The four Inns of Court are professional bodies that play a large role in the education and guidance of both aspiring and practicing barristers while also playing host to number of events that provide the opportunity to develop social networks within the profession. Alongside their more social element, the Inns of Court also support aspiring barristers with various scholarship prospects to fund their further study and serve as a place to work for members.
The Inns of Court are composed of Gray’s Inn, Lincoln’s Inn, Middle Temple, and Inner Temple. All institutions are located near one another in central London, close to the Royal Courts of Justice.
No Inn claims to be any older than another, with all Inns having records dating back to the 14th century. The Inns don’t differ on what they offer either – all Inns have similar facilities, services and opportunities for aspiring and practicing barristers. Each Inn does however have its own personality and history and, as membership is for life, it is important to get to know each Inn to fully understand how they differ.
To find out more about each Inn of Court:
Being the only institutions with the power to call individuals to the Bar, joining an Inn of Court is a necessary step for any aspiring barristers. Students are required to join an Inn before they commence their vocational training (Bar Professional Course) and must complete 12 qualifying sessions with the establishment before they can be summoned.
It is not only the requirement of membership to an Inn for barristers that makes joining a valuable experience – the Inns are designed to support the education of barristers and in doing so offer various learning opportunities for their members including lectures, mooting sessions, training weekends and judge marshalling schemes. The Inns also offer various social events, such as formals and music evenings, which offer current members the opportunity to network with other aspiring and practicing barristers.
Membership of an Inn of Court also opens access to their facilities, including gardens, libraries, dining facilities and study locations. Some Inns also continue to offer practicing barristers’ professional accommodation within their grounds.
Inns of Court also offer £5.6 million in scholarships between them which is reserved for GDL and Bar Course students as well as pupil barristers and while being a member of an Inn isn’t an entry requirement for the scholarship applications, becoming a member and utilising the services may support applicant’s success.
Choosing an Inn of Court can be a very daunting decision – choosing where to place a lifetime membership is not a small enterprise. While choosing an Inn is often a very personal decision, there are certain factors that can help you determine which Inn is best suited to you and your professional aspirations, including the Inn’s size and it’s current membership cohort.
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