Inns of Court
In order to become a barrister in England and Wales, you will need to join an Inn of Court. The Inns have the exclusive right to call barristers to the Bar in these countries, providing a range of services to support their respective members. There are four Inns of Court:
- Inner Temple
- Gray’s Inn
- Lincoln’s Inn
- Middle Temple
All four are located in central London, with Inner and Middle sharing the same site. The history of the Inner Temple extends as far back as the 12th century when the site was established by the Knights Templar (a medieval Christian military Order). In the centuries that followed, the site came to be occupied by lawyers who organised themselves into two societies: Inner and Middle Temple. These societies offered accommodation, education and dining to lawyers and students. The land was officially granted to these two Inns in 1608 by King James I.
Today, Inner Temple offers similar facilities and plays an integral role in the professional development of its members. The Inns of Court do not actually deliver the GDL or Bar Professional Training Course but they provide a wealth of resources to help shape students’ understanding of the legal system. Some of the most important work that takes place involves supporting student members, and Inner Temple’s Education and Training Department plays a crucial role in this, offering resources, such as:
- Mock pupillage interviews
- Police Liaison Scheme
- Residential weekends
The Department also organises the Call to the Bar ceremony and provides ongoing professional training once a barrister has qualified.
Additionally, the Inn offers societies that students can participate in:
- Inner Temple Student Association
Not only are these societies a brilliant way of socialising but they help with refining practical skills such as, advocacy, research, analysis and critical thinking. In some cases you might even get the chance to travel internationally for competitions!