Steptoe & Johnson LLP partner Brigida Benitez was elected president-elect of the D.C. Bar for the upcoming 2013-14 term.
Benitez edged out Jenner & Block partner Lorelie Masters for the top job by around 200 votes, according to results provided by the D.C. Bar. Voter participation was up this year, with the bar reporting a 12 percent return on the more than 75,000 ballots sent out, or around 8,700. Last year, around nine percent of ballots were sent back.
Benitez could not immediately be reached for comment. Beginning in June, she'll serve as president-elect for one year while solo practitioner Andrea Ferster, the current president-elect, is president. Benitez will then spend a year as president and a third year as immediate past president.
In an interview at the start of elections earlier this month, Benitez said expanding pro bono and access to justice programs would be a top priority if elected. She said she'd like to find ways the bar could be more creative in how it provides services and partners with legal services providers. At Steptoe, Benitez's practice includes global dispute resolution, compliance and internal investigations.
Benitez is currently a member of the D.C. Bar Board of Governors and served on a number of committees. She is a past president of the Hispanic Bar Association of the District of Columbia and a member of the board of directors of the Women's Bar Association of the District of Columbia.
Sara Kropf of the Law Office of Sara Kropf was elected secretary, and Steven Berk of Berk Law was elected treasurer. Both positions carry one-year terms.
The full results are available here.