Bruce Mandeville, champion equestrian and Chair of the Equine Science Department at Otterbein College in Ohio, is a UBC law alumnus who has found a unique way to fuse his passion and legal education. Bruce is an accomplished coach and dressage/ three-day event horse trainer whose skill as a rider has taken him to the two Olympics, two Pan-American games and two World Championships.
Bruce has a long history of athletic prowess, training at eventing and winning two BC Slalom Skiing Championships during his teenage years. After graduating from high school, he took a sabbatical from sports to earn three French diplomas from the Universite Sorbonne in Paris, and a Bachelor of Commerce degree. Bruce graduated from UBC law school in 1986. He spent the next three years working for Quicklaw, where his skill in contract negotiations and other legal matters found him as acting president, in charge of chairing shareholder meetings and basic management and hiring responsibilities. Having experienced a great deal of success in the professional world but still a young man, Bruce decided to try something new. Riding had always been a passion of his and in 1989 he took it up full-time. Bruce continued riding professionally for 15 years, occasionally using his legal skills for friends in the riding community. It wasn’t until 2005 when Bruce was presented with the opportunity to teach at Otterbein College, that his legal education and equine passion finally culminated in a symbiotic existence.
Currently Bruce teaches a variety of courses at Otterbein such as Equine law and Contemporary Equine legal issues. He considers his greatest achievement to be following his passion and making a living out of it, and in doing so helping young people. When asked for words of wisdom to share with his fellow UBC alumni, he simply said, “Follow your heart and everything will work out.” Although he has strayed from the traditional path of a law graduate, he is a role model for students and alumni alike. Bruce revealed that his legal education had a significant impact on his life, shaping his approach to problems and his interpretation of a given situation. He strongly encourages anyone interested in law to pursue the education and ‘let life unfold’. By his own definition of success (finding satisfaction in what you do), Bruce Mandeville is a true UBC alumni success story and proof that there is no limit to what can be done with a law degree. Not surprisingly, Bruce says that he feels lucky with the life he has and wouldn’t wish to exchange a single moment. Who could blame him?
Written by Diane Haynes and originally published in the UBC Law Alumni Magazine, Spring 2007. A PDF of the full issue can be found here