Our dedicated leadership and staff team is committed to developing growth, opportunity, confidence, and empowerment in the mock trial community nationwide. Our team includes some of the most renowned and decorated mock trial coaches and competitors in the nation - all of whom are devoted to seeing mock trial competitors at all levels thrive and succeed.
Co-Founder and CEO
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 also competed at Trial By Combat 2021, as one of the 16 best collegiate advocates in the United States, and finished fifth in the nation. Riya currently serves as a member of the American Mock Trial Association's Student Advisory Board.
COO and Director of Tournament Operations
Bennett Demsky is a rising senior at Tufts University. He began his mock trial career in high school at Maryland's Park School of Baltimore, where his team won the 2017 Maryland State Championship. Bennett is currently serving as Tufts Mock Trial's President for a second consecutive year. Most recently, Bennett captained Tufts A to a 2nd Place finish at the American Mock Association's National Championship Tournament and won an All-American attorney award, the most prestigious individual honor in collegiate mock trial. He also competed at Trial By Combat 2021, as one of the 16 best college advocates in the United States, where he finished as the runner-up.
Director of Development
Adam Selcov is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz and now works as the Development and Executive Assistant for the Constitutional Rights Foundation in Los Angeles, California. After participating in mock trial in eighth grade, he continued to compete throughout high school, college, and now coaches at both Washington College and UC Santa Cruz. As a member of the UC Santa Cruz team, Adam won numerous attorney and witness awards and served as President for two consecutive years.
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.
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.
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).