology Tuesdays into her city group’s regular cycle of meetings. She has also continued a strategic partnership with the Austin Chapter of the Association of Legal Administrators in an effort to increase awareness of LMA’s Austin presence and to encourage cross-discipline education and networking.

    Jessica seeks opportunities to contribute to the legal marketing field as a whole. She is not a passive member of her firm or LMA, but rather an active and passionate contributor, leader and advisor.

    She is a Rising Star.

  • 2014 Rising Star Recipient

    Rising Star Award Recipient - Elizabeth BoehmElizabeth Boehm

    Senior Marketing & Business Development Manager at Benesch
    Immediate Past-President of Ohio Chapter of LMA
    Current Board Member of Ohio Chapter of LMA


    Notably, Liz was a 2013 winner of the Midwest Social Media Summit’s inaugural SoMe Impact Award (middle category) “recognizing marketing executives who took a leap of faith into the groundbreaking world of social media and in doing so, drove substantial value for their companies.” Liz oversees Benesch’s use of social media tools including blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and others to stay in touch with clients, recruit talent, follow up on leads, get referrals and, above all, build credibility.

    The firm’s two Twitter feeds have seen a 50% increase in followers in 2013 alone, and the company’s LinkedIn page has seen an increase in audience of 20%. Liz also delivers social media and Web training for Benesch attorneys and staff.

    Liz was part of the Benesch marketing team that ranked the highest of any non-AMLaw 200 firm in the country by Marketing the Law Firm’s 2012 national ranking list, “The Eight Annual MLF 50: The Top 50 Law Firms in Marketing and Business Development.” Benesch ranked fourth overall and was the only non-AMLaw 200 firm in the top five. Liz was also part of Benesch’s team receiving the 2013 Communicators Award of Excellence for Law and Legal Services for creation of the firm’s new website, www.beneschlaw.com.

    Benesch social media efforts have garnered media attention in Columbus CEO Magazine (October 2013) and Crain’s Cleveland Business (May 27, 2013). Liz has also presented on social media matters at the LMA 2014 Annual Conference (“Going Viral — How to Make an Impact Through Social Media and PR”) and at the 2012 Akron University School of Law/LMA Ohio’s The Basics and Beyond Workshop Series (“Business Nuts and Bolts and Firm Functions”).



    Liz has been an LMA member since 2008 and served as LMA Ohio Chapter President in 2013. During her tenure as president, the Chapter made great strides, including:

    • Increasing Chapter membership by 12.2%
    • Expanding the organization’s law school outreach program
    • Deepening and leveraging relationships with partnership organizations to share best practices and cross-promote one another’s offerings and events
    • Creating and communicating value to current and prospective LMA members
    • Strengthening the Chapter’s relationship with International via a designated liaison between the Chapter Board and International
  • 2013 Rising Star Recipient

    Catherine Tsang


    Catherine Tsang was most recently the National Director of Marketing & Client Development at Davis. She was responsible for developing and driving the firm’s marketing and business development strategies, including brand management, practice and client development, media, public relations and social media. She also focused on developing systems to more accurately measure the impact and ROI of marketing initiatives. Catherine and her team worked with individual lawyers and industry groups to implement creative and effective solutions that meet their business objectives.

    “With very strong conceptual skills; Catherine’s ideas in promoting and developing business for Davis LLP were in variably well thought through, practical, but also showed flair, creativity and innovation” said Dan MacDougall, the Strategic Director, DDM of Davis LLP. “She demonstrated the ability to learn about the different industries in which our clients operate and found productive ways of bringing and incorporating that into the firm.”

    Catherine has extensive experience in business development, marketing, communications, design, and event management. In her previous roles with professional services firms, Catherine was also responsible for professional development. In addition to her experience in the legal sector, Catherine has a diverse background working in the not-for-profit industry.

    “Catherine has consistently and willingly, worked hard on behalf of the chapter members in a variety of roles including Communications Chair,” said Rob Gilfoyle, President of the LMA Vancouver Chapter, “where she has led the development of an extremely effective communications strategy and brought about significant improvements in the quality of the quarterly newsletter.”

    What the Judges Say…

    “If I could give her 1,000 points instead of 100, I would!”

    “Her excellent contributions to both her firm and LMA are evidence of great potential for future leadership of our industry.”

    “Catherine has the ‘wow’ factor that makes her stand out as our industry’s top talent.”

  • 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.”