A native Houstonian, Michelle Martinez Fraga comes from humble beginnings. Her parents, who had a grade-school education, brought up seven children. Each of them earned college diplomas and some hold graduate degrees. Fraga, the youngest, worked her way through high school, college, and law school. She credits her parents for modeling a strong work ethic that enabled their children to overcome challenges and achieve goals. “Growing up, we all knew the importance of education and hard work,” Fraga said. “We learned these and other core values from an early age. Our parents instilled in all of us a love of God, country, and family.” Fraga exemplifies the American Dream. “I’ve experienced it firsthand,” she says.
Fraga, whose father died when she was young, grew up surrounded by strong role models. Her sister---Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva M. Guzman --- was one of them. As a teenager, Fraga worked in Guzman’s law office after school and during semester breaks. “I was in the courtroom before I was even old enough to vote,” Fraga said. The early experience sparked Fraga’s passion for the law and the administration of justice. “I saw how lawyers helped people and, even then, I knew I had found my calling,” she said, “I knew I wanted a life in the law.”
Fraga began her legal career in public service as an Assistant Harris County Attorney, where she handled a variety of civil litigation and government law cases. She defended Harris County’s interests and those of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office. Today, she is the principal of her own civil litigation firm, in her sixteenth year of practice. Fraga handles a range of cases, including complex litigation and has built a track record of devoting time and energy to causes that enrich the legal profession and the legal community.
Fraga has served on the State Bar of Texas Grievance Panel 4-B and volunteers for various bar associations. She helped present “A Special Day at the Courthouse,” a community-education program for special-needs high school students, fielding questions from parents, students, and teachers about Texas’s guardianship laws. She also helps educate fellow lawyers, recently presenting at the State Bar of Texas Women in the Law Conference, a statewide continuing legal education program.
Though Fraga has enjoyed her private law practice, she longs to return to public service, where she can put her professional skills and broad-based experience to work for the greater good.
For years Fraga has been bringing leadership, fresh ideas, and high energy to good causes in our community. She sits on the boards of the TEACH, Harriet and Joe Foster YMCA and Catholic Charities. She has volunteered at M.D. Anderson Cancer Hospital, Sheltering Arms, Houston Independent School District, Young Leaders in Medicine, and the Junior League of Houston. And, she has put her creativity and organizational gifts to work in chairing special programs and events, such as TEW, Steps for Students, the S.E.R. Gala, and Cardinal’s Christmas. Fraga credits the support of her large extended family for making it possible for this “working mom” to serve in these ways.
Michelle and her husband Stephen Fraga know firsthand the rewards of building strong families and strong communities. Married for 14 years with three sons Gregory (11), Stephen (11) and Andrew (6), they are committed to showing the next generation the importance of civic responsibility and the value of personal freedoms. Stephen, a proud Texas Aggie and graduate of Strake Jesuit Preparatory, runs a family-owned business his father Lupe Fraga founded in 1962, a legacy of hard work and enduring faith that reflects their past and inspires their future. The family enjoys taking an active role in their church, schools, and neighborhood, bringing their spirit of teamwork to community causes, and sowing the seeds of patriotism.
With her heart for public service and her strong commitment to our community, Michelle Fraga stands ready to step into the arena. A lifelong Conservative, she believes it is an exciting time to be a Republican in Harris County.