The Law Society of Northern Ireland was established in 1922, when a Royal Charter was granted to solicitors in Northern Ireland to permit the setting up of the Incorporated Law Society of Northern Ireland.
The Law Society of Northern Ireland is the professional body for the solicitors' profession in Northern Ireland with the aim of protecting the public. Under the Solicitors (Northern Ireland) Order 1976, the Law Society acts as the regulatory authority governing the education, accounts, discipline and professional conduct of solicitors in order to maintain the independence, ethical standards, professional competence and quality of services offered to the public.
The Society operates through an elected Council of 30 members, all practising solicitors, who serve on a voluntary basis. The Council is guided by the Presidential and Chief Executive Team which consists of the President, Senior Vice President, Junior President and Chief Executive.
Any solicitor whose name is on the Roll of Solicitors in Northern Ireland and who has not been suspended from practising as a solicitor may become a member of the Society on payment of the annual subscription for the time in force.
There are approximately 2300 plus solicitors currently practising law in Northern Ireland. In Northern Ireland a solicitor is a member of that branch of the legal profession whose services consist of advising clients, representing them before the lower courts and preparing cases for barristers to try in the higher courts.