Four societies of British students and practitioners of law that have the exclusive right to admit people to practice. The four are Lincoln's Inn, Gray's Inn, Inner Temple, and Middle Temple. All are located in London and trace their origins to the Middle Ages. Until the 17th century, when the Inn of Chancery developed (for training in the framing of writs and other legal documents used in the courts of chancery, or equity courts), the Inns of Court had a monopoly over legal education. By the 19th century, modern law schools had emerged.
Learn more about Inns of Court with a free trial on Britannica.com.