Post by Default User
I was reading the Wikipedia article on Ivy Williams, the first woman
"She was called to the bar on 10 May 1922, having received a
certificate of honour (first class) in her final bar examination in
Michaelmas 1921 which excused her from keeping two terms of dinners."
I wasn't able to figure out the significance of "keeping two terms of
dinners". A web search didn't turn up much except quotes of the same
This is again because of the British delight in ancient traditions. In
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inns_of_Court you will find:
The Inns of Court no longer provide all the education and training needed
by prospective barristers, who must pass the Bar Professional Training
Course, but do provide supplementary education during the 'Bar School'
year, pupillage and the early years of practice. All prospective Bar
School students must be a member of one of the four Inns, and must attend
twelve 'qualifying sessions' before being eligible to qualify as a
barrister. Qualifying sessions traditionally comprise formal dinners
followed by law-related talks, but increasingly the Inns offer training
weekends that may count for several sessions' worth of attendance. The
Inns still retain the sole right to call qualified students to the bar,
which is associated with a graduation ceremony ('Call Day').
British barristers do this because they've always done this.
When I was a student (sorry, undergraduate) at Cambridge, 1957-60, we were
also expected to have a certain m=number of dinners in the College Hall
each term (AmE semester) but I can't remember how many. I very much doubt
that this is still so.
Peter Young, (BrE, RP), Consultant Anaesthetist, 1975-2004.
(US equivalent: Certified Anesthesiologist) (AUE Au)
Cheltenham and Gloucester, UK. Now happily retired.