Home > Media Center > Mayor Steve Benjamin Joins Ogletree Deakins as Of Counsel

Mayor Steve Benjamin Joins Ogletree Deakins as Of Counsel

   |   Press Release

COLUMBIA, SC – July 28, 2010 – Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart P.C. (Ogletree Deakins), one of the nation’s largest labor and employment law firms, is pleased to announce that Steve Benjamin, Mayor of Columbia, S.C., will join the firm’s Columbia office effective August 1.  Prior to being elected mayor in May 2010, Benjamin was a partner at the Benjamin Law Firm, LLC where his practice emphasized governmental strategic planning, administrative and regulatory work, municipal finance and general business matters.

“Having Mayor Benjamin join us is a major boon to the firm and businesses in the state,” said Charles (Ted) Speth II, managing shareholder of Ogletree Deakins’ Columbia office.  “His qualifications and reputation are simply outstanding.  Steve’s business acumen and experience in public office and in the private sector make him a very unique and sought after talent.”     

Throughout his career, Benjamin has grown as an accomplished leader having served in senior management and executive roles within government and major corporations.  He has served as director of the South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services where he led the 950-employee, $43 million state law enforcement agency.  In the private sector, Benjamin’s experience includes managing legislative and public affairs activities as Regional Manager of Public Affairs for the International Paper Company.  He also served as Manager of Corporate Affairs at Carolina Power & Light Company.  He began his career as an associate in the Administrative and Regulatory practice with the McNair Law Firm in Columbia.     

Beyond his professional achievements, Benjamin has worked tirelessly on community issues for years, serving on boards of numerous charities.  Currently, he sits on the Board of the University of South Carolina Development Foundation, the University of South Carolina School of Law Partnership Board, the Boards of Directors of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce, Junior Achievement of South Carolina, Habitat for Humanity of the Midlands, the University of South Carolina Children’s Center, and the Columbia Urban League where he previously served as the Chairman of the Equal Opportunity Day Committee, among others.  He is a former member of the Board of Directors of NBSC.  

Benjamin has received many accolades throughout his career for his dedication to service and success in business.  He has been recognized as one of the “20 Business Leaders Changing Columbia” and one of the “10 Top Movers and Shakers to watch in Government and Politics”.  He has also been named the National Bar Association’s National Young Lawyer of the Year, and the University of South Carolina recognized him as Young Alumni of the Year.  He is the recipient of the Lincoln C. Jenkins, Jr. Award given by the Columbia (S.C.) Urban League for his accomplishments as a young professional, and was featured as one of Ebony Magazine’s “30 Leaders of the Future”.  Further, Benjamin received the Compleat Lawyer Award given by the University of South Carolina School of Law.  In 2001, the South Carolina Bar Association named him a co-recipient of the Young Lawyer of the Year Award.  Benjamin was also selected by his peers to be included in both the 2008 and 2009 Best Lawyers in America publication, the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession. 

Benjamin received his Bachelors Degree in Political Science from the University of South Carolina in 1991, and his J.D. Degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1994.  While in school, he served as Student Government President and as President of the Student Bar Association in the School of Law.   

About Ogletree Deakins

Ogletree Deakins is the nation’s third-largest labor and employment law firm, representing management in all types of employment-related legal matters.  The firm has 500 lawyers located in 40 offices across the United States.  In addition to handling labor and employment law matters, the firm has thriving practices focused on business immigration, employee benefits, and workplace safety and health law.  Ogletree Deakins represents a diverse range of clients, including more than half of the Fortune 50 corporations in the United States. For more information, please contact Ryan King, public relations manager, at (404) 870-1742.  

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