Hundreds of hours. Twelve students. Six months. That’s what it took to become the number-one Mock Trial program in Manhattan — and number-one among all private schools across New York City!
We congratulate our legal eagles — or, more appropriately, our Dwight legal lions — for their amazing achievement in this year’s New York State Bar Association Mock Trial Tournament!
Coach Michael Wiesenfeld, Esq., Head of our English Department, drew on his substantial experience as a criminal prosecutor to guide our team of students acting as attorneys and witnesses in this year’s case: Harley Davison v. Gotham City Department of Housing Preservation and Development. Combining analytical skills with extemporaneous oral argument — all while navigating myriad trial procedures and evidentiary laws — the team advanced through seven rounds to the semi-finals, where their bid came to an end after a close match against Brooklyn Tech, the reigning New York City champion and New York State runner-up.
Dwight’s Mock Trial program is now ranked as one of the top four teams in New York City, out of nearly 100 schools, as well as one of the top 16 in the State, out of more than 400 schools.
We applaud the legal sparks shown by: Zara Ding ’19, Isolde Hatgis-Kessell '20, Charlotte Kabelac '20, Deba Kermanshah '20, Jenny Klein '21, Arielle Kutler '20, Hanna Lakhter '19, Gabriel Markowitz '20, Jeanne Rondot '21, Gabriela Kovarsky Rotta '19, Sam Wohabe '21, and team captain Gabriela de Mendonca Gomes '19, who acted as lead attorney.
“I could not be more proud of our team,” shares Mr. Wiesenfeld. “Since October, they have devoted literally hundreds of hours to our collaborative efforts, including lunch periods, after school, late nights, weekends, snow days, and vacations. They have learned the rules and procedures of trial advocacy, honed their skills of public speaking and oral argument, and, along the way, have become more than a team; they have become a family. Coaching these students has been one of the most fulfilling experiences of my career.”