In the highly competitive field of law, it helps to have a niche and establish a track record of success. Michael Mandell, better known online as Law by Mike, discovered it also helps to get creative.
Recognized as the most popular lawyer on Tiktok, with an impressive following on Instagram and YouTube, Mandell captivates his social media following with entertaining legal tips and informative videos. By debunking common myths about the law, commenting on popular cases, and making legalese palatable to nonlawyers, he has amassed a following of more than 8 million across social media platforms.
You might say the law is in Mandell’s DNA. Raised among a family of lawyers who sought justice for those illegally harmed by personal injury sparked his early career interest in that area.
"The law may be limited in certain respects, but I still find a sense of justice in that kind of work," he explained.
After earning his law degree from Duke University, which the Times Higher Education World University Rankings named the top law school in the world in 2017, Mandell spent nearly a decade as an associate at Reed Smith, LLP, one of Los Angeles' most highly regarded firms.
He quickly solidified his reputation as a highly talented attorney with a people-first approach that led to client satisfaction. Clients embroiled in legal matters often find the law complicated, but Mandell discovered he had a particular talent for lifting the veil and clearing confusion.
By bringing this unique ability to social media, Mandell met a previously unfilled need.
"Of course, I recognized I was traveling down an unknown business avenue when I focused on developing my social media presence," he said, "but it clicked with my desire to communicate genuinely with clients."
He published his first few posts in November 2020 for his family’s law firm. These informational videos offered simple legal tips covering frequently asked questions about personal injury and criminal law. His posts found traction and started to go viral, growing his audience faster than he had ever expected.
"Initially, I wanted to create social media content to connect with clients and create a sizable web footprint," he commented. "I quickly realized I had tapped into something much more significant than growing a personal client base."
Clearly, social media users were thirsty for Mandell's brand of infotainment. His plainspoken, often humorous approach to communication and his compelling expertise began to transform the way people looked at lawyers and the law. Realizing this type of outreach was his calling, he founded Mandell Law.
"Law provides the structure that allows societies to function," he said. "However, many people understandably feel confused by the legal system's complexity. Even the accompanying terminology often makes understanding the law impossible without expensive professional support."
What sets Law by Mike apart is the injection of play, humor, and pop culture into accessible information about the law. His eye-catching videos often touch on the latest trials, celebrity dust-ups, and law-related issues everyday people experience, such as speeding tickets. The "Bill Nye of Law," Mandell not only breaks down complicated topics, but also makes them easy to understand and fun to learn about.
If that wasn’t enough, Mandell has recently branched out into even more directions. In addition to posting his short, informative Tiktok clips, he has started uploading long-form YouTube videos. He also began the Law by Mike on the Mic podcast. Each 20- to 30-minute episode dives into some of the hottest topics in law, such as the problem of corrupt cops. He is even developing an online course that will teach other lawyers how to optimize social media for their own practices.
Meanwhile, Mandell has no plans of slowing down or giving up his solid foothold in social media. The Law by Mike following keeps growing and flourishing, proving the value of posts that are both educational and entertaining.
"I believe the law belongs to all of us," Mandell said. "Lawyers should endeavor to make the law accessible to anyone, not keep the law libraries guarded under lock and key."
Photography by: Courtesy of Mike Mandell