Monday Profile: Scott Mandel


Scott Mandel is an attorney at Foster, Swift, Collins & Smith, P.C. in Lansing, and has spent his entire career in litigation.

Most of Mandel’s practice consists of business employment matters, and he also handles insurance regulatory matters. 

Mandel and his wife, Maureen Dyer, have two children: Cassie 27, and Noah, 22.

He has been active with the Ingham County Bar Association and with a number of community organizations.

By Jo Mathis

Legal News

Residence:  East Lansing.

What is your most treasured material possession? A print of the painting "The Wall" which brings to light the Vietnam Memorial Wall. I did not understand the wall and its significance until I saw this painting.

What advice do you have for someone considering law school?
Understand why you want to pursue this path It is a rewarding and challenging career, but there are no shortcuts.  Make sure you are motivated by the right reasons.

Favorite local hangouts: The MAC, almost any of the golf courses in the area, and Cugino's Restaurant in Grand Ledge.

Favorite websites:;; (Sports Illustrated).

What is your happiest childhood memory? Playing baseball and hanging out with friends.

Why did you become a lawyer? Read a book about Clarence Darrow and knew that was what I wanted to do with my life.

What would surprise people about your job?
The amount of writing I do on a daily basis.

What do you wish someone would invent? A way to be in two places at once.

What has been your favorite year so far? The present.

When you look back into the past, what do you miss most?  My mother, who passed away when I was in law school.

What is your most typical mood? Serious.

Who is on your guest list for the ideal dinner party? Abraham Lincoln, my favorite person in history. I would also have Barack Obama there so that Lincoln could see what he put into motion.

What question do you most often ask yourself? How can I improve?

If you could trade places with someone for a day, who would that be? Jordan Speith. I would love to know what it is like to play golf at that level.

What’s the most awe-inspiring place you’ve ever been?  Sedona, Arizona—the red rocks are awe-inspiring.

What’s something you changed your mind about recently? 
Donald Trump. I did not believe that he was a serious candidate or that the public would take him seriously as a presidential contender. I have changed my mind on both counts.

What do you do to relax? Golf, working out, and reading.

What word do you overuse? “Great.”

What is one thing you would like to learn to do?
Dunk a basketball.

If you had to move 500 miles away, what would you miss most? The people in this community.

What is your proudest moment as a lawyer? The “hockey case” where we represented a woman who lost an eye when she was struck by a hockey puck and suffered a very serious closed head injury. The other side scoffed at us the entire case for having the audacity to file a lawsuit against a hockey player, his coaches, and an ice arena.  Our clients literally “bet their house” on this case. Fortunately, the jury agreed with us.

What is something most people don’t know about you?
I had a speech impediment as a young kid.

What is the best advice you ever received? Take your kids with you whenever you do an activity where they can tag along.