Established in 1541, King’s Inns is Ireland’s oldest School of Law. While the primary focus of King’s Inns is the training of future barristers, the School of Law ventures beyond that in its course offerings and reaches to a wider community with interests in niche areas of 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.
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.
While the primary focus of King’s Inns is the training of future barristers, the School of Law ventures beyond that in its course offerings and reaches to a wider community with interests in niche areas of law. Areas currently addressed by King’s Inns in its suite of continuing professional development for the lawyer and non–lawyer can be found here.
As an innovative and forwarding looking school, King’s Inns is keen to respond to educational and professional development needs and continues to design and provide new courses to meet these needs.
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.
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