Victorian London - Legal System - The Law Society

The Law Institution, in Chancery Lane, is a noble building; the interior consists of a lofty hall 30 feet high, a library, a gallery, a club-room, and dining-rooms, and is, altogether, admirably adapted to its intended purpose.

Mogg's New Picture of London and Visitor's Guide to it Sights, 1844

LAW SOCIETY OF THE UNITED KINGDOM, 106-109, Chancery Lane. Instituted in 1827 and incorporated in 1831 and 1845. It is composed of attornies, solicitors and proctors, practising in Great Britain and Ireland, of writers to the signet and writers in the courts of justice in Scotland. The Soceity is appointed Registrar of Attornies and Solicitors, and the Commissioners of Stamps are directed not to grant any certificate until the Registrar has certified that the person applying is entitled thereto. Entrance money 15l.; annual subscription for resident members, 2l., for non residents 1l. There is a good library. At the back of the building is the Law Club.

Peter Cunningham, Hand-Book of London, 1850

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Law Society (Incorporated) of the United Kingdom, 103 to 113, Chancery-lane.ó This society of attorneys, solicitors, and proctors, was established in 1827, and was incorporated by charter in 1832. In 1833 it instituted courses of lectures for articled clerks and students; in 1836 the judges issued regulations, under which the council, jointly with the masters of the courts, act as examiners of candidates for admission on the roll; in 1843 it was appointed Registrar of Attorneys, under the 6 & 7 Vict. c.73; in 1845 it obtained a second charter containing extended powers; and in 1872 a supplemental charter enlarging its constitution. Additional powers and duties were conferred on the society by the 23 & 24 Vict. c. 127: All persons are examined before entering into and also during their articles of clerkship. In 1877, the power of making regulations for the conduct of the preliminary, intermediate, and final examinations, and of appointing examiners, was practically vested in the Incorporated Law Society, under 40 & 41 Vict. c. 25 (The Solicitors Act, 1877). Admission fee: If the solicitor is proposed as a member within five years from his first certificate, £2 town, £1 country. After that time, £5 town, £2 country- Annual subscription: town members, £2; country £1. The institution comprises the following departments: The hall, open daily from  9am. till 9 p.m., is furnished with the votes and proceedings of Parliament, the London Gazette, morning and evening newspapers, reviews, and other publications. Here also members are enabled to meet one another by appointment and for all purposes of business, and waiting and conference rooms are provided for the use of members. The library is open daily from 9 a.m. till 9 p.m., except from August 10ths to October 24th, when it is closed at 6 p.m., and on Saturdays, when it is closed at 4 p.m. It comprises upwards of 24,000 volumes and is divided into two parts: the north and south wings are for the exclusive use of members, and contain parliamentary works, public records, county history, topography, genealogy, heraldry, works on American, colonial and foreign law, and classical and general literature; the middle, or law library, comprises statutes, reports, digests, treatises and other works relating to the law, and is open to students as well as members. In case any scarce book in the library should be wanted by a member in any of the courts it will be produced under the authority of the council. The articled clerks of members are admitted to the law library on payment of an annual subscription of £2. Lectures on the different branches of the law are delivered in the hall on each Thursday from November to June inclusive. The members are entitled to attend gratis, and their clerks (whether articled or not) are admitted on payment of £1 11s. 6d. for each set of lectures, or £3 3s. for the whole. The clerks of gentlemen not members pay £2 2s for each set, or £4 4s. for the whole; and other students, not falling within either of those classes, are admitted on paying £2 12s. 6d. for each set, or  £5 5s. for the whole. Law classes hay also been instituted for the purpose of facilitating the acquisition of legal knowledge by the articled and other clerks of solicitors. The classes are held from November to June inclusive, and the fee payable by each subscriber is £2 12s. 6d for each branch, or £5 5s. for the whole course. The registry office, for the use of members and the clerks, is open daily from 9 a.m till 6 p.m., except on Saturdays, when it is closed at 2 p.m. He are kept the general and daily cause papers of all the courts, the sitting papers, peremptory papers, special papers, and papers of new trials in the courts of law, and papers of appeals in the House of and Privy Council. In this office is kept the annual roll of solicitors, wherein searches are made to ascertain that annual stamped certificates have be duly taken out. The club consists of members of the society, who pay an entrance fee of £10 10s., and an annual subscription of £6 6s. for town members and £4 4s. for country members. NEAREST Railway Station - Temple; Omnibus Routes, Chancery-lane and Strand; Cab Ranks, Searle-street and Lincolnís-inn-fields.

Charles Dickens (Jr.), Dickens's Dictionary of London, 1879