Where Are They Now? | August 2023 | By Ashley Butler
Meet Aubrey Staples,
An alumni member from the North Summit FFA Chapter whose involvement in the Parliamentary Procedure CDE had a large impact on her decision to become a lawyer.
While Aubrey didn’t grow up with an agriculture background, she did grow an appreciation for that way of life, and is thankful for the influence that her decision to join FFA has had on her life.
“I did not grow up on a farm or ranch, but man did I love my friends who did. I am so thankful for my friends who took me under their wings and let me experience what ag life is all about, even if I was annoying. I didn’t know I wanted to be in FFA until I met my ag teacher in 8th grade. She probably won’t remember this, but she came to teach us how to introduce ourselves using an elevator pitch approach and gave us Cadbury eggs for the best handshake. Of course, she pitched FFA to us and explained all of the fun activities and experiences that the FFA offers, but there was something about that handshake, that I couldn’t, well, shake. I had to learn more.”
And that’s exactly what she did.
While she didn’t necessarily feel confident in her ability to judge animals or participate in other CDEs that revolved heavily on experience related directly to the agriculture industry, she did find something that she knew she could be good at. Parliamentary Procedure.
Aubrey says she thought parli was an interesting concept because most governmental meetings are ran in a similar manner and she enjoyed learning difficult topics and immediately applying what she had learned; plus arguing and winning was an added bonus.
Another bonus that came from Aubrey’s involvement was that during her time in the FFA, her chapter’s Parli Pro team placed in the top four at National Convention, an achievement that she says, makes proud become an understatement!
Aubrey is licensed to practice in both Utah and Wyoming and currently works for a small law firm in Park City where she practices family law, which includes divorces and child custody. Her firm also handles personal injury and criminal defense. Her days consist of running between courthouses and having binders of papers spread across her desk preparing what questions need to be asked in her next deposition.
When asked if participating in Parli Pro in FFA had an influence on her career choice, Aubrey says,
“Parli absolutely had an impact on my decision to become an attorney. I had been interested in working in the law, but once I felt the sensation that having a successful argument, even in competition, can have, I was sold.”
“The skills I learned doing Parli and FFA in general, have helped put me in a position to help people who are forced to jump through sometimes seemingly unintelligible hoops and argue for their rights.”
Although Aubrey’s career choice isn’t always a walk in the park, and every now and again she finds herself reciting the FFA motto to remind herself why she does what she does - she loves the impact that she’s able to make.
“Most lawyers would tell you, ‘don’t’—don’t become a lawyer. You work long hours, it’s stressful, and you never take a day off. Well, most of those are true, but that is true with most jobs. Having a juris doctorate is one of the most flexible degrees one can obtain. You don’t have to be in court every day or even ever, but what you can do is make an impact in your home, community, state, or even nation.”
When asked what advice she would give a student that is thinking about joining FFA, she said,
“The FFA isn’t just for kids who live and work on a farm. Do it. Give it a shot. Keep an
open mind. You might just like what you find. Also, why not? Life is too short to deny
yourself an opportunity that costs you nothing. - ok except maybe the enrollment fee”