Michael Mandell - I Use My Influence on Social Media To Educate People About the Law (Lawyer)

Besides providing free legal tips on social media, Michael has been a trial attorney for over 8 years and has represented clients in some of the most severe injury cases, including brain injuries, loss of motor functions, amputation, damage to organ(s), spinal cord injuries, paralysis, comas, permanent disability, and death.

These injuries were caused by car/motorcycle/truck/boat incidents, pedestrian and bicycle incidents, burn injuries, hit-and-runs, slip & falls, animal attacks, plane crashes, toxic/mass torts, class actions, and defective equipment/products/pharmaceuticals.

Michael also has a trusted network of attorneys in every state that he works with to represent clients needing lawyers for all legal issues including personal injury, criminal defence, class actions, defective products, traffic tickets, landlord/tenant law, medical malpractice, workers’ compensation, sexual abuse, construction lawsuits, family medical leave, civil rights, police misconduct, insurance disputes, social security, whistleblower cases, nursing home/elder abuse, family law, employment law (discrimination, wrongful termination, wage/hours issues), discrimination, sexual harassment, immigration, and business torts, and contract law.

Michael graduated from Duke Law School in 2012, one of the most prestigious law schools in the United States and ranked #8 in the US. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism ranked #2 in the world.

He began his career as an attorney for Reed Smith where he defended pharmaceutical companies and aeroplane manufacturers for defective products. In 2014 his team was recognized as “Top Defense Results” in California by the Daily Journal.

Mike is now using his professional skills learned from the “other side” to help victims of injury cases and be one step ahead of the defence lawyers. He is also using his influence on social media to help connect people to the best law firms to make sure they get the best care possible.

Tell us about your background and journey.

I come from a family of personal injury attorneys (my father and uncle work together), so you could say being a lawyer was always in my blood. I received my bachelor's degree from the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism where I fine-tuned my public speaking and communication skills. After graduating, I went to law school at Duke University School of Law, which I graduated in 2012.

I began my legal career at Reed Smith, where I spent seven and a half years primarily doing product liability defence work. During this time, I was not entirely able to market myself because when you're working for a firm with fifteen hundred lawyers, thirty offices worldwide, you have to go through several levels of approval for anything that you want to publicly post.

Although I enjoyed my work there, I always had a passion for helping the "little guy" and ended up switching to my family's personal injury firm in October 2020. That is when I decided to use social media to market myself. My videos at the beginning were limited to personal injury law. 

However, as it progressed, I started making videos on different areas of the law, such as criminal defence, class actions, defective products, landlord/tenant law, medical malpractice, workers' compensation, civil rights, police misconduct, family, employment law, sexual harassment, sexual abuse, immigration, business torts, and contract law.

It wasn't my particular focus in practice, but I obviously know the basics. And that's really what people need to know. The public wants to know their basic rights, such as what the cops can and can't do. On December 17, 2020, I uploaded a video on TikTok where I shared tips on what to say to a cop when pulled over for speeding. This 15 seconds video alone, where I explained the fundamental rights against self-incrimination, gained over 50 million views.

After this sudden popularity, I had to make a decision because I couldn't work at my family's firm and also attend to all the inquiries and messages I received on my social media platforms. I was getting over 4,000 messages in four weeks and also doing the work for my family. My goal has always been to help people and I saw this as an opportunity to help people everywhere, in ways that other people haven't, and social media gave me a national reach to help everyone in the country on anything legally related.

So I decided to depart from my family business and start my own law firm, Michael L. Mandell Law, Inc. I now use my influence on social media to educate people about the law and their rights and to help connect people to the best law firms to make sure they get the best care possible.

What do you think are the key differences in studying law in Indian and other countries?

I don't have a lot of background on the law in India, but each country has its own laws that make it unique. I studied law for a semester in Spain and they follow the civil law system, which is very different from the United States' (and India's) common law system. 

 I like the common law system because the role of the lawyer is adversarial--and I like to argue! In the common law system, the lawyer asks questions of witnesses, demands evidence, and presents cases based on the evidence he or she obtained. While in the civil law system, lawyers present arguments based on the evidence the court finds. 

So I believe the lawyer has more influence in the common law system vs. the civil law system.

Which top institutes would you recommend for studying law?

I love my school Duke University School of Law and they have a great LLM program too. The school has some of the brightest minds (including students and professors), which is important because you learn from both your peers and educators.

What advice would you pass on to someone who wants to be a lawyer?

Do what interests you the most and what you’re passionate about. That will give you the most success and happiness in the long run! I get asked a lot if going to law school or being a lawyer is difficult. You should not be questioning whether to pursue something based on difficulty. As the US President Theodore Roosevelt once said:

“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty…”

What are the various career scopes after being a lawyer?

You can be a litigator or a transactional attorney. Within those fields, there are several different niches.

What does success look like to you in this job?

Success is helping people and feeling good about what you've contributed to society. At the end of the day, that's what matters

Which is your favourite book and why?

My favourite book is "Maximum Achievement" by Brian Tracy it helped to motivate me and get me out of a hard-time after a breakup.

Find him on Instagram

Interviewed by - Sathwik Macharla