Shelby Duffy Benton of Goldsboro is the new president-elect of the North Carolina Bar Association. She was elected Saturday morning, June 21, at the NCBA Annual Meeting in Wilmington. Benton, who operates Benton Family Law, has practiced law in Goldsboro since 1985. She will be sworn in next June in Asheville as the 121st president of the NCBA and the fourth from Goldsboro, preceded in that regard by Kenneth C. Royall (1929-30), W. Frank Taylor (1943-44) and Lindsay C. Warren Jr. (1969-70).
Benton is a 1982 graduate of North Carolina State University and a 1985 graduate of the Campbell Law School, making her the law school’s first graduate to lead the NCBA. She has been a certified family law specialist since 1995 and, in that regard too, is the first to lead the NCBA.
Throughout her career, Benton has been a staunch advocate for the legal profession and a distinguished leader within the NCBA. She chaired the Family Law Section in 2009-10 and served on the NCBA Board of Governors from 2010-13. She is also a past president of the Wayne County Bar Association and the 8th Judicial District Bar. Benton devotes much of her time to helping people, whether it’s within her practice or during free time. She has been especially involved in youth volleyball, where she is the co-founder and past-president of WAVE, the Wayne Area Volleyball Enthusiasts.
She has also served as chair of the Wayne County Criminal Justice Partnership Advisory Board, the Carver Elementary School Advisory Board and the Spring Creek High School Advisory Board. Benton was a Girl Scout Troop Leader from 1992-97 and has been involved in numerous other civic endeavors. The NCBA honored Benton for her community involvement by presenting her with the Citizen Lawyer Award.
Benton and her husband, Neal, have a blended family that includes five children: Mallory, Brooke and her husband Chris, Owen, Emily, and Stephen.