Admitting those with the desire and passion for upholding law and order in society is merely one of the functions of the London Inns of Court. Offering students a firm foundation on which to build sound careers in the legal profession, the Inns possess tales that date back to the time before the turn of the 14th century. Depicting classic examples of Gothic architecture, the Inns of Court are divided into the Gray’s Inn, Lincoln’s Inn, Inner Temple, and Middle Temple. Found in the vicinity of the Royal Courts of Justice, it is here where a Barrister-at-Law is trained and practices thereafter.
Furthermore, each of the Inns has chambers, libraries, a great hall, chapel, and gardens. If one happens to be in the area, a trip can be arranged to the gardens and grounds that in turn add to the grandeur of these institutions of law. If one was to offer readers a broader perspective of the functions of the Inns, one would understand that if a person wished to be enrolled or ‘Called to the Bar’ as a Barrister, that individual would have to pass through these hallowed halls of justice. Here, Barristers and aspiring students are offered adequate facilities in terms of education, dining and additionally, access to common rooms. Referred to as legal societies, the institutions function independently from each other as well as from British Government.
Found down Chancery Lane, Lincoln’s Inn is known to be the oldest among the four and dates back to as early as 1422. The 15th century Old Hall is by far its famed component as it is where the historic case of Jarndyce v Jarndyce was argued. Lincoln’s Inn is home to a large number of practicing members of the Bar while administering the best of training for the next generation of counsels. Chosen as the base of the Knights Templar in the 12th century, The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple stands proudly on the eastern part of the site. The place was recognised by James the 1st as a centre of learning for practitioners and students alike in 1608. Additionally, the Middle Temple, which was inaugurated in 1501, is famous for an old table commonly referred to as the ‘Cupboard’ and requires that newly admitted lawyers sign on it.
The Hall was once transformed into a theatre and it is recorded that Queen Elizabeth graced the premiere of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. Named after the residence of Sir Reginald de Grey, Gray’s Inn leads out to a well manicured garden which was attended to by Francis Bacon in 1606 who later was appointed by Queen Elizabeth as Lord Chancellor.
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