History

The Inns of Court, in London, are the professional associations to one of which every English barrister (and those judges who were formerly barristers) must belong. They have supervisory and disciplinary functions over their members. The Inns also provide libraries, dining facilities and professional accommodation. Each also has a church or chapel attached to it. Each Inn of Court is a self-contained precinct within London, where barristers traditionally train and practice, although growth in the profession caused many barristers’ chambers to move outside the precincts of the Inns of Court in the late 20th century.

Beginning in the late 1970’s, U.S. Chief Justice Warren Burger led a movement to create Inns of Court in the United States. Although they are loosely modeled after the traditional English Inns, American Inns of Court do not include any real property. Instead, they are groups of judges, practicing attorneys, law professors and students who meet regularly to discuss and debate issues relating to legal ethics and professionalism. American Inn of Court meetings typically consist of a shared meal and a program presented by one of the Inn’s pupilage teams. Chief Justice Burger and others established the American Inns of Court Foundation in 1985 to promote and charter Inns of Court across the United States.

Although the U.S. does not require attorneys to be a member of an Inn of Court, many of the equivalent functions are performed by Bar Associations.

(Provided by Wikipedia)