The Info List - Inns Of Court

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The Inns of Court
Inns of Court
in London
are the professional associations for barristers in England and Wales. All barristers must belong to one such association.[1][2] They have supervisory and disciplinary functions over their members. The Inns also provide libraries, dining facilities and professional accommodation. Each also has a church or chapel attached to it and is a self-contained precinct where barristers traditionally train and practise, although growth in the legal profession, together with a desire to practise from more modern accommodations, caused many barristers' chambers to move outside the precincts of the Inns of Court
Inns of Court
in the late 20th century.


1 History

1.1 Importance in English Renaissance theatre 1.2 Military tradition

2 Membership and governance 3 Location 4 Historically related Inns

4.1 Serjeants' Inn 4.2 Inns of Chancery 4.3 Irish Inns of Court

5 American Inns of Court 6 See also 7 References 8 External links

History[edit] Several centuries ago the Inns were any of a sizable number of buildings or precincts where lawyers traditionally lodged, trained and carried on their profession. Over the centuries, the four Inns of Court became where barristers were trained, while the more numerous Inns of Chancery
Inns of Chancery
– which were affiliated to the Inns of Court
Inns of Court
– became where solicitors were trained. The four Inns of Court
Inns of Court

The Honourable Society of Lincoln's Inn The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple The Honourable Society of Gray's Inn

There have been lawyers in the Temple since 1320.[3] In 1337 the premises were divided into Inner Temple, where the lawyers resided, and Middle Temple, which was also occupied by lawyers by 1346.[4] Lincoln's Inn, the largest, is able to trace its official records to 1422.[5] The records of Gray's Inn
Gray's Inn
begin in 1569, but teaching is thought to have begun there in the late fourteenth century.[6] The Inns are near the western boundary of the City of London; nearby are the Royal Courts of Justice
Royal Courts of Justice
(opened in 1882; previously sat in Westminster Hall), which were placed in the legal quarter of London for convenience. Each Inn is a substantial complex with a great hall, chapel, libraries, sets of chambers for many hundreds of barristers, and gardens, and covers several acres. The layout is similar to that of an "Oxbridge" college. The "chambers" were originally used as residences as well as business premises by many of the barristers, but today, with a small number of exceptions, they serve as offices only. In 1620 it was decided at a meeting of senior judges that all four inns would have equal precedence.[7] Importance in English Renaissance theatre[edit] The Inns played an important role in the history of the English Renaissance theatre. Notable literary figures and playwrights who resided in the Inns of Court
Inns of Court
include John Donne, Francis Beaumont, John Marston, Thomas Lodge, Thomas Campion, Abraham Fraunce, Sir Philip Sidney, Sir Thomas More, Sir Francis Bacon, and George Gascoigne.[8][9] Plays written and performed in the Inns of Court include Gorboduc, Gismund of Salerne, and The Misfortunes of Arthur.[10] An example of a famous masque put on by the Inns was James Shirley’s The Triumph of Peace. Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors and Twelfth Night
Twelfth Night
were also performed here, although written for commercial theatre.[11] See the individual page for each Inn for details. Military tradition[edit] Since at least 1584, members of the Inns of Court
Inns of Court
have rallied to the defence of the realm during times of crisis. That tradition continues to this very day, in that 10 Stone Buildings
Stone Buildings
in Lincoln's Inn
Lincoln's Inn
has been the permanent home of the Inns of Court
Inns of Court
& City Yeomanry since the building was freed up by the abolition of the Clerks of Chancery in 1842. Membership and governance[edit]

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Each of the four Inns of Court
Inns of Court
has three ordinary grades of membership: students, barristers, and Masters of the Bench or "benchers". The benchers constitute the governing body for each Inn and appoint new members from among existing barrister members. As a rule, any barrister member of the Inn is eligible for appointment. In practice, appointments are made of senior members of the Bar, usually QCs, or High Court judges or those who carry out work on behalf of the Inn, be it on committees or through the training of students and other junior members. The senior bencher of each Inn is the Treasurer, a position which is held for one year only. Each Inn usually also has at least one Royal Bencher. They may also appoint Honorary Benchers, from academics, the world of politics and overseas judiciary. The Inns of Court
Inns of Court
no longer provide all the education and training needed by prospective barristers, who must pass the Bar Professional Training Course, but do provide supplementary education during the 'Bar School' year, pupillage and the early years of practice. All prospective Bar School students must be a member of one of the four Inns, and must attend twelve 'qualifying sessions' before being eligible to qualify as a barrister. Qualifying sessions traditionally comprise formal dinners followed by law-related talks, but increasingly the Inns offer training weekends that may count for several sessions' worth of attendance. The Inns still retain the sole right to call qualified students to the bar,[12] a right currently found in section 207(1) of the Legal Services Act 2007. Prospective students may choose which Inn to apply to for membership, but can only apply to one Inn for scholarships. An applicant may choose a particular Inn because he or she knows someone already a member, or it has a student association at their university. It makes no long-term difference which Inn a barrister joins. The Inns' disciplinary functions are carried out by a joint Council of the Inns of Court, which administers the disciplinary tribunals.[13] Barristers
are prosecuted by the Bar Standards Board. Location[edit] The four Inns are near one another in central London. Middle Temple and Inner Temple
Inner Temple
are liberties of the City of London, which means they are within the historic boundaries of the City but are not subject to its jurisdiction. They operate as their own local authorities. These two Inns neighbour each other and occupy the core of the Temple area. The closest Tube station is Temple. Gray's Inn
Gray's Inn
and Lincoln's Inn
Lincoln's Inn
are in the London
Borough of Camden (formerly in the Borough of Holborn) near the boundary with the City of London. They do not have the status of a local authority. The nearest Tube station is Chancery Lane. Historically related Inns[edit] Serjeants' Inn[edit] Another important inn, Serjeants' Inn, was dissolved in 1877 and its assets were, controversially, distributed amongst the existing members. The membership of the Inn had consisted of a small class of senior barristers called serjeants-at-law, who were selected from the members of the other four inns and had exclusive rights of audience in certain Courts. Their pre-eminence was affected by the new rank of Queen's Counsel, which was granted to barristers who were not serjeants. The serjeant's privileges were withdrawn by the government in the 19th century, no more serjeants were appointed, and they eventually died out. The area now known as Serjeants' Inn, one of two sites formerly occupied by the Serjeants, the other being in Chancery Lane, was purchased by the Inner Temple
Inner Temple
in 2002. It was formerly the custom for senior judges to join Serjeants' Inn, thereby leaving the Inn in which they had practised as barristers. This meant that the Masters of the Bench of the four barristers' Inns of Court were mostly themselves barristers. Since there is now no Serjeants' Inn, judges remain in the Inns which they joined as students and belonged to as barristers. This has had the effect of making the majority of the Masters of the Bench senior judges, either because they become benchers when appointed as judges, or because they become judges after being appointed as benchers. Inns of Chancery[edit] Main article: Inns of Chancery There were also Inns of Chancery, including Clement's Inn, Clifford's Inn and Lyon's Inn (attached to the Inner Temple); Strand Inn
Strand Inn
and New Inn (attached to the Middle Temple); Furnival's Inn
Furnival's Inn
and Thavie's Inn (attached to Lincoln's Inn); and Staple Inn
Staple Inn
and Barnard's Inn (attached to Gray's Inn). There were and are only four Inns of Court, which have a special and historic status including, for example, the authority to call members to the Bar and therefore confer on them rights of audience in the High Court. The other Inns (none of which continues to function) were not Inns of Court. Irish Inns of Court[edit] There is also an Inn of Court of Northern Ireland. In the Republic of Ireland, there is only one Inn of Court, the Honorable Society of King's Inns. American Inns of Court[edit] Main article: American Inns of Court From the late 1970s, U.S. Chief Justice Warren Burger
Warren Burger
led a movement to create Inns of Court
Inns of Court
in the United States, loosely modelled after the traditional English Inns. In 1985, he and others established the American Inns of Court
American Inns of Court
Foundation to promote and formally charter local Inns of Court
Inns of Court
across the United States. Each local Inn is devoted to promoting professionalism, civility, ethics, and legal skills amongst the American bench and bar, in a collegial setting, through continuing education and mentoring.[14] At present, each major American city has more than one Inn of Court; for example, one Inn may be affiliated with a local law school, and another may be associated with a specific field of legal practice. American Inns of Court
American Inns of Court
do not possess any real property. They are groups of judges, practicing attorneys, law professors and students who meet regularly (usually monthly) to discuss and debate issues relating to legal ethics and professionalism. American Inn of Court meetings typically consist of a shared meal and a programme presented by one of the Inn's pupillage teams. The U.S. does not require attorneys to be members of an Inn of Court, and many of the equivalent functions are performed by state bar associations. Some states require attorneys to belong to the official bar association, e.g., the State Bar of Michigan, while other states, such as Illinois, do not make membership of an official bar association a compulsory condition of licensure. Neither voluntary professional associations (including the American Inns of Court) nor mandatory bar associations typically have any role in training or licensing of law students that would be comparable to that function of the four English Inns of Court
Inns of Court
in selection and training of new barristers. While the American Inns of Court
American Inns of Court
share a collegial relationship with the English Inns, there is no formal or legal relationship.[15][16] A Declaration of Friendship was signed by the English and American Inns of Court, establishing visitation procedures under which American Inn members can acquire a letter of introduction that will officially introduce them to the Inns in England and Ireland, with reciprocal procedures available for English and Irish barristers.[16][17] An annual six-week exchange program, known as the Pegasus Scholarships, was created to provide for young English barristers to travel to the United States, and young American Inn of Court members to travel to London, to learn about the legal system of the other jurisdiction.[18] See also[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Inns of Court.

Faculty of Advocates, the rough equivalent in Scotland to the English Inns of Court Doctors' Commons The Inns of Court
Inns of Court
& City Yeomanry City Law School, formerly the Inns of Court
Inns of Court
School of Law


^ "Legal Services Act 2007, section 207 (Interpretation)".  ^ Roberts, Chris (2005). Heavy Words Lightly Thrown: The Reason Behind Rhyme. Granta Books. ISBN 9781862077928.  ^ Bellot, Hugh H.L. (1902). The Inner and Middle Temple: Legal, Literary and Historical Associations. London: Methuen & Co. , p. 22 ^ Bellot (1902), pp. 24-25 ^ "History of the Inn: Origins". The Honourable Society of Lincoln's Inn.  ^ Gray's Inn
Gray's Inn
website: History ^ Bellot (1902), pp. 268-269 ^ Astington, John H. (2010). Actors and acting in Shakespeare's time : the art of stage playing (1. publ. ed.). Cambridge [u.a.]: Cambridge Univ. Press. pp. 69–71. ISBN 9780521140775.  ^ Cunningham, Karen J. (2007). Kezar, Dennis, ed. "'So Many Books, So Many Rolls of Ancient Time': The Inns of Court
Inns of Court
and Gorboduc." Solon and Thespis: Law and Theater in the English Renaissance. Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press. p. 200.  ^ Cunningham, Karen J. (2007). Kezar, Dennis, ed. "'So Many Books, So Many Rolls of Ancient Time': The Inns of Court
Inns of Court
and Gorboduc." Solon and Thespis: Law and Theater in the English Renaissance. Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press. p. 200.  ^ Astington, John H. (2010). Actors and acting in Shakespeare's time : the art of stage playing (1. publ. ed.). Cambridge [u.a.]: Cambridge Univ. Press. p. 74. ISBN 9780521140775.  ^ "Calling to the Bar" may be thought of as a graduation ceremony, see http://www.innertemple.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=89&Itemid=111. The U.S. equivalent would be graduation from law school, service of a one-year internship, and admission to the bar of a state's court of last resort. ^ Middle Temple
Middle Temple
website (retrieved 27 December 2014) ^ "Message from our President". American Inns of Court. 2014. Archived from the original on 2013-08-30.  ^ Murphy, H.H. Judge Peter (March–April 2014). "Inns Old and New: A Historic Yet Thoroughly Modern Connection". The Bencher. Archived from the original on 2014-04-16.  ^ a b "Frequently Asked Questions". American Inns of Court. 2014. Archived from the original on 2013-11-03.  ^ "English and Irish Inn Visits". American Inns of Court. 2014. Archived from the original on 2013-11-03.  ^ "Pegasus Scholarships". American Inns of Court. 2014. Archived from the original on 2013-11-03. 

External links[edit]

Gray's Inn's website Inner Temple's website Lincoln's Inn's website Middle Temple's website Inns of Court
Inns of Court
comparison table

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