Howard Mandell practiced civil rights law and personal injury litigation for nearly three decades in Montgomery, Alabama. He came to Alabama in 1970 to clerk for renowned federal court judge Frank Johnson. In early 2000, Mandell became Montgomery’s city attorney.
In 2002, Mandell resigned his position and moved to New York City to begin rabbinical studies. After serving as a rabbi in Virginia Beach, Virginia, he served a residency at Yale-New Haven Hospital. In July 2013, he became rabbi at Congregation Beth Israel in Andover, Massachusetts. He served as chair of the SPLC board of directors from 2009 through 2013.