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Mock Trial Program

Iona College Mock Trial logo

Mock trial is an intense interscholastic competition in which teams from two schools face off as the plaintiff and defense in a simulated trial. Students play the roles of both attorneys and witnesses and are judged by practicing attorneys and sitting state and federal judges. Competitions are run by the American Mock Trial Association (AMTA), which was founded in 1985 and now includes over 300 colleges and universities, which collectively field over 650 teams throughout the country.  
Iona College Mock Trial was founded in 2002, and Iona's national ranking has gone up every year of its existence. Currently, Iona is ranked nationally 65th (out of over 650 teams) and is the highest-ranked school which fields only one team.  We are very proud of the successful and winning culture that we have developed. During the academic year, the team travels to and competes at invitational, regional and national competitions. In 2013-2014, Iona advanced out of its regional tournament for the sixth straight year.  Iona faced top teams from some of the most prestigious institutions in the country, including Harvard University, the University of Maryland, Washington & Lee University, American University, Duke University, George Washington University, Northwood University, Tufts University, Boston College, Seton Hall University, the University of Connecticut, and the United States Coast Guard, among others.

The team is currently coached by Isaac Gilwit and Michael J. Gelfand. Isaac graduated from Brooklyn Law School ('13) and Iona College ('09).  Isaac competed and led the Iona team for two years and returned to the team to coach in 2012. After his graduation from law school, Isaac accepted a position with the New York State Attorney General's office in Manhattan. Michael graduated from New York University School of Law ('04) and SUNY Buffalo ('01). Michael is a candidate member of the AMTA Board of Directors and has nine years of mock trial coaching experience at NYU and Iona. Michael is currently an associate in the Commercial Litigation department of Westerman Ball Ederer Miller Zucker & Sharfstein, LLP on Long Island. 

How can you join?

The Mock Trial team is selected through try outs, which take place in early September. The try-out usually involves a short prepared speech and a chance for the coaches to get to know you.  Everyone and anyone of any class year or major is welcome to attend try outs, even if you don't plan on attending law school or becoming a lawyer!  If you are interested in trying out or just want to learn more about what we do, email us at, follow us on twitter @ionamocktrial or contact us through our Facebook page.  

Iona College Mock Trial places 6th place in regionals qualifying for ORCS.

Club Meetings

The team generally meets on Tuesday evenings from 6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. throughout the school year.  When tournaments approach, students are expected to meet more frequently with their designated witnesses and attorneys. 

Why should you join?

If you are at all interested in becoming a lawyer, especially a litigator, competing in mock trial will introduce you to that world and will teach you how to excel.  But even if law school is not your goal, mock trial has a lot to offer you. Many of our most talented and successful students have pursued career paths other than the law.  Mock trial hones skills that will help you succeed in any profession:  public speaking, debate, critical thinking, the ability to think on your feet, acting, logical reasoning, leadership, teamwork, and many more.  
Iona College Mock Trial places 8th in ORCS to leave them standing 65th in the nation.



  • Columbia University Big Apple Invitational Tournament (late October 2014)
  • WONK Invitational Tournament at American University (late November 2014)
  • Yale University Invitational Tournament (December 2014)
  • Regional Tournament (February 2014)
  • ORCS (Opening Round of the Championship Series) (March 2014)
  • National Championship Tournament at the University of Cincinnati (April 2014)