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Molloy's Mock Trial Team Makes the "Elite Eight" in NYSBA Competition!

Every year, the New York State Bar Association’s Justice Resource Center holds a trial competition, allowing high school students to experience the workings of a courtroom. Molloy is proud to announce that this year, our Mock Trial Team has advanced as one of the top eight high school teams in New York City!

Beginning with about 70 or so teams from around NYC, the competition starts with students from the same borough battling it out as attorneys and witnesses, aiming to score the most points from a panel of judges. Molloy’s team won all three borough rounds, as well as the first round battling schools from around the city! Before each round, teams are given a case and must prepare to argue both sides, as they don’t know what side they are going to argue until the day of the competition! 

Led by Ms. Diana Rayappa and Mr. Lou Barbera,  the Mock Trial Team prepares students for a career in law. Ms. Rayappa shares, “This competition develops students' communication skills. They have to think on the spot, so they have to learn active listening. They become experts at thinking on their feet.” Mr. Barbera, who created the Molloy team in the 2003-2004 school year, proudly shares that he “had a number of Stanners go on to some of the top law schools in the country.” 

The “Attorneys” of the Molloy team are: Joseph Castano ‘24, Sumaiyah (Suki) Chin ’24, Kevin Diep ’23, Tarik Lajoie ’23, Bailey Meier ‘24, and Steven Zheng ‘23. The “Witnesses” of the team are: Ariel Gajraj ‘24, Ryan Ladd ’25, Matt Leonard ’24, Anastasios (Taso) Migias ’24 , Veronica Nerone ’24, Kimberly Ochoa ’25, Sebastian Ortiz ’24, Catalina Prieto ‘24, Carolina Rodriguez ’24, and Allie Tardugno ‘24. Rinat Moshel ‘26 acts as Timekeeper. 

This is the first time the team has made the “elite eight,” and we can’t wait for the next round on April 19, 2023!