Esther Nir

Esther Nir

Esther Nir is an Associate Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice. She received her Juris Doctor from Fordham Law School and her Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from Rutgers University. She served as a prosecutor in Queens County, New York for over 13 years. In addition to teaching in NJCU’s Criminal Justice Department, Esther also teaches in the Honors Program. Esther specializes in qualitative research methods and interviews various court actors – including judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys – in connection to her research efforts. Esther loves coaching the mock trial team: “From the very first discussions about whether we could realistically compete in the 2018 Regional Championships, to winning our first ballot and then taking home the AMTA Spirit Award in Year 1, it has been an incredible ride. I am grateful to work with super talented and hardworking students  -- all of the laughing, lamenting, and stressing is an adventure I will never forget. Some of the most enjoyable moments of my week are strategizing with the incomparable Coach Mike. I cannot imagine a better mock trial family.”   

Mike LaValle

Mike LaValle

Mike LaValle is a current graduate student in NJCU’s MBA program and previously served as the Seton Hall Mock Trial Team coach. Mike joined the NJCU Mock Trial Team in September 2018. Mike’s dedication to mock trial is remarkable: “I began my love for Mock Trial as an undergraduate student at Seton Hall University in 2007 and it was love at first sight. As a student I competed as both an attorney and witness on the national level. I began coaching my senior year of undergraduate studies and haven't stopped since. I grew up in Brick along the Jersey Shore with sand beneath my toes regardless of the weather. I am missing 1.5 ribs due to a high school wrestling injury, have a favorite color of neon green, and come with a firm belief that most problems are solved with mint chocolate chip ice cream. I've been doing Mock Trial for one third of my life!