Wednesday 17 January 2018

What law firms look for in candidate attorneys seeking articles of clerkship

On a group I help to admin, where the public, attorneys, advocates, students, candidate attorneys, police, prosecutors, judges, magistrates, and pupils, all interact, I noticed a trend among some aspirant candidates, which is not helpful to them. I therefore said the following:

'Given some comments from our new influx of hope-to-be candidate attorneys, I feel a need to share this point again.

Most of you will not get articles. That is a statistical fact. Universities push out far too many law graduates for the positions available.

Your academic marks and achievements mean next to nothing to 90% of firms out there. They often only care if you passed, are humble, capable and have good English communication, spelling, and grammar, and good manners.

An employer who had sought out candidates for a job, has pointed out, on our group, something I see all the time, CVs which are out of date and show poor use of English. A lawyer is a wizard of English and of using it to benefit their client in relation to the machinery of the state (courts) and of other powers.

If you are passionate about law and want to make it your career, improve your English. But, please be aware that many employers and their employees are members of this group. People are offered and refused jobs based on things they say here. Members are already complaining about some of you by name, and praising others by name. Lawyers Rule is part of your job interview. You are already making a reputation for yourself.

This is not a student group where activism and challenging everything gets you points. This is the big pond where the big fishes swim. Be aware that you are damaging your career prospects when you are rude or wrongly disruptive. Be aware that you will face the lawyers here at court and in future cases.'

I added, in reply to one of the many comments:

'The word attorney actually comes from the Norman French word for one appointed to represent another. In early English courts, proceedings were in Norman French, and recorded in Latin. This, in a country which spoke English. Language is nothing more or less than a skill. We all do need to amend something sometimes, and do make mistakes, but that commitment to excellence in the language of litigation is important.'

At time of writing this, 99 people had liked or loved the post on the group, so I am also placing the information here.

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