The qualifier competition takes place in February in Albuquerque.
The qualifiers consist of four rounds: rounds 1 and 2 on Friday, and rounds 3 and 4 on Saturday. Rounds 1 and 3 begin at 9:00 AM and generally end around 11:30; rounds 2 and 4 begin at 2:00 PM and generally end around 4:00 PM. Each team is guaranteed to present each side of the case (prosecution/plaintiff or defense) at least once.
At the conclusion round 4 on Saturday, results are tabulated and awards are presented to the top 8 teams, who will compete at the state competition in March. Individual awards are also given to any student who is selected by a judging panel as an Outstanding Attorney or Witness.
Courtroom artists will compete (draw) with their teams in rounds 1 and 2 during both competitions. Courtroom artists who are not part of a mock trial team and competing on their own will be assigned courtrooms by mock trial staff.
At the conclusion of round 4 at qualifiers the results will be tabulated and the top 8 courtroom artists will compete at the state competition in March.
After qualifiers, teams will receive copies of their official ballots.