Brenda Bauges, 32, does her best to leave anything she comes across – whether it’s a person, place, thing or organization – in better shape than when she first encountered it.
It turns that her role as a deputy attorney general working on the Special Prosecutions Unit allows her to leave things better than the 32-year-old found them.
“You pick up a case and you see it through to get justice for society as a whole, not just a victim or a single person,” Bauges says. “Prosecution, in and of itself, is a way to leave things better than you found them. If you are prosecuting a drug case, you’re taking someone off the streets or rehabilitating them, therefore stopping them from doing bad in that community.”
Prior to joining the Attorney General’s office, Bauges was an assistant city attorney for the City of Boise and she has also worked in private practice. She’s made her mark at each and every stop, which is why she’s a recipient of the Idaho Business Review’s Accomplished Under 40 award.
Bauges, who was born in Texas and moved to Mountain Home before her first birthday, can’t pinpoint that “a-ha” moment when she knew that becoming a lawyer was a goal. She does recall getting asked the “what do you want to be when you grow up?” question in elementary school. Her response: To be the first female president of the United States, and if not, a lawyer.
“I don’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be a lawyer,” Bauges says. “It’s always been there. I don’t know where it came from, but it never went away.”
Bauges no longer has those grade school political aspirations, so don’t expect the College of Idaho graduate to enter the political arena. That hasn’t prevented Bauges, who studied law at the University of Idaho, from making her mark in the state and its legal community. She was recently named to the Idaho Academy of Leadership for Lawyers, which will enable her to begin a legacy project to record and preserve the histories of a generation of previous lawyers.
Bauges’ goal is to create an event that will honor the “legal titans” and provide continuing education credits for current attorneys in a fun event. The oral histories would be taken at the event, thus ensuring these experiences aren’t lost and can be used by current and future lawyers. She hopes this event, which is still in the planning stages, eventually becomes self-sufficient so no future histories are lost.
“The landscape of what the legal profession looked like when they were practicing has changed,” Bauges says, adding that recording these histories will preserve the past. “If we lose that, we really do lose an important part of not only Idaho’s history, but the legal community’s history of where we came from. If you forget your past, sometimes you are bound to repeat your mistakes and forget how you got to your successes.”
Away from the law, Bauges loves spending time with her husband Aaron and 5-year-old son Alex. The family enjoys camping and outdoorsy summer activities. Their favorite is whitewater rafting.
Most memorable airplane trip: “We were going on a Western Caribbean cruise that ‘set sail’ from Florida for our honeymoon. It was the most memorable because it was our first trip as a married couple and, actually, it was our first trip on an airplane together … somehow we failed to get seats by each other … that was our first lesson in the old saying about marriage that ‘staying together takes effort,’ or in our case ‘sitting together.’”