At MockOn, our goal is to help you improve.
We offer competitions, free resources, and masterclasses to make that happen.
It was the spring of 2020 — the height of the COVID-19 pandemic — and mock trial had disappeared. High schools, colleges, and law schools had sent their students home for the semester and shifted classes online. And as a result, mock trial at every level of competition had come to a grinding halt.
As the activity that meant so much to students nationwide vanished, our founders Riya Lakkaraju and Michael Zhou were thinking the same thing: mock trial is more than just competition. It was community. It was friendship. It was confidence, critical thinking, mentorship, growth, identity, and above all else — it had the power to transform the lives of high school students.
And that's when they had an idea; an opportunity to make mock trial more accessible than ever before. That summer, Elias Neibart, Drew Evans, and Bennett Demsky joined the team—and MockOn was born.
But we didn't stop there. MockOn expanded the following year by offering consulting services to coaches, students, and programs around the country. Whether it’s reviewing scripts, judging a scrimmage and giving feedback, or hosting an in-depth coaching workshop—our team does it all.
We still wanted to find creative and unique ways to help competitors and coaches achieve excellence — so we organized a lineup of nationally-recognized competitors to lead our Expert Series. The Expert Series helped us achieve our goal of creating a one-stop-shop and universally accessible platform for mock trial knowledge.
In the spring of 2021, nearly a year after our founding, we hosted the inaugural Tournament of Champions, a virtual invitational competition for the most high-achieving and successful high school mock trial programs in the nation. With inventive and fun case problems, one of the most advanced levels of competition, and a judging pool with more mock trial experience than you can find at any other mock trial competition in the world, the Tournament of Champions has continued to be a success.
Just as mock trial has changed since 2020, MockOn has grown too. We partnered with Stand Up Mock Trial to host the Gladiator Olympics. We partnered with International Mock Trial to support their mission in creating free mock trial tournaments abroad. Our team has expanded as well, with Ben Wallace and Adam Selcov coming aboard to help make Tournament of Champions what it is today.
We have no doubt we will continue to change, to adapt, and to grow. But we will remain committed to the idea that pushed us off the ground: if you want to get better at mock trial, you should always have somewhere to go. Even if it’s in the middle of a global pandemic. Especially when it’s just a few clicks away.
Our team is committed to shaping confidence and empowering students nationwide.
Our staff includes some of the most decorated mock trial coaches and competitors in the nation. We are dedicated 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 four 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.
Ben Wallace is a rising senior at the University of South Carolina. He has been competing in mock trial for nearly a decade. During that time, he has won two South Carolina state championships, and has made appearances at the American Mock Trial Association National Championship. Ben has been serving as the President of the University of South Carolina Mock Trial Ben is currently serving as the President of the University of South Carolina Mock Trial program for the second year in a row. Ben has been awarded numerous accolades for his performance as both an attorney and a witness. During the 2021-2022 season, Ben was the most highly awarded collegiate competitor in the country, collecting 10 awards throughout the entire American Mock Trial Association season.
Director of Tournament Operations
Chief Operating Officer
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.