Our Team.

 
RIYA LAKKARAJU

CO-FOUNDER AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

Riya Lakkaraju is a rising senior at Emory University. She began her mock trial career in high school, where she competed in the Ohio State Championships for three consecutive years. Riya currently competes for the Emory University Mock Trial Program, which is currently ranked as one of the top ten programs in the nation. Most recently, Riya led her team to a 4th place finish at the American Mock Trial Association National Championships. As an individual competitor, Riya was awarded two All-American Awards as both an attorney and witness, the highest individual honor in collegiate mock trial. Riya has also been selected to compete at Trial By Combat 2021, as one of the 16 best collegiate advocates in the United States. Riya currently serves as a member of the American Mock Trial Association's Student Advisory Board.

RIYA LAKKARAJU

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

CO-FOUNDER

ELIAS NEIBART

CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER

A 2020 graduate from Emory University, Elias Neibart competed on the Mock Trial team for four years. Throughout his career, he won 10 Outstanding Attorney awards, placed 2nd overall in the College Online Closing Argument Championship, and was selected to compete at Trial By Combat 2020, as one of the 16 best college advocates in the United States. During his time on Emory Mock Trial, Elias has also made multiple National Championship appearances, including leading his team to a top ten Nationals finish in 2019. Currently, Elias works in the New York County District Attorney's Office. This fall he will attend the University of Cambridge, and in 2022, he will begin his legal education at Harvard Law School. 

ELIAS
NEIBART

CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER

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ELIAS NEIBART
BENNETT DEMSKY

DIRECTOR OF TOURNAMENT OPERATIONS

Bennett Demsky is a rising senior at Tufts University. He started his Mock Trial career his sophomore year of high school at Maryland's Park School in Baltimore, where his team won the 2017 Maryland State Championship. Bennett is currently serving as one of Tufts Mock Trial’s Co-Presidents for the second year in a row. In his most recent season, Bennett captained Tufts to a 2nd place finish at the American Mock Trial Association National Championships and won an All-American Attorney award, the highest individual honor in collegiate mock trial. He was also selected to compete at Trial By Combat 2021, as one of the 16 best college advocates in the United States.

BENNETT
DEMSKY

DIRECTOR OF TOURNAMENT OPERATIONS

MICHAEL ZHOU

CO-FOUNDER

Michael Zhou is a rising senior at Northwestern University. After starting a debate club at his high school and finishing as a semifinalist his senior year at the New York State Championship, he switched to Mock Trial in college where he really found his groove. Michael was named an All-American outstanding attorney his freshman year, an honor reserved for only the top few competitors in the country. He's also led his team to back-to-back Top 10 finishes at Nationals. Michael taught mock trial to high schoolers last summer at Yale University (back when in-person camps were a thing).

MICHAEL ZHOU

CO-FOUNDER

DREW EVANS

SUMMER PROGRAM

Drew Evans has been coaching and competing in Mock Trial for close to a decade now. He competed at his high school, The Galloway School, where he now is the head coach of their summer team for the Empire Competition. He also started, ran, and competed for his college team, Haverford College where he led them to their first-ever Nationals appearance and impressive 11th place finish. He has also been running the leading podcast in College Mock Trial called "The Mock Review with Ben and Drew" Since graduating from Haverford in 2019, Drew has been teaching at the Groton School in Massachusetts. While in his first year there, he started their mock trial team from the ground up. In just the first year, Groton's team went undefeated and had reached the Elite 8 of the Massachusetts state tournament before having to stop for COVID-19.

DREW EVANS

INSTRUCTOR

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DEVON HOLSTAD

DEVELOPMENT OFFICER

Devon has coached at the highest levels of high school, collegiate, and law school mock trial for over a decade. He has run high-level tournaments around the globe, including Empire New York and the Hong Kong Mock Trial Championship. As a consultant and coach for numerous high school teams, his clients have won multiple city, state, and national championships. His college students routinely compete at the national championship level. Students coached by Devon have gone on to win many individual awards and accolades, and have gone on to some of the top law schools in the country, including Yale, Stanford, Columbia, and New York University.

 

Devon also serves as an Assistant Coach for Loyola University Chicago Mock Trial and Moot Court teams. He is also a member of the American Mock Trial Association Board of Directors, and was the youngest person ever elected to the Board. On the Board he is chair of the Ethics Committee and a member of the Tabulation and Tournament Administration Committees.  

 

When he’s not coaching mock trial, Devon is a trial attorney at Novack and Macey in Chicago. 

DEVON
HOLSTAD

DEVELOPMENT OFFICER

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