All applicants must complete and submit an application online. The online application will allow you to enter data, upload documents, and register your reference writers.
- Biographical data
- Personal Statement
- Proof of eligibility to practice law
This section of the application asks for all of your basic personal information such as your name, contact information, birth date, etc. It also requires details of your academic background, publications, etc.
TIP: You should take care to accurately complete all of the required fields in this section.
This is a brief written statement or narrative that describes your motivation for applying. It is an opportunity to tell the committee more about the trajectory that you have followed and what plans you have for the future.
The statement can incorporate your personal history, family background, intellectual development, and the educational, professional, or cultural opportunities to which you have been exposed and explain the impact it has made. This should not be a reiteration of facts already listed in the Biographical data section. Please read the personal statement question section carefully before writing and submitting your statement.
The length for the writing sample is limited to a maximum of 750 words. Longer statements will not be considered.
TIP: Use the space wisely. Be concise and to the point. Pay special attention to grammar and spelling. Do not repeat information from other parts of the application.
You must submit the contact details of two individuals who will serve as a reference for your application. The authors should be the two individuals who can best speak to your ability to be successful in the programme. These individuals MUST NOT be an ILFA Lawyer. There is also a space to include an ILFA Lawyer as a reference. This space is optional.
When choosing references, select individuals who can best speak to your academic and professional ability. The personal reference should be able to provide information on your character.
- References must remain confidential; therefore the applicant will not be required to upload reference letters.
- Provide copies of personal statement to your referee so that they can provide well-informed recommendations.
- Provide reference with information about the programme in advance.
You must provide transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions from which you received degrees or certificates.
You must upload one academic transcript from each post-secondary institution from which a degree was received. Additional transcripts should be uploaded for coursework and grades not reflected on degree-granting transcripts (e.g training certificates).
Proof of eligibility to practice law.
Provide a copy of your practising law certificate (i.e admittance to national bar, law society, or legal institution that accredits you as a practicing lawyer), if Applicable.
You must include a resume that details relevant professional experience. It will include a list of academic background, extracurricular activities, and publications. Resume must be in English.
Resume length is limited to a maximum of two single-spaced pages. Use 1-inch margins and Times New Roman 12-point font. Longer resumes will not be considered.
TIP: This is an opportunity to provide further details about your professional experience. Include both the month and year for each of your employment dates (e.g: August 2010-January 2011, not 2010-2011). Be sure to include interests and achievements.
Please take a passport size digital photo. Remember it must be digital and not a scanned copy of a physical photo. Your digital image should be:
- in colour;
- passport size and taken within the last 6 months to reflect your current appearance;
- taken in front of a plain white or off-white background;
- taken in full-face view directly facing the camera;
- with a neutral facial expression and both eyes open (you may also smile);
- taken in professional-wear clothing;
- uniforms should not be worn in your photo, except religious clothing that is worn daily;
- do not wear a hat or head covering that obscures the hair or hairline, unless worn daily for a religious purpose. Your full face must be visible, and the head covering must not cast any shadows on your face;
- headphones, wireless hands-free devices, or similar items are not acceptable in your photo;
- dark glasses or glasses with tinted lenses are not acceptable; and
- glare on glasses is not acceptable in your photo. Glare can be avoided with a slight downward tilt of the glasses or by removing the glasses or by turning off the camera flash.
Some of the key reasons why candidates did not qualify for the IFSP 2018 included the following:
- Insufficient experience – The criteria states that applicants must have at least 3 years post call experience. This refers to experience actually working as a lawyer as opposed to time spent articling or in traineeships which are part of the legal training process;
- Degree qualification – The nature of the ILFA programme means that only those who have attained an upper second class (2.1) or above in their degree are eligible for the programme;
- Insufficient detail in personal statement – The personal statement is an opportunity for applicants to tell their story, demonstrate their enthusiasm for the law and for the ILFA programme and share their ambitions, challenges and specific areas of interest as a developing legal professional. Applicants are also expected to detail the ways in which they plan to share their skills and experience following the programme;
- Outside interests – ILFA seeks to attract rounded individuals, we therefore welcome additional information on other areas of interest and specifically any relevant pro bono or other relevant volunteering experience;
- Spelling & grammatical errors – The high standard of applications means that points are deducted for applications that have numerous typos and/or lack grammatical accuracy;
- Lack of supporting documentation – Applicants are asked to submit supporting documents such as transcripts, CVs, publications etc. These documents are a critical part of the evaluation and verification process. Failure to submit this documentation or to provide an explanation about their absence means that points are deducted.