Spotlight: Mandi Clay

By Kelly K. James


Mandi ClayWhile Mandi Clay has been mediating and arbitrating throughout her legal career, she has recently decided to focus on alternate dispute resolution (ADR) and is quickly growing a successful full-time ADR practice.


Mandi became certified as a Florida mediator in 2017 and started focusing on her ADR career about a year ago. “I really enjoy working as a mediator,” she says. “I enjoy working as a neutral because I think litigation is really stressful for everyone involved, and I like being able to help people get to resolution and move on with their lives. A lot of times it takes someone who is removed from the situation and can see things from every perspective and come up with solutions. Arbitrators can do that, too — make a decision with a resolution that has a different take on things that people don’t see.”


While some neutrals prefer to mediate or arbitrate, Mandi enjoys doing both. She spent four years working for judges and uses that experience to inform her work as an arbitrator. “I like arbitration because I like solving puzzles and I enjoy legal research and writing. It’s what I like best about being a lawyer,” she says. “As an arbitrator you’re going through all the facts and figuring out the answers. I get to look at all the evidence and fit together that puzzle.”


Mandi is a commercial litigator and has worked as both a plaintiff’s and defendant’s attorney, handling cases in state and federal court. “I do contracts, intellectual property, employment law, commercial real estate, business divorces, fraud — anything a business can get involved in,” she says.


“I’ve had my own firm for a few years, and I know what it’s like to own and run a business,” she says. “I understand where business owners are coming from, and I enjoy working with people to solve those sorts of issues. That’s where my expertise and my experience is.”


Passionate About Mental Health

One of the ways she connects with people is being open about her personal experience with mental health issues. “I’m a 25-year suicide survivor,” she says. “I died by suicide and my heart stopped and they were able to start it again … I have dealt with mental health issues for 25 years. That’s public knowledge.”


Mandi volunteers with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and speaks to bar associations and other groups about her personal experience and the importance of prioritizing mental health. “It’s very personal to me and having that kind of experience and knowledge gives me a different view of the stress of litigation,” she says. “When I’m talking to people, I really emphasize prioritizing their well-being over the dispute that they’re in … Empathy is a big deal and I think my experience helps me connect with people.”


Mandi is married, and she and her husband, Korey, have two huge Arctic dogs — a Siberian husky and an Alaskan malamute. “I spend a lot of time cleaning up fur and playing with my dogs,” she says with a laugh. She is also an active volunteer with a number of bar associations including the Florida Association for Women Lawyers and is on the Florida Bar Association’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee and the Florida Bar Association’s Standing Committee on the Mental Health & Wellness of Florida Lawyers.


Mandi hopes being candid about her mental health issues will help remove the stigma associated with them. “It’s so strange to me how it is still stigmatized,” she says. “It’s something that I’ve openly lived with. When you talk about it, everybody has a story. I just brought on a new client who ended up telling me her mental health story. As much as people think it’s going to negatively impact you as a professional, it’s been the opposite. I’ve found that it helps me connect with people, and every client who finds out comes to me and tells me their story.”




Miles Mediation & Arbitration is shaping the alternative dispute resolution (ADR) industry with our comprehensive professional services model that combines the expertise of our highly skilled, diverse panel of neutrals with an unparalleled level of client support to guide and empower parties to fair, timely, and cost-effective resolution regardless of case size, specialization, or complexity. For more information, please call 888-305-3553 or email