Inns of Court Program 2015/2016

  • September 08, 2015


The Inns of Court is a program of informal discussion on topics of great interest to junior barristers.  The British Columbia 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.  Sessions are held at the Law Courts Inn at 800 Smithe Street in Vancouver.  The program is generously sponsored by the Vancouver Bar Association.

Past topics have included “Professionalism”, “Role of Counsel in Discovery of Documents”, “Lawyers and the Media”, and “Ethical Problems in Criminal Law”.  The accent of the sessions is on discussions, 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 established by the Law Society of B.C.

The program runs twice a year.  Sessions tend to full quickly and applications currently are still being accepted for the sessions starting in January and  September 2016.  If you are interested in being an Inns of Court participant in those sessions, please submit an application.  Note that space is limited for the January 2016 session.

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.   

Applications for the session starting in January 2016 must be received by October 30, 2015.  Applications for the session starting in September 2016 can be submitted after that deadline, but applicants are encouraged to apply soon in any event.  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.


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.