1. Where do you live?
2. What is the name of your law firm or group?
My law firm’s name is Bragg Law, and it’s located in Houston, Texas. In 1994, I formed Legal Insight, Inc., and the law firm writes, produces, and performs on-camera legal education programs that are distributed nationwide to health care providers. I am also the author of HIPAA for the General Practitioner, published by the ABA Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division.
3. What is your favorite part of being a lawyer?
A segment of my practice is devoted to representing the groups in our culture that do not have a voice―the children, the elderly, and the mentally ill. It is very rewarding to know that my efforts make a difference in people’s lives, and it is a constant source of joy and satisfaction. And being a mediator for more than 20 years has really exposed me to lawyering as problem solving. I come in contact with a variety of situations and people all the time, so it is always challenging and interesting. The word boredom is not in my vocabulary.
4. What are you passionate about in your profession?
Over the years, some very important issues have ignited by passion in law. Right now, I am most passionate about my long-standing belief that the law is the world’s greatest profession and that lawyers do much to improve the world in a variety of ways. I am still as excited about the practice of law as I was my first day out, even with the inevitable ups and downs life brings us. My upcoming ABA book, Defining Moments: Insights Into the Lawyer’s Soul, highlights the great works and lives of many awesome lawyers around the country and is a way I can share this belief with the world.
5. What is the most interesting experience you’ve had in the legal profession?
There are a few defining and interesting experiences, and the year 1990 stands out immediately. I would have to say becoming the first woman president of Houston Young Lawyer’s Association (HYLA) and also becoming a Director of the ABA Young Lawyers Division (YLD). It taught me that I could pretty much accomplish anything I set my mind to with hard work and perseverance. I have a dogged determination and had to overcome many obstacles on the way. I said to a good friend and fellow former HYLA president the other day, “Judge, 30 years later I am still here fighting the same battles for equality in our profession!” There is still more work to be done. The long-term results are definitely worth the effort.
6. How long have you been practicing?
30 years—but it seems like it has flown by!
7. How long have you been a member of the ABA?
8. What ABA sections or groups do you belong to?
Solo, Small Firm and General Practice and the Young Lawyers Division Fellows Board
9. What do you find most valuable about the ABA?
The list is long; however, the main thing is the incredible friendships developed and maintained through many years that are a constant source of joy, inspiration, and encouragement to me.
10. How has the ABA benefited you personally or professionally?
Personally, ABA’s leadership training and leadership positions, as an officer and through the YLD, have helped me further develop my skills as lawyer. Plus, the added benefits of traveling to terrific places and meeting new people cannot be measured adequately.
11. How have you participated in the ABA?
Since 1986, I have been deeply involved in a variety of capacities. Some of the highlights include:
- Appointed, Chair, ABA GPSolo and Small Firm Division Book Publications Board (2012–13)
- Elected, ABA GPSolo and Small Firm Division Council, unexpired and full term, (2011–16)
- Appointed, Vice-Chair ABA GPSolo and Small Firm Division Book Publications Board (2011–12); (2004–11)
- Appointed, Vice Chair, ABA GPSolo and Small Firm Division 50th Anniversary Task Force (2011–12)
- Elected and served as the first woman President of Houston Young Lawyers Association (1990–91)
- Appointed and Served as Director, ABA Young Lawyers Division (Cabinet level position) (1990–91)
- Elected and Served as Director, Texas Young Lawyers Association (1988–92)
My hope is that by sharing this information as new members of GPSolo, you can picture yourself in these roles in the future and see the true value of your Division membership for your career and practice.
12. Do you belong to any other professional organizations?
Houston Young Lawyers Association Fellow; Joseph Pritchard Inn (Texas Young Lawyers Association); Houston Bar Association; and Children at Risk, Public Policy & Law Center Advisory Board; and the Association of Women Attorneys(AWA)
Melanie D. Bragg
1177 West Loop South
Houston, Texas 77027