Inns of Court
The Inns of Court program was founded in 1984 by Allan McEachern (then Chief Justice of the BC Supreme Court), with judges Henry Hutcheon, John Bouck, and Josiah Wood. The program was designed to promote professionalism and competence at the Bar and was fashioned after an English tradition where junior lawyers would meet casually with senior practitioners to discuss the legal field. The B.C. version of the Inns follows the English tradition of dining with judges and senior practitioners.
Every two weeks, a session is held for a group of junior barristers. A 90-minute discussion on a particular topic is led by several distinguished members of the bench and bar. Following the discussion, participants dine informally with the group leaders. The program runs twice a year (starting in January and September) and consists of six sessions, which are held at Charest Legal Solutions in downtown Vancouver. The program is generously sponsored by the Vancouver Bar Association.
Past topics have included “Professionalism”, “Role of Counsel in Discovery”, “Lawyers and the Media”, “Lawyer Behaving Badly” and “Ethical Problems and the Law Society”. The focus of the sessions is on discussion, not lectures. The opportunities for learning from the experiences of judges and senior barristers have been outstanding in past sessions. Since the program’s inception in 1984, hundreds of participants have praised the informal learning experience.
Actual time spent in attendance at the sessions will provide up to 9 hours towards your annual Continuing Professional Development requirements (as well as ethics requirements) established by the Law Society of B.C.
The program is geared towards lawyers who have 2-8 years at the bar, but consideration will be given to others who wish to participate.
NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR FALL 2023 AND WINTER 2024 SESSIONS
The Fall 2023 Session is almost full. Please read on below and get your application in early for the Winter 2024 Session.
Applications are now being accepted for the Inns of Court Program beginning in September, 2023. To qualify, you should have at least two years at the bar and should be pursuing a litigation practice. Most participants have been at the bar two to six years. Subject to availability and the payment of fees, every effort will be made to accommodate all qualified applicants.
There is a $25.00 application fee payable to “The Vancouver Bar Association”. Applicants who are accepted into the Program are expected to pay the costs of the dinners, which are considered an essential element of the learning experience. Application forms and information concerning dinner costs and attendance requirements are attached.”
Please send your completed form to Program Coordinator, Michael Libby (firstname.lastname@example.org).
A WORD FROM THE JUDICIAL HEAD OF THE PROGRAM
To: Prospective Applicants to the Inns of Court Program
From: The Hon. Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson
Under the generous sponsorship of the Vancouver Bar Association, a group of judges and eminent counsel have, for many years now, been discussing problems in professionalism with junior lawyers followed by a dinner in the style and practice of the English Inns of Court. The judges and senior lawyers find this to be a stimulating experience and the reports we have received from participants confirm that the program is a useful and enjoyable one.
With the view that professionalism is the personal responsibility of all of us, I heartily encourage all junior lawyers to participate. We will all be better for the experience.