Articled clerk

Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka Trainee solicitor Training contract
A group of articling students in 1891 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

An articled clerk is someone who is studying to be an accountant or a lawyer. In doing so, they are put under the supervision of someone already in the profession, now usually for two years these days, but previously three to five years was common. This can be compared as being an intern for a company. Trainees are obligated to sign a contract agreeing to the terms of being an articled clerk. The articled clerk signs a contract, known as "articles of clerkship", committing to a fixed period of employment. Wharton's Law Lexicon defines an articled clerk as "a pupil of a solicitor, who undertakes, by articles of clerkship, continuing covenants, mutually binding, to instruct him in the principles and practice of the profession".[1] The contract is with a specific partner in the firm and not with the firm as a whole.

Now, some professions in some countries prefer to use the term "students" or "trainees" (e.g. a trainee solicitor) and the articles of clerkship "training contracts".

Apprentice architects can also be articled. Henry Percy Adams articled to Britwen Binyon (1846–1909), architect.[2]


Canadian lawyers must article for a period of 1 year after graduating from law school. Depending on the province, students may also be required to pass a bar exam in the form of Professional Legal Training and Certification during their articling year.


In India, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India undergo an articleship programme for a period of 3/3.5 years as the case may be, CA Students after clearing CA-IPCC/Intermediate/Inter Group 1 or Both Group are required to registered himself with a partner of a CA Firm duly registered with the Institute. Those Students during the period of articleship are also known as Article/ staff accountant

Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka, student members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka are required to serve as a clerk serving under articles with a member of the Institute in practice or with a member of the Institute who is a salaried employee in the service of a firm of accountants for a minimum three-year practical training period. They are known as Articled clerks during this period.[3]



  1. ^ Burrill 1859, p. 134.
  2. ^ "ADAMS, (Harry) Percy". Retrieved October 15, 2013.
  3. ^ Act of Incorporation And Regulations Of The Institute Of Chartered Accountants Of Sri Lanka