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Joining the Inn

This page details the process of joining the Inn. Please view the sections below for Students or Transferring Lawyers. These contain guidance packs which should be read in full before starting your application. Some frequently asked questions can also be found at the foot of this page. These are updated regularly. Please note that during May and June, the process time for admission paperwork is extended to 30 days.

 

If you are a barrister and would like to join as an ad eundem member then please visit our Ad Eundem Membership page.

Where can I learn more about the rules of joining the Inn?

The requirements for admission to the Inns of Court are set out in the Memorandum of Understanding between the Inns and the Bar Standards Board, the Joint Inns’ Education and Qualification Rules, the Guidelines for determining if a person is Fit and Proper to become a practising barrister and the Bar Qualification Manual. We recommend that you view these, as well as read the guidance below, before completing your forms. These can be found on the ‘Governance‘ section of the website.

Students

Applications for students to join the Inn are now open.

Persons wishing to apply for membership must do so at least 12 weeks prior to the start of the vocational component of their training.  Where the vocational component is split into two parts, membership must be applied for 12 weeks prior to the start of Part 2.

Applications will be processed in the order they are received (providing they are complete).  If you submit an application after this deadline there is no guarantee that you will be admitted in time to start your course.

Once you have completed the form, you will be required to post the necessary paperwork to the Inn. We aim to process delivered application forms within 15 working days. This is extended to 30 working days during May and June.

To start your application, please download and read our Application Guidance Pack. We advise reading the guidance in full before starting your application.

If all documents are correct, you will receive an email from us confirming that your application has been approved. Your membership will begin once the membership payment has been processed.

If you have any queries about the forms, please email [email protected]

Transferring Lawyers and Specially Qualified Applicants

Before applying to join Lincoln’s Inn as a Transferring Lawyer or Specially Qualified Applicant you must first satisfy the Bar Standards Board (BSB) that you are qualified to join the Bar of England and Wales.

The BSB has different processes for:

Qualified foreign lawyers
Legal Academics
European Lawyers
Solicitors

Applications for Transferring Lawyers to join the Inn are completed through an online application portal. To start your application, please download and read our Application Guidance Pack. We advise reading the guidance in full before starting your application.

Once you have completed the form, you will be required to post the necessary paperwork to the Inn. We aim to process delivered application forms within fifteen working days, however during busy periods this may extend. Upon approval, a link to make the admission fee payment will be sent to you. Your membership will begin once the membership payment has been completed.

Please note: We no longer require two references for admission.

If you have any queries about the forms, please email [email protected]

You can also apply for Temporary Call to the Bar and will also need to contact the BSB.

Applicants can find the BSB’s forms, along with more important information about practice at the Bar of England and Wales, on their website under “Qualifying as a barrister”. For information from the Bar Standards Board regarding the BTT, please visit here.

As of September 2020, all transferring lawyers must complete ten Qualifying Sessions with the Inn ahead of Call to the Bar. For details on applying for a waiver from certain qualifying sessions, please see our dedicated page at https://www.lincolnsinn.org.uk/student-members/qualifying-sessions/qualifying-session-waivers-modifications/

FAQs

How much is the admission fee to join Lincoln’s Inn

The admission fee is £128.

Overseas Degrees and Minimum Degree Level

The Bar remains a graduate-only profession, with a minimum classification of lower second class honours (2:2). If your degree does not meet the minimum standard, you must apply to the BSB for the exercise of discretion.

You must obtain a UK degree, awarded at Level 6 (or above) of the ‘Framework for Higher Education Qualifications’, by a recognised degree-awarding body. If this is a law degree, it must be compliant with the QAA benchmark statement for law. If your degree is in another subject, you must complete the GDL.

If you do not obtain a UK degree of the required standard, you must verify the equivalence of your qualifications or experience by obtaining a Certificate of Academic Standing from the BSB. Acceptable UK law degrees and GDL courses must cover the foundations of legal knowledge subjects and the skills associated with graduate legal work (eg legal research).

Exercise of Discretion information

Certificate of Academic Standing information

When is the deadline to join the Inn?

You must join the Inn no later than 12 weeks before the start of your Bar Course. If you are based overseas we recommend taking into account possible postage delays to ensure that your paperwork arrives before the deadline.

Do I have to submit two references for admission?

References for admission are no longer required

How do I pay my fee?

All admission fee payments will be accessed via the admission portal once your application is approved. Once your paperwork has been approved you will receive instructions on how to make the payment.

Can I make my payment to join the Inn before sending in the documents?

Unfortunately not. We can only raise the payment to your account upon receipt of your completed admission paperwork.

Can I submit my documents via email instead of post?

Due to requiring original ink signatures and certified documents, we can only accept application paperwork sent via post.

If you wish to confirm that your documents have been attested correctly, we are happy to review your documents before you post them.

How do I certify my documents  for my application to join Lincoln’s Inn

Certified Copies Guidance can be downloaded from this page.

It is important to follow the guide exactly, or a member of the team will contact you to advise this is not correct and delay the processing of your application.

You will be notified by email if any documentation is not certified correctly and asked to resend. You do not have to send the full admission pack. Only the documents you have been notified of.