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DeAndrea Benjamin is a Circuit Court Judge for the Fifth Judicial Circuit where she hears General Sessions (criminal) matters, civil matters, and non-jury matters. In July 2012 she was assigned to be both Chief Administrative Judge of General Sessions for the Fifth Judicial Circuit and Presiding Judge of the State Grand Jury. She was formerly Partner at Gist Law Firm, where she practiced until being elected to the Circuit Court bench in 2011. She also served as Municipal Judge for the City of Columbia, Assistant Attorney General for the South Carolina Attorney General's Office and Assistant Solicitor for Richland County. DeAndrea serves on the boards of EdVenture Children's Museum, the USC Community Advisory Board and St. John Preschool Foundation. Previously she was a member of the North Main Street Redevelopment Advisory Committee and the Congaree Girl Scouts board. She earned her Juris Doctor from University of South Carolina School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Winthrop University. DeAndrea is a Fellow of the tenth class of the Liberty Fellowship and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.