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Honoring the late Judge Mitchell L. McLean

Judge Mitchell L. McLean was a distinguished member of the legal community, known for his unwavering dedication to justice and public service. He served as the Chief District Court Judge for the 23rd Judicial District of North Carolina, presiding over various criminal and civil cases. His commitment to the law and the people he served earned him the respect and admiration of his colleagues and the community.

On July 3, 2013, tragedy struck when Judge McLean lost his life while attempting to rescue Mary Anne Galway and her husband Edward from a rip tide at Sunset Beach. Despite the risks, Judge McLean selflessly put himself in harm's way to help others in need, a testament to his character and dedication to serving his community. He was able to save Mr. Galway.

Judge McLean's legacy lives on through his impact on those who knew him, including Dane Chilton, the current president of ELSA IE University, who credits Judge McLean with inspiring his passion for law at a young age. 

Judge McLean's legacy continues to impact the legal community, inspiring young people to pursue careers in law and public service. Through his life and selfless sacrifice, he showed the importance of serving others and upholding justice. The Judge Mitchell L. Mclean Memorial Trial Competition is a testament to his legacy, providing a platform to educate and inspire the next generation of legal professionals in his memory.


Welcome to the Mitchell L. McLean Trial Competition! This prestigious event is part of the European Law Students Association (ELSA) at IE University, but is held using United States Common Law Rules of Procedure. We are dedicated to providing law students with an opportunity to hone their trial advocacy skills in a challenging and competitive environment.


The competition is held annually and attracts a large number of annual participants. The competition is designed to simulate a real trial setting, with students assuming the roles of attorneys and witnesses in a hypothetical case. The competition provides a unique opportunity for law students to develop their trial advocacy skills, which are crucial for success in the legal profession. Participants have the chance to work on their legal writing, research, and oral advocacy skills, all of which are essential for a successful legal career.


While the competition is part of ELSA IE, a European organization, it is set in the United States to provide European law students with a platform of exposure to develop their skills in common law, and compete against their peers. By participating in this competition, students have the opportunity to gain valuable experience and exposure to the legal profession in the United States, as well as to network with other law students and legal professionals.


At the Mitchell L McLean Trial Competition, we strive to uphold the highest standards of professionalism, ethics, and fair play. Our judges and evaluators are experienced legal professionals who provide valuable feedback and insights to participants, helping them to improve their skills and develop their legal careers.


Thank you for visiting our website and learning more about the Mitchell L McLean Trial Competition. We encourage all law students to participate and look forward to seeing the next generation of legal professionals hone their skills in this challenging and rewarding competition.

Image by Bonnie Kittle

Thank you for a wonderful first competition!

Next Competition begins September 2023




Jacob Chilton

Executive Director


Luca Diaz

Deputy Executive Director

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Karim Kiwan

Associate Trial Director

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