Ann Ravel, a member of the State Bar Board of Governors for the past three years, was named county counsel for Santa Clara County last month.
Ravel, 49, has been chief assistant county counsel for eight years.
She becomes one of the first female county counsels in the state and the first in a major metropolitan area.
Ravel reorganized the office recently by reassigning lawyers with a goal of improving productivity.
Currently a vice president of the bar board of governors, Ravel also chairs the legislation and courts committee. She has served on a wide variety of board committees and was assigned in 1996 to a committee on ethics, civility and professionalism.
An attorney since 1974, Ravel received her law degree from Hasting College of the Law.