Law By Mike: From the Courtroom To TikTok Stardom
The lawyer behind Law by Mike shows the legal world how informative and entertaining viral videos are done.
Mike Mandell never intended to be a viral sensation. He just wanted to drum up some business. After working for seven years for a large law firm that kept tight reins on lawyers’ online marketing, Mandell seized the opportunity to get creative. He posted a video online. And another one.
In the astonishingly short time of two months, Mandell elevated his social media presence to viral status. “Initially, I thought some friends would see it and contact me if they needed legal help,” Mandell explains. “I never expected it to turn into what it did.”
It turned into Law by Mike, which currently has over 6 million followers on TikTok, 583,000 followers on Instagram, and 1.46 million subscribers on YouTube. In over two years, Mike Mandell has solidified his position as the most famous lawyer on social media.
The Making of a Content Creator
When asked what the “secret sauce” was behind his success, Mandell credits his unique, often funny approach to content creation and novel ideas. However, he admits his content wasn’t always buzz-worthy.
“The videos were very dry in the beginning,” he says. “We evolved as we saw how the audience reacted.”
Noticing that the more high-quality and entertaining the videos generated more engagement, he became increasingly willing to abandon old-school ideas about professionalism and image. While other lawyers’ videos showed them sitting behind a desk, talking at people instead of to them, Mandell experimented with exciting cinematography, humorous dialogue, and even skits.
“More lawyers are starting to do it now, but when I started, no one else was really doing these things. There were lots of TV ads, but nothing that was trying to educate people in an entertaining way,” Mandell says.
Cutting-Edge Content for the People
After only two years on social media, Mandell already has a good handle on what content will resonate with his millions of followers. With Law by Mike, he has tapped into the perfect mix of informative and entertaining. He often likens his approach to that of well-known “Science Guy” Bill Nye.
“Bill Nye became so popular because science is kind of boring,” he said with a laugh. “Similarly, we were able to take a ubiquitous but kind of boring topic – the law – and make it fun to learn about.”
To determine what videos to produce, Mandell turns to Law by Mike’s followers. Videos concerning the police, either in a short form on TikTok or in longer form on YouTube, always have the highest engagement. He credits this to the simple fact that most people have either had interactions with the police or fear having interactions with them. Well-publicized legal issues in the news, such as the recent Johnny Depp and Amber Heard trial, are also popular topics for Law by Mike to cover in his signature style.
“I started out trying to get business, but now I want to educate the public about the law and their rights, so they are better equipped to deal with different situations,” Mandell explains. “I went from a lawyer mentality to an educator mentality.”
In the process, Mandell found himself right on the cutting edge of social media marketing for lawyers.
Expanding the Empire
Law by Mike has been expanding rapidly since its inception, and Mandell has no plans to slow that pace. He’s moved to multiple platforms, including YouTube, which has allowed him to release longer-form videos. These deep dives into law topics have been as wildly popular as his short-form TikTok posts.
Mandell is also getting more creative with his content by putting fictional characters on trial through videos such as “The People v. Iron Man.” “The educational factor is lower,” he admits, “but it’s fun for us to do!”
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Mandell is even dipping his toes into the teaching world, creating a set of courses that enable professionals to harness the power of social media for their own businesses. Called Leads by Mike, the first course teaches how to use the short-form video format, like those found on TikTok, to drum up business. While Mandell finds that many business people still feel like TikTok is just for kids, his success inspires others to let down their guard and see what this platform can do for them.
“Short-form videos are pretty unique. You have a real opportunity to go viral, even if it is short-lived,” he says. “It’s not about having a million followers. It’s about content that catches attention.”
Explaining the law effectively in 30 to 60 seconds is a definite art form. It’s a skill Mandell has mastered, and he looks forward to sharing what he knows with others. The Law by Mike story illustrates how people who find a different, entertaining way of covering staid topics will be ultimately rewarded.
To follow Law by Mike’s entertaining and informative videos online, check him out on TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.