A lot of candidate attorneys worry terribly about whether or not they will find articles, after completing their studies. The reality is, it's much easier to get a position now than was the case many years ago, particularly given that the Legal Aid Board hires vast numbers of staff and the advent of the Practical Legal Schools has led to a lot more candidates being more ready to immediately move into the smaller practices where perhaps, it is sometimes more difficult to give the full range of training.
There are however a lot of steps that a candidate attorney can take to find articles and, probably the best advice, is to make sure you widen the net in terms of the people you approach. While candidate attorneys may complain that they receive one rejection letter after another, there are many firms out there, who have been established for quite a few years, who will also tell you that they don't receive a single application! The unfortunate problem is that many candidates simply approach the same firms. I call this approach the “look for the firm with the most partners, and apply to them” approach and it is guaranteed to put you in the biggest competition, with the most candidates for a small number of commercial practices that may not even suit you. There are all sorts of different legal practices and many attorneys are not suited to the larger corporate firms with their long hours and demanding clients. There are many attorneys who have very viable successful businesses who practice in much smaller partnerships -- and indeed, this has become the increasing trend over the years.
If you only apply to big firms, you better make sure that the environment suits you and that you have top marks as otherwise, you aren't going to find articles. If however, you widen the net, and remember that can be done cheaply these days, with e-mail, and a copy of the latest Hortors available in your university library.
One of the things that most firms to require these days, is that you have a motor vehicle, and that is largely because there is a lot of travelling to do between court, clients and even Police Stations if, for example, you need to take a client to sign an affidavit. It can be a big problem if you don't have one, and if that's the case, it may be better to try and select a firm that is either near a well accessed public transport route or near to the courts.
When it comes to sending in your CV, the best approach, is to send it to as many firms as possible, and there are a number of cheap options in this regard. One example, would be to go to the local offices of the document exchange system used by many attorneys, namely Docex, and arrange with them that you can drop a copy of your CV in each attorneys box. The firms will get it in the next day and the delivery won't cost you a cent! If you have access at your university, or at home, you can also of course painstakingly send out your applications via e-mail.
There are a lot of positions out there, and there are a lot of attorneys who are quite eager to hire hard-working candidate attorneys – and by that, I mean that the candidates who will do best of those who do not spend the entire day watching the clock, waiting for lunch, or getting ready to go home. That's not the way to prepare for your future career - or to learn as much as possible.