Law Society: Examination Records

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Reference: LSOC
Title: The Law Society: Examination Records
Date: 1836 - 1984
Level of description: collection (fonds)
Extent and medium: 496 volumes; 4 archive boxes; 51 loose leaf binders
Name of creator: The Law Society
Catalogue last updated: September 2020


Administrative history: 

The Law Society was founded in London in 1825 as the Society of Attorneys, Solicitors, Proctors and others not being barristers, having been previously established in 1823 as The London Law Institution. It acquired its first Royal Charter in 1831 and a further charter in 1845 established it as an independent professional organisation. The Society has delivered legal education in England since 1835 and has set examinations since 1836. It also has a representational role for the profession.  Its regulatory functions were passed to the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority in January 2007.

For a detailed description of the history of the Law Society, see:  Kirk, Harry, Portrait of a profession: a history of the solicitors' profession 1100 to the present day. Oyez, 1976 and Sugarman, David, A Brief History of the Law Society, Law Society, 1994.


Scope and content/abstract: The collection comprises candidate lists and examination results for England, 1836–1984; examination papers, 1932, 1960 and 1980–1982; correspondence, examination results and papers, Colonial and Commonwealth, 1887–1984.  


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement: Arranged by examination where stated, in chronological order. There are separate series of candidate lists and examination results, but there is some duplication of information, as some early volumes of candidate lists also including examination results, as noted in individual series descriptions. 

Conditions governing access: Printed and published material open. Candidate information and examination results closed for 75 years in accordance with the Data Protection Act for reasons of confidentiality and to protect personal privacy; access conditions are specified in the individual series descriptions.  Closed items are designated in red.

Copyright/conditions governing reproduction: Copyright has been vested in the University of London.  A Copyright Declaration – request for copies or a  Copyright Declaration - self service photography form must be completed. 

Finding aids: A detailed catalogue is available on the IALS website.


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information: The collection consists of all the surviving material relating to examinations, and has been preserved in its entirety.

Archival history: The records were transferred from The Law Society to the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies in 2007.

Immediate source of acquisition: The Law Society Library

Terms of deposit: Deed of Gift dated 2007.

Accruals: Further accruals are not expected.


Other archive material relating to the Law Society is held at the Law Society Library.


Archivist's note : Original catalogue compiled in 2008 by Elizabeth J Dawson, Archivist.   The catalogue was updated in April 2020 by Clare Cowling, Archivist.

Rules or conventions : Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Page last updated: 14th September 2022

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