An articled clerk is someone who is studying to either be an accountant or lawyer. In doing so they are put under the supervision of someone already in the profession, usually for two years. This can be compared as being an intern for a company, the only difference is once the two years is over the trainee becomes the trainer. Trainees are obligated to sign a contract agree to the term 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". The contract is with a specific partner in the firm and not with the firm as a whole.
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 Articled Clerk.
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.