Based between Henrietta Street and Constitution Hill in Dublin 1, The Honorable Society of King’s Inns, founded in 1541, is Ireland’s Oldest School of Law. King’s Inns provides professional legal education and training for people wishing to become barristers. The School also reaches a broader community by offering a wide range of part time and blended learning courses in specialist areas of the law.
It was founded in 1541 during the reign of Henry VIII when the king granted the Society the lands and properties on which the Four Courts now stand. When the Four Courts were built in the 1790s, King’s Inns moved to its present site on Constitution Hill to the campus designed by James Gandon.
As one of Ireland’s professional law schools, the primary focus of King’s Inns is the training of barristers. In furtherance of this aim the school provides a course of education and training, full–time and part–time, that enables law graduates (including graduates from the King’s Inns Diploma in Legal Studies) to be admitted to the degree of Barrister–at–Law and to be called to the Bar of Ireland. For those who do not hold a law degree but who wish to become barristers, King’s Inns runs a two year part–time Diploma in Legal Studies involving the study of substantive law. Graduates of the diploma are in the same position as those who have completed a law degree for the purposes of entry to the Barrister–at–Law degree course of study.
As an innovative and forwarding looking school, King’s Inns is keen to respond to educational and professional development needs and reaches a broader community by offering a wide range of part time and blended learning courses in specialist areas of the law. Areas currently addressed in its suite of continuing professional development for lawyers and non–lawyers can be found here.
While the majority of graduates of the Barrister–at–Law degree course go on to practise as barristers, it should be noted that many do not choose such a career path. The skills acquired and honed during the degree course are transferable and relevant not only to practice at the Bar but also to broader career development within the public or private sector as well as to life in general. Many of our Alumni who did not choose legal practice have gone on to forge very successful and high profile careers in business, politics and the media. The reputation of King’s Inns is international with a long list of eminent graduates including former presidents of Ireland and other countries, taoisigh, politicians and judges.