Inns of Court
There are four Inns of Court: Lincoln’s Inn, Inner Temple, Middle Temple and Gray’s Inn.The Inns provide support for barristers and student barristers through a range of educational activities, and a provision of various grants and scholarships. One of the key functions of the Inns is their responsibility for calling barristers to the Bar.
- Gray’s Inn
Gray’s Inn has around 200 Benchers, whose collective formal meetings are known as Pension.The head of the Inn and Chairman of Pension is called the Treasurer.The Masters of the Bench are responsible for admission to the Inn, student discipline and Call to the Bar.
- Inner Temple
Membership of the Inner Temple is divided into three categories: Students, Barristers and Masters of the Bench (Benchers). The Inn also appoints Honorary, Academic and Royal Benchers. The Inn has over 8,000 qualified members, including Judges, Barristers (both practising and non-practising) and Pupils.
The Inn is governed by over 200 governing Benchers, who are responsible for managing the property, supervising the finances and deciding the policy of the Inn.
- Lincoln’s Inn
As one of the four Inns of Court, Lincoln’s Inn has three ranks of membership; students, barristers and Benchers. The lowest rank, that of student (once known as “inner barrister”), is open to all of good character who satisfy certain educational requirements. The highest rank of membership is that of the Benchers, or more formally, the Masters of the Bench. These provide the governing body of the Inn, meeting periodically as a body in Council.
Most of the detailed work of the Inn is done under delegated powers by some 20 committees and a number of sub-committees, subject to confirmation of any decision of major importance by the Council.
- Middle Temple
Middle Temple is one of the four Inns of Court which have the exclusive right to Call men and women to the Bar, i.e. to admit those who have fulfilled the necessary qualifications to the degree of Barrister-at-Law, which entitles them, after a period of pupillage (vocational training) either to practise as independent advocates in the Courts of England and Wales or to take employment in government or local government service, industry, commerce or finance.